Pastor Mac Hammond | March 20, 2022
This past weekend, Pastor Mac illuminated a unique connection between the mystery of Christ in you, the hope of glory and the mystery of a one-flesh marriage. We see in Ephesians chapter 5 that a one-flesh marriage between a husband and a wife mirrors the relationship between Christ and the church. That means just as two spouses grow to become one flesh within a godly marriage, we can become one flesh with Christ. When this is true and Christ is evident within you, the world sees Christ through your actions and your deeds.
When you are saved, you are immediately brought into the kingdom of God. Beyond that, you have a choice. You can choose to grow in your relationship with Christ and become more and more like Him. You can also choose to let your flesh rule and ignore the leadings of the Spirit.
In which of these scenarios will the world see Christ in you?
The first one, of course! When we choose to change our ways and follow Christ, the world notices something different about us. Christ becomes our hope! He becomes our future, our expectation. We start to see things through His way of thinking and operate with Bible-based thought patterns. We confidently expect that God will show up in the direst of circumstances and deal with whatever issue we’re facing. There’s no room for condemnation to undermine this expectation when you prioritize God in your life.
So how does this happen? Christ formed in you is a product of prayer. You can get beyond the dictates of the flesh through prayer and allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through you. You can also pray that Christ would be formed in others. When Christ is formed in you, that’s when you will make a spiritual difference in this world.
Ephesians 5:31–32 KJV
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Romans 7:15–25 KJV
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Romans 8:1–6 KJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Romans 8:26 TPT
And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words.
1. How do our words and our actions create a picture of who Christ is to those who don’t know Him?
2. When facing difficulty, how does Christ in us make a difference in our perspective?
3. How can praying in the Spirit dramatically impact our lives and the lives of the people around us?
4. When Christ lives in us, how do our desires change?