How Do You Prove Christ Is in You?

TODAY’S READING: 2 CORINTHIANS 10-13

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” – 2 Corinthians 13:5

At some point, all Christians doubt if they are saved, if they truly have faith in God and in Jesus. But, God does not want you doubting your faith or that Jesus is in you.

My translation of 2 Corinthians 13:5 is, “Test yourselves, if you are in the faith. Prove yourselves. Or do you not really know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is you? If not, be disqualified.”

So, how do you prove that Christ is in you?

Is it because:

  • You dress a certain way?
  • You eat certain foods?
  • You hold certain days special?
  • You read the Bible every day?
  • You do not say certain words?
  • You do not drink?
  • You go to church every Sunday?
  • You tithe?
  • You are wealthy?
  • You are healthy?

It is quite easy to think that doing some or all of these things makes you a Christian. If I do all these things, then Christ is in you.

The key word in my translation above is prove. This is the Greek verb dokimazo.

Why is this the key word to understanding Paul’s test if Christ is in you, if you are in the faith?

Because in verse 3, Paul says to the Corinthians, “Since you seek proof of Christ speaking in me.” Proof is a noun, but it is the same Greek word as the verb dokimazo.

So, what does Paul offer as proof that Christ is speaking in him?

“He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.” (2 Corinthians 13:3-4)

Jesus was crucified in weakness but lives by the power of God.

This is just another way of saying what Jesus stated all scripture was about – it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and rise from the dead.

Paul says that, just like Jesus, he is weak. But, it is Paul’s being weak in Christ that causes him to live by the power of God in the Corinthians. This is why Paul says that if he is going to boast that he is going to boast about his weaknesses. For, it is his weaknesses that reveal Jesus, the power of God, is in him.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

In other words, Paul says that it is his suffering for others to bring them life that is the proof of Christ speaking in him.

And, if this Paul’s proof that Christ is in him, then the Corinthians can prove themselves in the same you.

How do you know Christ is in you?

Test yourselves to see if you are suffering for others to bring them life. If the answer is yes, then Christ is in you.

How do you know you are in the faith?

What is faith?

Believing and trusting God that he raises to life all those that suffer for their enemies and brings their enemies to life with them.

We are in the faith when we are suffering for others to bring about life.

In Luke 24:25-26, Jesus says, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe [have faith in] all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”

Jesus then taught the disciples how everything in the scriptures was about this one thing.

Everything in the Christian life comes back to this one thing.

This is who God is.

God suffers death to bring life.

You are of God, of Christ, when you do the same.

Food and Clothing; Christ in You and You in Christ

Two of the great themes that run through the Bible from beginning to end are food and clothing.

The first instruction God gives directly to man is to be careful what he eats. Man can eat from any tree of God’s garden, including the tree of life, but man should not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God created man naked, even though man was not aware of this until he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man then tried to clothe himself with leaves. Man attempted to cover himself with that which had revealed he was uncovered. God stepped in and clothed man with the skin of an animal.

The Bible closes with a wedding feast, the wedding feast that God gave man access to in the beginning before man rejected it for one piece of fruit from a single tree.

At that wedding feast is a bride, the bride of Christ. She is no longer naked but adorned for her husband, having the glory of God, her radiance like a most rare jewel.

In between the first few chapters of Genesis and the last few chapters of Revelation, the themes of food and clothing are seen over and over, each time from a different vantage point. While Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, God fed her daily with manna from heaven and her clothes never wore out. And, Paul says godliness with contentment is great gain. For, if we have food and clothing, then with these we will be content (notice he never even mentioned a home).

But, these themes of food and clothing are meaningless, unintelligible, without Jesus Christ. He, and he alone, provides the substance and the meaning to these two great metaphors of food and clothing.

Jesus says, “Abide in me and I in you.”

Jesus says, “Whoever abides in me and I in him.”

Jesus says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you.”

Do you see who is in the center of those three statements? Jesus!

Jesus is at the center of life, of abiding. He has the place of preeminence.

But, look again at how Jesus expounds on abiding.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit.

Vine → Branches → Fruit

Jesus is the vine. You are the branches.

Who is the fruit? The Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Christ.

Vine → Branches → Fruit

Christ In → You → In Christ

The vine feeds the branches with its sap, its life. Christ in you is the epitome, the fullness, the truth of the theme of food that runs through the Bible. For this grand theme of Christ in you, we have been given an act to commemorate it. We call it communion. We partake of the bread, symbolizing Jesus as the true bread from heaven. We partake of the wine, symbolizing the blood of Christ in which is eternal life, the life of God. We do this as often as we get together. Eating and drinking must be done daily for physical life. So, must we eat and drink daily of Christ for his life to be in us. The vine feeds the branches. Jesus is our food. Christ in you.

But, as the sap of the vine, its very life, flows through you, it produces fruit. Fruit that is of the Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. You are now in Christ. The tree bears fruit. The tree is clothed with fruit. You are clothed with Christ. For this grand theme of you in Christ, we also have been an act to commemorate it. We call it baptism. In baptism, we put off the old man and put on the new man – a change of clothing. We are baptized into Christ, into his righteousness, into his clothing. But, unlike communion, this act, baptism, is done just once. We only need to change clothes one time as we eat daily of Jesus.

Vine → Branches → Fruit

Christ In → You → In Christ

Christ in heaven as the head of his body. You, the body of Christ in the earth. You are a witness of him to all the world, partaking in the ministry of reconciliation, through the bearing of fruit, which is the expression of the life of Christ in the earth. On earth you are his body, the expression of the life of Christ.

You are the priest, the mediator, of Christ between heaven and earth. This is how you participate with Christ in the reconciling of all things to God.

The vine is nothing to look at. But, the fruit is the glory of the tree.

Vine → Branches → Fruit

Christ In → You → In Christ

Christ in you is the hope of glory!

Food and Clothing

Communion and Baptism

The Vine and the Fruit

Christ in You and You in Christ

How impotent are the words. How powerful is the truth!