“Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith” (2 Corinthians xiii. 5).
The verse says, “in the faith”: that is, in the body of true believers. We habitually repeat our “I believe…,” but is that only a formal acceptance, or is it merely an intellectual assent, or is it really a personal allegiance? It is very surprising, and very sad, how many people one comes across who are attempting to do Christian work while themselves not yet Christians. There are Sunday-school teachers supposed to be giving instruction in spiritual things to their children, but who know nothing whatever about it experimentally for themselves. There are ministers of the Gospel, solemnly set apart for the proclamation of the message, but who have never opened their own hearts to it. Henry Francis Lyte, author of “Abide with me,” and James Hannington, martyred Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, were both of them ordained before they converted. These, and many like them, had a great deal of holy desire; but until the great change came, there was no actual experience in their own life. They knew, from hearsay, so much about the great mansion, while they themselves were, alas, outside-they were not “in.” Are you in? Something of what is the way will be discussed in the next chapter. For the moment, we ponder the difference it makes when we are really in.
It means a true understanding. The man of the world cannot understand the “man in Christ” he cannot grasp the things of the Spirit-as 1 Corinthians ii. 14 makes plain. He may be clever and proficient in his own sphere, but in spiritual things he is out of his depth.
It means a wonderful protection. When we become Christians, we are not at once removed from this earth. The master said, John xvii 15, “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” Yes; but how? Paul writes to Christians who are in Corinth: surely nobody could be a Christian in such a vile, wicked city! I know; but, you see, he reminds them, 1 Cor. i. 2, that they are “in Christ.”
It means a real satisfaction. A wretched tramp looks longingly in through an unshuttered window, at a heavy-laden board, prepared for a sumptuous dinner party. Alas, such dainties, delicacies, and delights are not for him: he is, for all his need, a poor outsider. Presently, the guests troop in to the dining-room, and begin to enjoy what was so abundantly provided. Ah, he was outside-no satisfaction for him; they were inside-every satisfaction for them. The people of the world turn everywhere trying to find satisfaction-but, all the time, it fails them. We Christians can bear joyous testimony that “He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness,” Psalm cvii. 9. It is all there for us, if we are “in.” So let me ask again, are you in?
Excerpted from “Brought In” – Guy H. King (1949)
Words of Grace for Strength
The Lord asks little of us other than that we be “in Him.” He gave us all we have that is of any lasting value, eternal life in His Presence in His Father’s House, and all He asks is that we be His as we live in this life. The riches of Christ are available to all that would be “in Him.” He would leave none out if only all would trust in Him and believe He is the sole means of salvation.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:29-30
Being a Christian is not at all difficult if you are truly “in” because you will realize the riches and blessings that live in you through Christ. The struggle is for the Christian in name only, but not in heart and soul. An uncomprehending world would balk at the thought of a yoke and a burden placed on them by anyone, so they live defiantly of God under the burden of an evil and hopeless world. The yoke of Christ allows us to bear up in this world as we prepare to be with Him in eternity, doing His work in the here and now as we await His eternal Presence in the hereafter.
It is not a hard thing to do if you are “in” because you understand the true nature of your relationship through Christ and the riches He has bestowed, and what the world has to falsely offer pales in comparison and fades into nothing in our eyes. No one else can take preeminence in our lives over Christ, we are all in for our Savior if we are “in” at all. We can be more to others we love (and more even to those who seem not lovable to all but Christ), because in Christ we have more to give and never need worry about running out, the riches in Him are inexhaustible.
It is sad to think there are those who say they are His but are not truly “in”, sad for them and those who may think less of being a Christian because they see that which has not the depth of Christ. We can only pray that all those be drawn by the Spirit into a true saving faith in Christ, and that as a result, they spread that joy to others as a result of being “in” themselves. Those of us who are “in Christ” will never fully understand the fathomless wisdom of God, but those of us “in Him” are not concerned of that because in faith and trust we are “in Him”.
So, once again the question is posed: Are you in?”