I grew up singing a little Chorus in Sunday School, which went something like this:
“He Lives, He Lives, Christ Jesus lives today, He walks with me and He talks with me along life’s narrow way;
He Lives, He Lives, Salvation to impart; you ask me How I know He lives? … He lives within my Heart!”
In John 14: verses 16-17 we have a promise, Jesus said:
“… I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you“. What a promise!
So my Sermon today, entitled “Christ Conscious” is about the Christian living with a constant Christ consciousness. Yet before I can talk about such a consciousness, I need to first of all clear away the obstacles that exist preventing such a life-style for many of us. You see it is very possible to sing “He lives within my heart” and have a kind of intellectual ascendancy to such a thought, yet walk or live in denial of its reality?
Let me explain what I mean. Few Christians walk in a constant consciousness of the presence and power of God 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks in the year. In fact, if truth were told, most of us more regularly feel that God is at a distance from us,- and far from being the indwelling and enabling source of our strength, our joy and peace,- we usually walk in fear and turmoil, with a stronger consciousness of our faults and failings than we have of God?
This ought not to be so, and today I want to consider the reason why so many of us fail to walk in a Christ Consciousness every day. This failure, as with all other ills that hold us down or keep us back from Gods purposes, can of course be traced to Satan. The Devil is the arch-enemy of every believer, and his job title is as the “accuser of the brethren”. Now, it is important to point out here at the very beginning lest there be any misunderstanding, that Satan is much less a threat than we often envisage him to be. Contrary to popular opinion, Satan is not Omnipresent, as some think. The Devil cannot be tempting me and tempting you at the same time, nor can he be testing a Pastor in China and a Priest in Cameroon at the same time. He cannot be reeking havoc in the lives of believers in Spain and at the same time causing similar disruption in Singapore? Does that all sound strange to you? I expect it does for most of us imagine the Devil to be the all powerful, all present, and all knowing like God himself? … which he is not! He would like us to think so, and usually wins that deceptive war in our minds. God knows our thoughts, but the Devil doesn’t,- he may only hear our words. The Devil is a fallen Angel, Yet his capabilities are now only as a man empowered by an evil or rebellious Spirit, and “deception” is the only weapon he can use against us. Of course there were other “angels” similarly empowered which fell along with him, and these we call demons, who have the ability like Satan to tempt, thwart and hassle the Christian and the non-Christian alike. These evil Spirits, these Devilish hosts as they are, tempt, test and thwart the Christian at every turn, but “greater is He, (the Holy Spirit) that is in us (as Christians), than he ( the spirit of Satan) that is in the world” (1 John 4:4)
These evil Spirits are “legion” they are many, they are organized, they have a strategy, an assignment, not only over your life and mine, but over regions, areas, cities and countries. Remember how Jesus cast them out of the man possessed at the lake of the Gadarenes (Mark 5:10) and they begged him to cast them not from that region, but rather into the swine on the adjacent hillside. Satan had too much invested in that
region to want to leave it. He seemed willing to leave the man, but not the area.
So then, it is these evil Satanic Spirits, some of them familiar to us, – the Spirit of Fear, the Spirit of Pride, the Spirit of Bitterness, the Spirit of Anger, the Spirit of Heaviness, the Spirit of Selfishness and so on, it is to these that we yield when we do not resist them, strong in faith, and we open the door to them, and therefore open the door to Sin.
Satan wants us to live every day with a Sin Consciousness and not a Christ Consciousness. That is why so often we are powerless, prayerless, lifeless and hopeless when it comes to Serving God and Exercising Faith.
Most Christians are too conscious of Sin to be of any use to God, and because we walk in a sin consciousness, Satan can accuse us of having no faith at all. Many of us live every day overwhelmed by our aptitude to fail God and fall by the way. When Sin and Satan strike, we fall flat on our face, and simply have no resolve to get up and try again. We are defeated, depressed and dismayed, and that’s exactly where the Devil wants us. In that state we can do nothing, we want to do nothing, and we will do nothing. This is a great grief to me, for I see all around me the results of the Hellish Legions who are in control of this province, our towns & villages, our Churches and our citizens, and it ought not to be so.
Just look around you and see what Hell has brought to the streets of this town, this neighbourhood, this locality, and yours. Look at the PAIN on the faces of the people, the pain of Broken Homes, broken relationships, broken promises, broken bodies, broken businesses, and broken hearts. Jesus came to FIX a BROKEN world, but where is He? He ought to be in the Church, in your Church, and in mine. He ought to be in your Street and in mine, in your Home and in mine, in your Factory and in mine, in your School and in mine, in your University and in mine, in your heart and life and in mine?
So we sing, “He lives within my heart” but does he?
I can’t see him, I don’t hear him, and I recon your children, your neighbours, your colleagues, and your congregations don’t often see him either? Because you are too conscious of Sin,
and not truly conscious of Christ.
Once and for all, let’s deal with this sin question for it is crippling so many unnecessarily. Sin and the Christian, what does the Bible say? I am not asking what do we say, what do we think, or how do we feel, but what does the Bible say?
Look with me if you will to what the apostle John says in
1 John Chapter 2, verse 1 “1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”
and again in verse 12
12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
Here John addresses those “young” in faith, reminding them that in Jesus Christ the matter of their SIN has been settled once and for all. The “advocate” Jesus Christ has been appointed to clear their name in Gods presence. His “name” is good enough with God to clear the sin and clear the debt, should they fall or
fail. Then look at what He adds in 1 John Chapter 3, at verse 5
“And ye know that he (Jesus) was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him
What was that … “sinneth not” that can’t be right, but it
IS RIGHT. In Gods sight, the Blood of Jesus, the Name of Jesus, the advocacy of Jesus cancels out the sin. The shed blood always stands before the Throne of God (Hebrews 12:24) and God cannot see through the Blood to your sin or mine, He sees the Blood, and sees you and I covered, cleansed and cured, by it, and that avails for ever, not for a day, not for a month, but for all of time and for all of eternity; and if that wasn’t enough to convince us that the sin issue is settled,
… John adds in 1 John 5, v4
4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith”
Its FAITH in all of this that brings us to Victory and to a Christ Consciousness in our lives. Why not SAY it with me now,
I have no SIN within, I have Christ Jesus within.
