March 7, 2016
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
In last Wednesday’s blog, we saw according to Philippians 2:9 through 11 that Jesus’ Rightful Place is in heaven, glorified above all, with a “…name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and…every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This is His Rightful Place as far as His physical person is concerned. Yes, physical! For when He rose from the dead, He came out of the tomb glorified in body, but still physical! He told His frightened and wondering disciples in Luke 24:39, “…handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” And it says in Acts 1:9 and 11 that in that same physical body “…He was taken up…into heaven…and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” He is there, physically in heaven ever since.
But the Lord sent back His Holy Spirit to dwell in believers forever! (See John 14:16, 17). And the Spirit is so much like Christ that Jesus said in John 14:18, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” The Apostle Paul, referring to the Spirit dwelling in us, wrote in Colossians 1:27, “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” If the Holy Spirit is dwelling in you, it can be said that Christ is dwelling in you also!
Where, then, is His Rightful Place as far as His Spirit is concerned? A Jewish lawyer concisely answered that for us in Luke 10:25 through 28:
And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher,
what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written
in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “‘You
shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with
all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as your-
self.’” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you
His Rightful Place by His Holy Spirit is in us – first place in our love and devotion – heart, soul, strength and mind !
That He chooses to live in us at all is amazing! We are so imperfect in ourselves – so sinful! (See Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10, 23). But as it says in Romans 5:6 and 8, “…Christ died for the ungodly….God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He paid fully for our sins! But that is only half of what He did. Paul tells us in II Corinthians 5:21, The Father “…made Him [Jesus], who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” So when the Father looks at us, He sees us enveloped in the Son’s perfect righteousness! We are made clean in Him!
But there is a catch. While He has a Rightful Place in us, making it a fit place for Him to live is up to us! That’s why this Jewish lawyer – an expert in the Hebrew Scriptures – quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 in answer to his own question, “…what shall I do to inherit eternal life? ” The Old Testament Scripture reads thus: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” Why is there a difference between Deuteronomy (heart, soul, might) and Luke (heart, soul, strength, mind)? Four different languages are involved here – Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and English). Sometimes it takes more than one word of another language to capture the meaning of the original.
But let’s get back to making me and making you a fit place for Jesus to live by His Holy Spirit. Yes, He does come into the heart and life of every person who sincerely invites Him (see Revelation 3:20). But too often we shove the Lord off into a corner, leaving the throne (the lordship) of our life under our direction and not His! He wants to be in control! Jesus wants to be Lord of our life!
You see, He said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” In other words “If you love Me, obey Me!” Now substitute this back into what the Jewish lawyer said in Luke 10:27: “You shall obey the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind….” This is His Rightful Place! It is in your heart and life, on the throne of your heart, loving and obeying Him as your Lord all the time! This is how we make ourselves a fit dwelling place for the Lord Jesus Christ!
This is His Rightful Place!