Introduction | Table of Contents | Chapter 2

We are certain that we are of God, but all the world is in the power of the Evil One. And we are certain that the Son of God has come, and has given us a clear vision, so that we may see him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. My little children, keep yourselves from false gods. (1 John 5:19-21 BBE)

What is true belief in the mind of God? Millions of people today say they believe in one thing or another. Some believe in their riches; they believe they will be kept from any suffering and need by their money. Others believe in their weapons or fighting ability to keep them safe. Some believe in their country or politicians to do that for them. Some even believe that they belong to the right religion and that will keep them safe. But what does this word believe mean to God? James wrote in his letter, "You believe that there is one God; you do well: the demons also believe, and tremble." James 2:19 KJ2000 Many professing Christians today believe in Jesus at this level. They believe that He walked this earth 2000 years ago; that He did many wonderful works and miracles and spoke with great wisdom; that He died on the cross and rose again from the grave; and some even believe He is the Son of God who died for their sins. But is that what belief is in the mind of God?

There is an often quoted verse in John that has been mistranslated and as a result, misquoted as if the very words of Jesus about belief to Nicodemus were no deeper than the belief that James is talking about. We see the address of this verse on placards at football games and see it quoted on religious tracts as if it were some magic potion that will convert the unbelieving immediately. By now, you know which verse we are speaking of-- John 3:16.

There is one little preposition that we believe has often been mistranslated that makes all the difference in God's eternity--the Greek word for into. The verse in question in our Bibles reads, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 KJ2000 Two verses later we see this same preposition mistranslated twice again, but this time it is translated on as well as in. "He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18 KJ2000 Another mistranslated verse where on is used to describe our salvation is, "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent." John 6:28-29 KJ2000

So what is wrong with all these important verses that determine our part in obtaining eternal life? This Greek preposition eis (pronounced "ice") indicates motion and more correctly should be translated into. On and in do not indicate motion, though they are very similar in meaning. One is resting on and the other is resting in. There is a sense of having arrived about their usage.

Here is a diagram that graphically shows the meaning of Greek prepositions.

Greek preposition chart
The word for in is e═n or en and is shown resting inside the object or circle. The word for on or upon is e═pi­ or epi (shown resting above the circle). But the word for into, ei╬v or eis, is shown going into the circle. Here is a passage in which both en and eis are used and translated correctly so we can compare them:
In [en] whom [Jesus] the whole structure is joined together and grows into [eis] a holy temple in [en] the Lord; in [en] whom you also are built into [eis] it for a dwelling place of God in [en] the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:21-22 RSVA)

In Jesus we who are living stones in the temple of God are joined together and grow into the temple of God in the Spirit in the Lord. Once we have believed in Jesus we have passed into Him, but we have not arrived. There is more. We continue to grow into a temple fit for God to dwell in by the power of the Spirit of Life in Him.

It is interesting that eis or into is depicted as an arrow penetrating a sphere. This is exactly what happens when the male sperm goes into the female egg. The result is a new life starts to form and grow. God has created all things in the natural to show us how things are in the spiritual world. See 1 Corinthians 15:40-46 When Jesus was talking with Nicode'mus about salvation He said, "You should not be marveling that I said to you, 'You must be begotten anew [from above].'" John 3:7 CLV This is the literal translation of this verse in the Greek. Unless Father begets our spiritual life, we will never have spiritual life. What is begotten of the flesh is still flesh, but what is begotten of the Spirit is spirit.

Eternal life begins with this act by the will of God. Paul, speaking of our salvation wrote, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he [Jesus] might be the firstborn [protokotos - first begotten] among many brethren." Romans 8:29 KJ2000 Jesus was begotten of the Father in the womb of a virgin by the Spirit. He is the prototypical Son of God and thus the only son begotten of God this exact way. The Son of God had to become the Son of Man for there to be a perfect sacrificial Lamb of God who could take away the sins of the world. Paul wrote:

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. (Romans 5:15-18 RSVA)

Salvation is not a static thing, but rather the beginning of a new life in which we have become born of the Spirit. Being "born again" is not the end or goal of salvation (any more than a child is a fully developed human on conception) but rather this is the beginning of the process. The seed of the Spirit comes into us and the life of Jesus begins to grow and develop into the fullness of the Son of God within us. Just as the chromosomes of the male component combine with the female chromosomes and the two become one new being, so it is with us in Christ and Christ in us.

