under a special agreement with
under a special agreement with
Lesson 7: God's Greatest Gift
God created man for His glory, but the whole human race was stolen from God by Satan. But God had a plan to win us back to Himself. He did it in four steps:
God came into the human race in the Person of His Son. God the Son lived here as a man, calling Himself "the Son of Man." He took our place and died for us.
God forgives all who believe on His Son. God brings them into His family and makes them His children.
God put us in Christ on the cross. Our old sinful self died with Christ. Then God created us as new persons in Christ.
God gave Christ to live in us. God truly gives many wonderful gifts to His children, but God's greatest gift to us is Christ! God gives Christ to us to live in us. The Bible says,
"Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Galatians 4:6
Who is this Christ who lives in me?
Christ lives in the heart of every believer, but not every believer understands who Jesus Christ really is.
The Gospel of John was written especially that we might know who Jesus Christ really is so that we might believe on Him. In his gospel, John emphasizes two great truths:
• Jesus Christ is God.
• Jesus Christ is the One who meets all our needs.
It will help us to understand who Christ really is if we learn about one of His names. He is the great "I AM." The name "I AM" is a name that belongs only to God. God Himself said that this was His name. To understand the meaning of this name we must go back to the time when God's people, the children of Israel, were slaves in Egypt.
God chose a man named Moses to lead His people out of Egypt and into the land which God had promised them.
Moses was in the wilderness taking care of sheep when God appeared to him in a burning bush. The bush burned with fire, but it did not burn up.
God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and told him to go back to Egypt and lead the children of Israel out of slavery and bondage.
Moses was afraid that the people would not believe that God had sent him. He said, "When I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say to them?"
God told Moses that His name was "I AM." God said,
"…thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you." Exodus 3:14
When God said that His name was "I AM," He meant that He is the God who has always been God and always will be God.
But there is another meaning to the name, "I AM." It is really an unfinished sentence like this:
"I AM ______________."
It was as though God was saying to Moses, "Moses, I am the Almighty God. I am the One who will meet all your needs. You will need courage to do this great work that I have called you to do; I AM your courage. You will need wisdom; I AM your wisdom. You will need strength; I AM your strength. You will need patience; I AM your patience. I AM whatever you need."
Moses believed God and he depended on God to be all that he needed. What was the result? The Bible tells us that God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt "with a mighty hand."
Christ is the great "I AM."
The Jews understood fully that the name "I AM" belonged only to God. No prophet or king, however great he might be, would dare to use this name for himself. It is a name which belongs to God alone; yet Jesus took this name for Himself. In the Bible, again and again, Jesus said that He was the great "I AM." Here are our Lord's own words:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM." John 8:58
"When you have lifted up [crucified] the Son of Man, then shall you know that I AM…." John 8:28
"… if you believe not that I AM … you shall die in your sins." John 8:24
The Lord Jesus is the great "I AM." He is the One who is everything we need. The Lord Jesus said of Himself,
"I AM the door." John 10:9
"I AM the way." John 14:6
"I AM the truth." John 14:6
"I AM the light." John 8:12
"I AM the life." John 14:6
"I AM the true vine." John 15:1
"I AM the living bread." John 6:51
"I AM the good shepherd." John 10:14
"I AM the resurrection." John 11:25
"I AM Alpha and Omega." Revelation 1:8
Jesus Christ is God.
When Jesus took the name "I AM" for Himself, He was saying that He was God. Jesus was, and is, and always will be God. He said,
"I and My Father are one." John 10:30
"…He that has seen Me has seen the Father…." John 14:9
God meets all our needs by giving us Christ.
If I were asked to make a list of all that I need to live a life pleasing to God here on earth, my list might look something like this:
I need wisdom.
I need love.
I need peace.
I need joy.
I need strength.
I need patience.
I need satisfaction.
I need power.
Actually my list would contain many more things. I do not even know all that I might need, but God knows all my needs, even those I don't think of.
How does God meet all my needs? He meets all my needs by giving Christ to me, to live in me. We get everything from God in Christ. The Bible says,
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Ephesians 1:3
• Christ is my wisdom.
When I need wisdom I should turn to Him. He lives in me and He knows exactly what I should do. The Bible says, "In whom [Christ] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Colossians 2:3)
• Christ is my love.
Love is a Person—Jesus Christ! Christ is the One who loves all people. He lives in me now and His love flows through me.
• Christ is my peace.
The Bible says, "For He [Christ] is our peace." Before He left this world, Christ told His disciples, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
• Christ is my joy.
The Bible says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice." We are not always able to rejoice in our circumstances, but we can always rejoice in the Lord.
• Christ is my strength.
David said, "The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Christ who lives in me is God. He has all power in Heaven and earth. The apostle Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13 ).
• Christ is my patience.
In myself I don't have much patience with other people, but Christ has come to live in me and He is my patience.
• Christ is my satisfaction.
Christ said, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven." Bread represents that which satisfies us and sustains us. Christ is our "living bread"—the One who perfectly satisfies and sustains us.
• Christ is my power.
The Bible says that Christ is "the power of God." Think of Christ at the right hand of God, with all the power of God. We are connected to Christ by the Holy Spirit. We draw from Christ all the supply of power we need to take us through the sufferings and difficulties that we meet here.
Everything is in Christ.
God gives us Christ to be whatever we need. If I need patience, I can say, "Lord Jesus, please be my patience." If I need love, I can say "Lord Jesus, please be my love." If I have a bad temper, I can say, "Lord Jesus, please take over for me." I have the privilege of living minute by minute with Christ as my best Friend and my "all in all."
As I believe that all which is in Christ is mine, the Holy Spirit will cause it to be truly mine.
How can I apply these truths?
Know the truth.
The truth is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, now lives in me by His Spirit. I have in Him everything I need to live for Him here. The apostle Peter said,
"…His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness…." 2 Peter 1:3
Claim the truth.
I must not only know the truth, but I must claim it for myself by making it my own. It is not just, "Christ lives in the hearts of His believers," but "Christ lives in ME!" It is not just "Christ loves His believers," but "Christ loves ME!" I can say with the apostle Paul, "The Son of God loved ME, and gave Himself for ME."
Live the truth.
Having Christ living in me is like a poor man having a millionaire friend come and live with him. The friend says, "I have millions of dollars. You can call on me for whatever you need."
Christ is my best Friend. He is God and He lives in me. I count on Him and call on Him for whatever I need.
Jesus Christ is God. He is the One who created the universe. This great, wonderful Person now lives in me. Satan says, "You won't make it. You can't live the Christian life!" I say, "Lord Jesus, You are God, and You live in me. You are able to handle anything that comes to me today. I am counting on You."
"Lord Jesus, I believe that You are indeed God's greatest gift to me! I have in You everything I want to live for You here. I am trusting You to live Your life through me."