We cannot separate “to live is Christ” from the historic and human life of Jesus. It is his life that indwells us. The divine Christ is also the man Jesus. We have been showing over these past days that the life of Jesus that indwells us is his Incarnation, Perfect Life of Suffering, Death, Resurrection, and Glorification.
Perfect Life of Suffering.
2 Corinthians 5:21. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
It is Christ’s perfect life that indwells you. God not only became human in Jesus Christ, he also lived a perfect human life. He kept the Law perfectly and completely. He satisfies all of God’s requirements of righteousness for us. The resurrection is the proof of his righteous life and record. He has been judged as righteous. Now abiding in Christ’s life means resting in his perfect life. This indwelling righteousness takes the pressure off of us to be perfect– he did it for us. At the same time it empowers us to live righteously. When our lives are free from striving, we are able to live purely from a love that leads to righteous choices.
Romans 8:17. …heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
It is also Christ’s suffering life that indwells us. We should not expect our “best life now,” but instead we should rest in the perfection of Jesus and embrace his suffering. As he suffered, we will suffer. To live the Christian life IS to suffer. It is to accept a life in this world where we constantly long for the next world- the heavenly realm and the presence of God.
Yes, Christ indwells us, but we do not yet fully experience his presence in its fullness. We are not yet fully like him. We “groan” for this (Romans 8) until the day we are with God in his presence. And like Christ, we are made perfect in suffering.
Here again, we must understand that we can never separate the life of Christ from the “Man of sorrows acquainted with grief.”
“To live is Christ.” And this life of Christ is BOTH perfect righteousness and righteous suffering until the return of Christ.