Now let's go back to our passage in John chapter three where the Authorized Version reads:

And no man hath ascended up to [eis - into] heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in [en] heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in [en] the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in [eis - into] him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in [into] him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into [eis] the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on [into] him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in [into] the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into [eis] the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:13-19 KJV)

The Son of Man ascends into heaven and is in heaven. Moses was in the wilderness when he lifted up the brazen serpent. We believe into Jesus Christ and it is here that eternal life, His life changing life, begins as we abide in Him. We believe into His life and we are freed from condemnation because we have seen the truth in the light of His life. In each case in the Greek we are instructed to believe into His name and believe into Him! Faith into salvation is growing into the fullness of the living Christ.

From here on out in this writing you will see "[into]" following every preposition that was not translated with this living motion in mind and yet was intended in the original Greek text to do so. Sad to say, there are many verses in our Bibles that were not translated to show this living dynamic. All too often this important word was translated, "in, unto, upon, to or among," thus watering down the impact of the gospel message as a call into a living and growing walk into an ever deeper relationship with Jesus and His Father.

Are We to Believe On or Into Jesus?

How do you believe "on" something? We can understand believing "in" something, but not "on." How do you have faith "unto" salvation? (See 1 Peter 1:5 KJV) Is salvation something we only approach, but never enter into?

What does God desire when it comes to our relationship with His Son? Are we to have a superficial, back-slapping, bar buddy in Christ or are we to have the intimacy of a man and a woman who are married and are becoming one flesh? (See Ephesians Ch. 5:22-32) Have you ever noticed that couples who have lived together and become one flesh even start to look and act like each other after many years? When one dies who has been united this way with the other for many years, the other soon dies afterwards. They have become one flesh.

In all too many cases the translators chose to nullify the living dynamic of what salvation is by choosing words that make it sound static instead of growing and alive. Words like on, among, unto, even in indicate no movement or growth and were used often for eis instead of into. This oversight is such a travesty and it fortifies the Christian idea of what "church" has become. You go to a service, you sit there, you listen and you leave. Growth into the fullness of Christ is never demonstrated as a living dynamic. You said a "sinner's prayer" and you came to Jesus and that is that--another spiritual infant is destined to live out life in, as one brother put it, "the perpetual babyhood of the believer." Yet, the scriptures indicate that this life is not static, but rather a dynamic growth into the fullness of Christ.

And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJ2000)
What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it. (Colossians 3:10 AMP)
Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24 RSVA)

Our lives with Jesus must become intermingled. He gave His life for us and we are called to lay down our natural lives for Him. If you go down to the hardware store and order a can of paint and you want it to be tinted to a certain color, but tell the clerk to just put the tint in a separate container on the top of the can, you have tinted onto the paint. When you take it home and brush the tint base on the wall, it is not the color you wanted at all. Now let's say that you understand paint and painting better than that and you allow the clerk to put the tint in the base paint, but do not allow him to put it in the shaking machine. Then you go home and brush this unmixed volume of paint on your walls. There will be streaks and blotches on all the surfaces and you still won't have the effect you wanted. Is it the clerk's fault? No, if you are to get the desired result, pleasing to your eyes, the tint must be thoroughly mixed into the tint base or it is useless.

In a sense this explains why Paul wrote, "Everything that can be shaken, will be shaken until only that which can not be shaken remains." God provides the shaking in our lives that tears down our fleshly walls that isolate our spirits and allows the blending of His Spirit into ours. Paul wrote:

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you who were afar off, and to them that were near. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto [pros- forward to] the Father. (Ephesians 2:13-18 KJ2000)

This important preposition eis in the Greek makes all the difference in the world... literally! According to the Liddell & Scott Intermediate Lexicon eis is used

... with all Verbs implying motion or direction...
2. with Verbs which express rest in a place, when a previous motion into or to it is implied...

Motion is implied as well as the goal of that motion. The following scripture, where eis was translated correctly, brings this out.

Then said he to Thomas, Reach here your finger, and behold my hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into [eis] my side: and be not faithless, but believing. (John 20:27 KJ2000)

Jesus invited doubting Thomas to put his hand into His wounded side and believe that He had risen from the dead! If we are to be witnesses of the kingdom of God that removes all doubts, we also must be thoroughly enveloped into Christ and He into us. Now, let's look at these very important verses many of us hang our salvation on, once again with the right word inserted in them.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes into him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
"He that believes into him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Yes, true belief is not just a mental assent, but rather a moving force that causes a change of identity and life source. Believing into Jesus changes our position out of our old natures and into the nature of Jesus.

