Spirit: Growing Up Into Christ (4)

    When Christ ascended to heaven, the sense of His presence was still with His followers. It was a personal presence, full of love and light. Jesus, the Saviour, who had walked and talked and prayed with them, who had spoken hope and comfort to their hearts, had, while the message of peace was still upon His lips, been taken up from them into heaven, and the tones of His voice had come back to them, as the cloud of angels received Him--"Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20. He had ascended to heaven in the form of humanity.

They knew that He was before the throne of God, their Friend and Saviour still; that His sympathies were unchanged; that He was still identified with suffering humanity. He was presenting before God the merits of His own precious blood, showing His wounded hands and feet, in remembrance of the price He had paid for His redeemed. They knew that He had ascended to heaven to prepare places for them, and that He would come again and take them to Himself.

As they met together after the ascension they were eager to present their requests to the Father in the name of Jesus. In solemn awe they bowed in prayer, repeating the assurance, "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:23, 24. They extended the hand of faith higher and higher with the mighty argument, "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Romans 8:34.

And Pentecost brought them the presence of the Comforter, of whom Christ had said, He "shall be in you." And He had further said, "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." John 14:17; John 16:7. Henceforth through the Spirit, Christ was to abide continually in the hearts of His children. Their union with Him was closer than when He was personally with them. The light, and love, and power of the indwelling Christ shone out through them, so that men, beholding, "marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13.

All that Christ was to the disciples, He desires to be to His children today; for in that last prayer, with the little band of disciples gathered about Him, He said, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word." John 17:20.

Jesus prayed for us, and He asked that we might be one with Him, even as He is one with the Father. What a union is this! The Saviour has said of Himself, "The Son can do nothing of Himself;" "the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works." John 5:19; John 14:10. Then if Christ is dwelling in our hearts, He will work in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13. We shall work as He worked; we shall manifest the same spirit. And thus, loving Him and abiding in Him, we shall "grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ." Ephesians 4:15.

(source: © Ellen G White; From "Steps To Christ") (all rights reserved)


Collated Spirit Articles

Growing Up Into Christ (1).

The plant, the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life, air, sunshine, and food...more

Growing Up Into Christ (2).

A life in Christ is a life of restfulness...more

Knowledge of God.

Many are the ways in which God is seeking to make himself known to us and to bring us into communion with him. Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing...more

Growing Up Into Christ (3).

Constantly beholding him, we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Cor. 3:18)...more

Growing Up Into Christ (4).

They knew that He was before the throne of God, their Friend and Saviour still...more

The Sinner's Need of Christ (1).

But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God...more

The Sinner's Need of Christ (2).

But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, "I am carnal, sold under sin...more

Repentance (1).

It is only through Christ that we can be brought into harmony with God, with holiness; but how are we to come to Christ?...more

Repentance (2).

Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that his Spirit is moving upon our hearts...more

Repentance (3).

One ray of the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ, penetrating the soul, makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct...more

Repentance (4).

Many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed...more

The Privilege of Prayer (1).

Jesus himself, while he dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Saviour identified himself with our needs and weaknesses...more

The Work And The Life (1).

The spirit of Christ's self-sacrificing love is the spirit that pervades heaven...more

The Work And The Life (2).

We are brought into sympathy with Christ through the fellowship of his sufferings...more

The Work And The Life (3).

We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ...more

Faith and Acceptance (1).

You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God...more

Faith and Acceptance (2).

Henceforth you are not your own; you are bought with a price...more

Faith and Acceptance (3).

But even this parable, tender and touching as it is, comes short of expressing the infinite compassion of the Heavenly Father...more

The Test of Discipleship (1).

Every burden is light; for the yoke that Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure...more

The Test of Discipleship (2).

When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new covenant promise is fulfilled...more

The Test of Discipleship (3).

If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled...more

The Test of Discipleship (4).

Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God...more

Confession (1).

Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life...more

Confession (2).

When sin has deadened the moral perceptions, the wrong-doer does not discern the defects of his character...more

What To Do With Doubt (1).

God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith...more

What To Do With Doubt (2).

There are many things apparently difficult or obscure, which God will make plain and simple to those who thus seek an understanding of them...more

Consecration (1).

"Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:13)...more