I often ask church members where Christ is in regard to the believer? There’s some ambiguity, but the overwhelming answer is, “He’s at the right hand of the Father.”
And, He certainly is there, as these verses attest: Mat 20:21, 23; Mat 22:44; Mat 26:64; Mark 10:37, 40; Mark 12:36; Mark 14:62; Luke 20:42; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:34; Col 3:1; Heb 1:13.
And, if our theology remains solely in the Gospels, Christ and His Father are still only in heaven, far from us.
Didn’t Jesus say He had to go away for the Holy Spirit to come? We might naturally assume, when He went away to our Father, that He is remaining there until His future Second Coming return.
John recorded Jesus telling us:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)
“(16) And I will pray to the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; (17) Even the Spirit of truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but you know Him; for He dwells with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
However, we must recall what Jesus also said in the verses immediately following the above verses.
“(18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (19) Yet a little while, and the world sees Me no more; but you see Me: because I live, you shall live also. (20) At that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. (28) You have heard how I said to you, I go away, and come again to you. If you loved Me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father: for My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:18-20, 28)
Many may assume that the Holy Spirit (Comforter) and Christ are the same— that the Holy Spirit is actually Christ in us or that Christ is in the Holy Spirit. Some have equated the “He … shall be in you” and “I will come to you” to be the same thing. Not so. In verses 16-17, Christ refers to the Comforter in the third person He, Him, but Christ immediately follows with speaking of Himself in the first person I, Me, My. Christ did not say He and the Holy Spirit were the same. Though They are one, They are distinct Persons with different roles. Christ, in the John 14 passage, says that He will be in us too.
When will that day in verse 20 be, when Christ comes to live in us? Will it be at the Second Coming?
It is disclosed to us in Galatians:
“(15) But when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, (16) to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood:” (Galatians 1:15-16)
Only for Paul?
“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ is formed in you,” (Galatians 4:19)
Christ is in us now.
However, if people are convinced that He’s still only in heaven, they’re limiting themselves to an external, distant and separate Christ of the Gospels and not seeing that Christ revealed His indwelling us to Paul for us (Gal 1:12).
He meant you to know Him and enjoy Him now!
Read more on this union in this free eBook, pages 21-28 .