Until Christ Forms in You

‘My dear children, for whom I am in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you’ ~ Galatians 4:19

Christ became like us and was ‘born of a woman, born under law’ (Galatians 4:4) and ‘shared in their humanity’ (Hebrews 2:14). Now exalted and ‘seated at the right hand in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:20), He urges us like Paul does to the Galatian Church; ‘become like me, for I became like you’ (Galatians 4:12). Christ became human like us to ‘destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil’ (Hebrews 2:14), in order to ‘set free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death’ (v15). As a result, Christ became ‘our righteousness, holiness and redemption’ (1 Corinthians 1:30), and so enables us to share in His divine nature. This is in keeping with a non-negotiable directive from God, ‘Be ye holy for I am holy’ (Leviticus 11:44).

When the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, first meets a dormant spirit, excavation occurs. He convicts us ‘of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement’ (John 16:8). What was once acceptable in our eyes become repugnant. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we release one by one what is not of God, making room for Him in our hearts. Slowly by slowly, ‘he will guide you into all truth’ (v13). While the initial formation of the Spirit can be unnoticed, a lot is occurring in the spirit man. We feel the kicking, tugging, and pulling inwardly, but outwardly our state remains. At this point, we must still continue to attach to the Spirit of God with the binding of faith, ‘the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen’ (Hebrews 11:1). While we may not see all the fruits of the Spirit manifested in us all at once, we still have faith that the working of the Spirit will bear much fruit in season.

Jesus says, ‘In your patience possess ye your souls’ (Luke 21:19), and so we ought to feed the Spirit to its complete formation by ‘stand(ing) firm to the teachings’ (2 Thessalonians 1:15). Paul commends Timothy that, ‘from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus’ (2 Timothy 3:15). During our infancy stage, we might be like the Ethiopian Eunuch who was ‘reading the book of Isaiah the prophet’ (Acts 8:28) but did not understand ‘who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’ (v34). But as long as we ‘diligently search the Scriptures’ (John 5:39), the Spirit is feeding and will eventually ‘take from what is mine (Jesus’s) and make it known to you’ (16:v15), because the Spirit can ‘speak only what he hears’ (v13). While we nourish our spirit man with Scriptures, Jesus assures us that ‘the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will bring to remembrance everything I have said to you’ (14:v26). But how can the Spirit teach and bring to remembrance that which we do not know in the first place? Or as Paul asks, ‘How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?’ (Romans 10:14). And so, the Scriptures is of nutritional value in the formation of Christ in us, by the work of the Spirit. Because through the Scriptures, we attain ‘the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness’ (Titus 1:1).

‘During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears’ (Hebrews 5:7). Likewise, as Jesus in us forms, our cries ought to become louder, as we linger in prayer. When we ‘build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit’ (Jude 1:20), the Spirit ‘himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express’ (Romans 8:26). The more we pray, the more the Spirit builds us up in our faith for ‘God is the builder of everything’ (Hebrews 3:4). Prayer and reading of Scriptures are inseparable, and leaving one for the other makes us a ‘flat cake not turned over’ (Hosea 7:8). And because ‘God gives the Spirit without limit’ (John 3:34), we should not limit the Spirit by neglecting to acquire in prayer, ‘the fullness of him who fills everything in every way’ (Ephesians 1:23).

When we continue in God’s Word and prayer, we who ‘were given the one Spirit to drink’ (1 Corinthians 12:14), begin to birth out the Christ in us. His eyes, ears, mouth, and heart begin to form in us until we see what He sees, hears what He hears, speaks how He speaks, and ‘the eyes of your heart enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you’ (Ephesians 1:18). We then become ‘filled to the measure of all the fullness of God’ (3:v19). Jesus tells those who have reached this point, ‘Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear’ (Matthew 13:16). He commends us because our spiritual eyes and ears of understanding have been fully formed to perceive and receive all what the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding says to a point that ‘he will tell you what is yet to come’ (John 16:13). For the Spirit is also a Spirit of Prophecy. Paul even writes, ‘Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy’ (1 Corinthians 14:1).

When we eventually ‘become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ’ (Ephesians 3:13), we overflow with the Spirit which inhabits not part, but the whole of our being. When one surrenders all to Jesus, ‘streams of living water will flow from within him’ (John 7:38), which is His Spirit. Being full of the Spirit means that we need to overflow by being ‘active in sharing your faith, so that you will have an understanding of every good thing we have in Christ’ (Philemon 1:6). At this point, ‘we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth’ (2 Corinthians 13:8). Because ‘It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age’ (Hebrews 6:4-5) to easily fall out. So, sharing and fellowship, ‘continuing in His word’ (John 8:31) and ‘pray(ing) without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17) are the only sure ways that we ‘do not quench the Spirit’ (v19), the Spirit which formed Christ fully in us.

‘For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the Head over every power and authority’ ~ Colossians 2:9-10

3 thoughts on “Until Christ Forms in You

  1. Pingback: Until Christ Forms in You — mulyalemutisya – QuietMomentsWithGod

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