In the advent of mankind upon the earth, Eve was tempted to have a life and identity separate from her Creator. Satan told her if she would eat of the forbidden tree of knowledge she would be her own woman saying, "For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods." Until she caved into the temptation, Adam and Eve were in unity with their Father and worked and lived in the garden in unison with Him. His thoughts were their thoughts, His works were their works and their desires were to please Him alone. Since they fell away into their own self-wills, God has set out to bring man back to this primary place of existence where we rest and abide in Him.

When we veer off course in God's plan, He requires us to go back to the point where we took the wrong turn and proceed again on the right path. This is true repentance. Our starting point as His fallen creation is to get back into unity with our Father and His will where we are not only created in his image, but we may proceed with being transformed into His likeness. (See Genesis 1:26) He requires a total transformation from our fallen Adamic state, in which we have lived out life by our own desires, into the very being of Jesus Christ who lives for the Father!

Jesus is the Pattern Son. Father only has one measuring line by which He judges all mankind; are we walking in the obedience to and unity with His Son? The first Adam must put on the Last Adam.

One Spirit with Him

A brother from England recently wrote and asked, "Can I ask how regularly you hear the 'still small voice of the LORD'?á I only ask because I long to hear it once again." To this George replied:

As we live our lives in a reverent posture before Him, seeking Him, waiting on Him, simply walking with Him in the cool of the day, two hearts become one. We become increasingly joined to Him.á Isaiah prophesied, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." The word wait here in the Hebrew is a primitive root that means to bind together by twisting.á Waiting on God is to be so intertwined with Him that we feel what He feels and we know what He knows and desire what He desires. We become so joined to him that when He moves, we move.
The Spiritárested upon the prophets and they knew "the burden of the Lord." How much more attuned to the Lord's burden are those who are so completely intertwined with Him that He and they are one Spirit. Like John at the last supper, we recline with our head upon His breast, listening to the beat of His wondrous loving heart. This is our birthright! "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." There is a communication with the Father that is much deeper than just hearing His voice, though that is very important. It is the mystery of two hearts becoming so intertwined that they become one. You sense His burden for others and speak His words to them. You can say, with the Son, "the doctrine is not mine . . .I speak those things I hear the Father saying. . .I do those things I see the Father doing. . . My Father works hitherto and I work." So Joined! One Spirit! One heart! One mind! Without this glorious intertwining we might hear God and not understand a word He is saying. When God spoke to His beloved Son, those who stood by thought it thundered.

Hearing the Father's voice requires resting in His arms and hearing His heart beat with love for us as John did with Jesus. So many of us are all about doing for God, so that we have not taken the time to first know Him as our loving Father, but rather as a terrible demanding task master. Religious task masters often instill this image on Him and it is such a travesty.

Everlasting Life

In John 3:16 we read that we who believe into Jesus will have everlasting life. What is everlasting life? Literally the Greek says, "life without beginning or end." How do we who are finite get this kind of life? Only by living our lives in the Son of God, because He alone is eternal in the Father.

In chapter six of John, Jesus says some revealing and remarkable things that stumbled the Jews who heard Him.

And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in [into] him, may have everlasting life and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:40 KJ2000)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on [into] me has everlasting life. (John 6:47 KJ2000)
Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to [into] eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal." (John 6:27 ESV)
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe on [into] him whom he has sent. (John 6:28-29 KJ2000)
And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes on [into] him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:40 KJ2000)
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (John 6:51 KJ2000)
He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live forever. (John 6:56-58 KJ2000)

To eat and drink Jesus is to have Him totally assimilated into us. He is the antidote to the venom of the Serpent's bite that brought death. Not only in eating of Him does He dwell in us, but Jesus says that we also dwell in Him. We live in and by Him alone. Only here in this reality is there any life without beginning or end.

In his fine work, Bone of His Bone, F. J. Huegel wrote:

The job he [the Christian worker] is attempting to do requires of him superhuman force. The merely human, however noble and strong and cultivated, proves as insufficient and as inadequate as a handful of glowing coals would be for the dissipation of an arctic blizzard. He must transcend the purely natural, and immerse himself in the super-natural. He must experience the power of the indwelling Christ, and, dispossessed of his own life, become in an ever-fuller measure possessed of a Divine life.

