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Words matter

Are You Assuming Christ’s Absence From Your Life?

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Your vocabulary matters.

The words and phrases you use shape your understanding of what it means to live a normal Christian life.

There are many ways that our Christian vocabulary—our Christianese—can obscure the saving message. But it can just as quickly obscure essential sanctification truths.

For example, at the beginning of a church service, have you ever heard anyone say, “Lord, we invite you into our presence as we worship you”?

And at the end of a church service, have you ever heard the pastor pray, “Lord, go with us now during the week”?

What does that language assume? Doesn’t it assume the absence of Christ from your life rather than His presence in it? You ask Him to come because you assume He’s not already there. And you plead with Him to go with you because you assume He might not.

That kind of vocabulary denies an essential truth for sanctification, namely, the reality of the indwelling life of Christ.

If you’re born-again, Jesus is not just with you but in you. He said so. He promised. The indwelling life of Christ is a reality for the believer:

“On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:20, emphasis added).

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Gal 2:20, emphasis added).

I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Eph 3:16-17a, emphasis added).

Jesus lives in you. Why do you doubt those truths? Isn’t it because you’re relying on feelings rather than faith? You don’t feel that He is there, so you assume His absence rather than His presence, and your vocabulary reflects that.

What would change in your life if you assumed His indwelling presence? What would change in your attitude if you reckoned on Christ living in you now and always, His life being the source of your life? How would your vocabulary change if you assumed that Christ was already with you in worship and every other day of the week?

Thought for the day: Never let the feeling of Christ’s absence blind you to the truth of His indwelling presence.

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