So resist the Devil and resist his accusing lies.
That’s exactly where we began today, remember what Jesus promised in John 14:16-17
“… I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth
with you, and shall be in you“.
So then what is it to have a CHRIST CONSCIOUNESS?
We sing “He lives within my heart” but if you really believe that; then it will truly transform your life! Do you believe it? Let me show you what it means if Christ is living in you,
and if you are resisting the Devil as you ought to. – It means:
You are not an ordinary person.
You move with Heaven in you, packaged with Heaven.
You don’t see things as others see them, you see more?
You don’t speak like other people, your words are not earthy.
You cannot know what failure is.
You cannot accept anything as impossible.
You shine as a light in a dark place.
When you show up, God shows up.
You are never subject to worldly influences.
You are not afraid or fearful.
You will never fail or be a failure – you will succeed.
You will excel in everything you do, and will do well in things you were never trained to do.
(because you have received a spirit of excellence)
You cannot be negative about anything.
You have a permanent song in your heart.
you can identify the voice of God.
and Eternity is built into your thinking.
If Jesus truly lives within you, then these and many other miraculous transformations to your personality will already have taken place, and some of them will be in process. But the point I am making is, that the broken world around you, your world will be feeling the impact of you being there. You will have the power and ability to pull down the strongholds of Satan, and to defeat the powers and evil forces around you. You will be mending broken homes, broken hearts and broken bodies, you will be refreshing the hungry soul, reviving the weary traveller, renewing the loving relationship, and restoring the fallen sinner.
Those who sit in dark and cruel places, will have light, those who struggle with poverty and want, will have plenty,
those who cry tears of heart-break will have tears of joy instead, and your life, will tell for good and for God. But does it?
Does Jesus truly live within your heart and can others see that He does? Only you can answer that question!
Have you the mind-set of the world, or the mind-set of the Word?
As believers, we should refuse to see limitations or impossibilities, for God’s Word has inspired faith in us to be Christ Conscious, and to reason and think like Him! Ask God to make you “of a quick understanding and not to judge by what you see nor reprove after the hearing of the ears”.
Christ Consciousness is really allowing
CHRIST to LIVE THROUGH US.
We read in Matthew 9:9, that “… as Jesus passed by, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.”
When a person first comes to Jesus, it is impossible to know everything that following Jesus entails. No one, however, should be fearful of making a total commitment because of some imagined problem that may never come to pass. There should be a willingness to forsake everything to follow Jesus. Once we make that decision, then Christ begins to live through us (that’s what the Holy Spirit does in us) and we find a strength that is not our own, equal to whatever test we may encounter.
It is Christ living through us that is the secret of victorious Christian living, never failing. It is not merely us living for Jesus, but Jesus living through us. Failure to understand this simple truth is at the root of all legalism and the performance mentality. The law focuses on the outer man and tells it what it must do; but Grace focuses on the inner man and tells it what is already done through Jesus Christ.
Those who are focused on what they must do are under the law. Those who are focused on what Christ has done for them are walking under grace. Just as the life of a root is found in the soil, or a branch in the vine, or a fish in the sea, so the believer’s true life is found to be in union with Jesus. The Christian life is not just hard to live, it’s impossible in our own human strength. The only way to walk in victory is to let Christ live through us. If He does, we will be conscious like the apostle Paul, that –
“It is no longer I who live; but Christ who lives in me”
When this Revelation from Gods Word eventually penetrated my thinking and my Spirit, I became unsatisfied with the way
I was living. Before this, I had hoped that my service and ministry would be a blessing to some, and that one day I would stand before God and that Jesus would say of me … “He did what he could”. After all, I had been born and raised, both in my home and in church with that understanding; that we must do what we can. Yet Gods word was telling me that there was a higher life, a better way, a more fruitful path to walk. I don’t want Jesus to say “He did what He could” instead, I want Jesus to stand and say of me … “He did what He couldn’t”
because I did it through him!
You see … If you and I can lose the sin consciousness and nurture the Christ Consciousness way of living, Christ in me, working, walking and talking through me …
then this week, we will
not do what we can, but will do what we can’t
because He will show up when we do, He will bless when we speak, He will love when we love, He will see when we look, He
will heal when we touch, He will sooth when we comfort,
He will smile when we smile, and He will stay when we leave. Don’t write on my tomb stone HE DID WHAT HE COULD, but write if you must, HE DID WHAT HE COULD’NT.
Now this final word
Many years ago near the Royal Families residence on the Isle of Wight stood several homes for the poor and elderly. A missionary, visiting some of these people one day,
asked a lady,
“Does Queen Victoria ever call on you here?” “Oh, yes,” was the answer, “Her Majesty frequently comes to see us.”
Then, wondering if the woman was a Christian, the missionary inquired further, “Does the King of Kings ever visit here?”
The lady immediately gave him a happy, knowing smile and replied,
“No, sir, He doesn’t visit here – praise God, He lives here.
That’s why we’re so richly blessed!”
My dear friend…
if He lives within your Heart, then you too are Richly Blessed;
But do others know it?
Let us pray:
Lord Jesus, give us the grace we need today to die to self, and live for you, then and only then can you truly live through us, speak through us, work through us, heal and help through us and LOVE through us. We ask it for your dear names sake … Amen