Only "rivers of living water" flowing from his innermost being -- the promise which the Saviour has made to His own -- can make possible the renewal of life in those to whom he is sent.

Believing into Jesus' Name

Let us look at that opening passage again. John quotes Jesus, "He that believes into him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God." What does it mean to believe into His name? His name is not a mere "handle" spelled J-E-S-U-S that He was tagged with at birth. In fact His Hebrew parents named Him Yeshua (from where we get Joshua or Savior), not the Greek Jesus. Many today have gone back to using the Hebrew forms for the names of Jesus and God, thinking that this will give us power when we pray, but that is not what it means to pray or believe in His name. It goes much deeper than that. A rose by any other name is still a rose. The word translated name in the New Testament is onoma. W.E. Vine says of this word:

(II) for all that a "name" implies, of authority, character, rank, majesty, power, excellence, etc., of everything that the "name" covers: (a) of the "Name" of God as expressing His attributes.

Jesus is in His name! He told the disciples, "For where two or three are gathered together in [into] my name, there am I in the midst of them." Do you just believe in the name of Jesus or have you believed into His name? In Fausset's Bible Dictionary we read of the important significance of what it means to believe into His name:

In the Bible [this is true in the Old Testament as well] expressing the nature or relation for the most part. According as man has departed more and more from the primitive truth, the connection between names and things has become more arbitrary. In Genesis on the contrary the names are nearly all significant... God, in calling His people into new and close relationship with Himself, gives them a new name. Abram becomes Abraham; Sarai, Sarah; Jacob, Israel. So the name was given the child at the time of circumcision, because then he enters into a new covenant relationship to God (Luke1:59; Luke 2:21). So spiritually in the highest sense God's giving a new name implies His giving a new nature... Christians receive their new name at baptism, indicating their new relation. They are "baptized into (eis onoma) the name of (the revealed nature, 2 Peter 1:4, into living union with) the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit"... [Emphasis added].

Baptized into His Name

Another verse we hear parroted often in our evangelical churches is what is called "the Great Commission." Jesus told the apostles, "Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in [eis - into] the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit..." Yes, we are to be baptized [immersed] not with just water, but immersed into the very character of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit; becoming one with God and His nature. Water baptism is supposed to signify that this has happened to the person being immersed, yet today baptism has become little more than a rite of initiation into a particular denomination. Many of us have, with iconoclastic zeal, smashed our Catholic and Protestant idols and have scrutinized and shed a myriad of meaningless ceremonies, rites and rituals, but have we cast the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to baptism?

While we don't believe in baptismal regeneration, we do believe that God honors our obedience and faith in this area. Repentance and baptism together are God's ultimate insult to the flesh. Repentance is first of all repentance from dead works. True repentance is giving up on our fleshly lust of trying to fix it ourselves or live life our way. The flesh has no qualms with trying to save itself. Stopping this fleshly endeavor and acknowledging that there is none righteous, no not one, is the beginning of a proper walk with God. The next step in obedience to God is baptism. Repentance says, "I can't do it! I can't be righteous of my self." Baptism says, "He can."

Paul wrote,

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Colossians 2:11-12 NKJV)

Baptism is our public circumcision. It is the circumcision of Christ made without hands. We are buried with Christ and raised in newness of life, not by virtue of any ritual, but by our faith in the operation of God. Baptism is our public confession of our belief in God's intention to bring about, by His mighty power, all that baptism represents and prefigures. And so begins this operation of God.

We are not promoting an elitist idea that by our great faith we are somehow more into Christ than others. We are not in Christ because of our exceptional belief but because of His great love and power. Even faith itself is a gift. As Paul put it, "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus . . . so that, just as it is written, 'Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.'"

With this in mind, consider now the words of Peter to the Jews in Acts chapter 2:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:38-39 KJ2000)

First repent, that is, turn about and take a new and living course for your life and then be immersed into the very character and person of Jesus. As you can see, Christendom has diluted the truth of what salvation is to the point that it really means nothing like it did to the first century church. For most, the transformation of our very life source has been missed and we are expected to plod along trying to be good Christians in our own strength. What a frustrating existence!

