Truth Is a Person

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

As we have often stated, our destiny is, first of all, to attain the likeness of Christ. We will fall short along the way; we will have much to learn, relearn and unlearn; we will face many obstacles, but our life vision must not deviate from this goal.

Along the way, there will also be false teachers and ministers. How can we discern the true from the false? In answer to this important question, the Bible itself provides a number of fundamental tests to authenticate the soundness of one’s doctrines. One test in particular comes from the apostle Paul. He writes,

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you -- unless indeed you fail the test?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Paul takes all of Christianity and sums up its entire body of truth into one irreplaceable reality: "Jesus Christ is in you." This reality is the one needful thing that Jesus said was necessary. We might be misinformed about the timing of the Rapture or misguided in our administration of church government, but Paul says a true Christian is one who has accepted the living reality of Christ into their hearts!

Do you see this? We are saved, not because we said a prayer at an altar; we are saved because when we prayed the Spirit of Jesus Christ actually entered our life! When He promises, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb. 13:5 NKJV), He means He is with us forever. The devil knows we are Christians not because we carry a Bible but because we actually carry Christ; Christ’s presence is a flame of eternal life within us.

It is Christ dwelling in us that produces fruit, works deliverance, and manifests power through us. Our living union with Him makes us His temple; our connectedness to Him enlivens us as His body. In the swirl of religious deception in our world, all we need to know about truth and error can be found by focusing on Jesus. He said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).

I believe it is vital to have right theology, but truth is more than theology. "Truth," Paul tells us, "is in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21). And when Jesus is in us, He transforms us.

Consider also the profound words Paul wrote to the Galatians:

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." (Galatians 2:20)

Paul wrote, "Christ lives in me." The Son of God is not a mere doctrine; He is Emmanuel, "God with us." Eternal life comes from knowing God "and Jesus Christ whom [God has] sent" (John 17:3).

So while there are many important doctrines, all of which are worthy of discussion, our single most important doctrine is that Christ is living within us -- speaking, loving, healing and guiding those born of His Spirit. When someone postures himself as a "keeper of the true faith," yet he rejects the reality of Jesus Christ living within us, that person reveals that he is the one walking in deception.

Truth
In an era of great confusion, we must see truth as a person: Jesus Christ. Everything we need to know about God, Heaven, hell, salvation, sin, and redemption is centered in Him. We must also apply our hearts in humility and focused faith to become like Him, even as John taught, "The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked" (1 John 2:6).

Eternal life does not come from having a religion about Christ but from actually knowing Him (John 17:3). He has purchased our forgiveness, our healing, and our well-being. As our Redeemer, He works all things for our good. As our King, He grants us His authority and sends us as His ambassadors. He calls us His body, underscoring His oneness with us. And He extends to us His sanctification and righteousness. We are His bride, wooed by His love.

If anyone tries to convince you that Christ does not dwell within His people, remind them of His Word: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him" (John 14:23).

Beloved, truth springs from our oneness with Jesus Christ. Our vision is nothing less than "Christ in [us], the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). Warn those who pick at peripheral doctrines yet deny the indwelling of Jesus Christ: The test of true faith is "Jesus Christ … in [us]" (2 Cor. 13:5). Yes, remind them that truth is a person, not merely a doctrine.


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, Spiritual Discernment and the Mind of Christ available at www.arrowbookstore.com.

2 comments:

  1. I agree with everything you teach Francis. I don't mean to split hairs but isn't it more accurate to say our goal is to allow Christ to live and flow His life through us as He lives IN us. We aren't to really try to become "like" Christ but rather He now lives in us (we reflect His life as we walk by the Spirit).

    thank you for your faithful teaching.
    Phyllis

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  2. I think that is what I'm saying in the article. "If anyone tries to convince you that Christ does not dwell within His people, remind them of His Word: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him" (John 14:23). Beloved, truth springs from our oneness with Jesus Christ. Our vision is nothing less than "Christ in [us], the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). Warn those who pick at peripheral doctrines yet deny the indwelling of Jesus Christ: The test of true faith is "Jesus Christ … in [us]" (2 Cor. 13:5).

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