Praying and Living in Jesus' Name

In the modern church, the name "Jesus Christ" has been also used as some kind of magic incantation to call down power over demons and get things we ask for. We tack the words "In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen" onto the end of our prayers. It means much more than that. The "magic" is not in the words, but in the heart of the one who is praying.

Compare Paul's abiding in the name of Jesus Christ and ministering from there, to those who tried to use the name of Jesus Christ as some kind of magic:

And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain maid possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, who show unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being troubled, turned and said to the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. (Acts 16:16-18 KJ2000)
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon themselves to call over them who had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (Acts 19:13-16 KJ2000)

In the first passage, Paul was speaking from and in the very character and authority of Jesus and the demon obeyed and left the young woman. In the second, these itinerant Jews tried to use the name as if it has some kind of magic and the demon in the man thrashed them thoroughly. The demon knew who Jesus is and who Paul was because of the very Nature in them.

Paul the apostle wrote often of this total transformation that went far beyond a mere mental assent or "believing in." We quote, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21 KJ2000)
"For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with [in union with] him in glory." (Colossians 3:3-4 KJ2000).

There is a difference between believing in and believing into someone. In the into state the tint has entered into the paint and the paint into the tint. For the paint to manifest on the wall is also for the tint to be manifest. For the tint to be manifest is for it to be enveloped into the paint. Their identities are one. The tint by itself is dead, but it is brought to life once it is mixed into the paint.

Only if we believe into His name and are taken into His very character. By an exchange of His life source for ours, we have His power in our actions and prayer to overcome the works of the devil. In order to have power in our salvation, we must first be dead to that old Adamic nature within us and be spiritually resurrected by the operation of God into the very life of Christ. To the Corinthians Paul wrote, "And of him [God] are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." This covers every aspect of life and godliness. Without Him we can do nothing. Jesus Himself is our righteousness. Our ability to obey and keep some set of "Christian" rules, "Don't handle, nor taste, nor touch" may as Paul put it, "appear like wisdom in self-imposed worship, and humility, and severity to the body," but may we acknowledge once and for all that such things will never be of "any value against the indulgence of the flesh."

The same is true of sanctification. Jesus is our sanctification. He is the only redemptive force in our lives, not our good religious works or our determination and stick-to-it-iveness.

If our life is manifest to the world; what we think, what we want, what we know, what we feel, it can not be "hid with Christ in God." It is time that we take a new appraisal of what it means to be "saved." There is a world of difference between believing in as it is used in our culture and believing into as God intended. One allows us to keep going in our separated lives from God and only give a mental assent to His design and wishes. The other makes us come to a full stop, die to our wants, likes and dislikes, our desires, goals, and all that is of the self; self-righteousness, self-satisfaction, self-love, self-centeredness, and downright selfishness. Not only that, to believe into Christ is to become Christ centered in everything we do and think. He is All and in all! He is the beginning and the end! He is the sum total of Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption! What a glorious truth! He is "the way, the Truth, and the Life." All that pertains to life and godliness is ours in the gift of Himself! In Him is Life! In Him dwells the fullness of all that life was meant to be in the mind of our Father!

Abba Father

Paul wrote of this death and life in Christ to the Galatians. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." It is the faith of the Son of God that is ours in this crucified life in Christ, because this life within us is the life of the Son and the Spirit of the Son within us cries, "Abba! Daddy, dear Daddy!" The intimacy that Jesus has with His Father is the intimacy that is afforded us also. All the issues of obedience, righteousness and sanctification are answered by the Spirit of Him who, when obedience demanded unimaginable suffering, said in the face of it all, "Abba, Father . . . not what I desire, but what you desire." This is the very Spirit that Father God sends into each of us when we believe.

Because we are His children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, "Abba, Father!" We have not been given a spirit of religious bondage where everything is motivated by fear and implemented by mere willpower. We have received the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of Christ "by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

Jesus not only gave His life on the cross to take away our sins, but He gave Himself to us that He might live his life through us. We are not doomed to live out a life of sin in our own sin-prone weakness. Paul wrote to the Roman saints, "Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" Notice the two into's. These are that same word in the Greek, eis. Yes, Christ died once for all who were placed by the Father into Him, but that is not all. Paul continues, "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" First we are dead to our old Adamic lives and natures and then we are risen into the very personage of Jesus Christ who is the expression of His Father.

Introduction | Table of Contents | Chapter 2

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