Weekly Devotional - Dec 21st, 2016
“In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” (John 14:20) Scripture Reading – Ephesians 1:1-14
Jesus’ desire for all believers is that we do greater works than He did. After proclaiming this amazing vision for our lives, Jesus went on to explain how that will happen. We will do these works when we ask in prayer (vs. 13-14), obey His commandments (v. 15), depend on the Holy Spirit (vs. 16-17), and live in union with Christ (vs. 18-20). Being in Christ is essential to the Christian life. In just a few more verses, Jesus will refer to this as abiding in Him, saying that He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:1-6).
The Father and Son are in perfect union with one another. Throughout his gospel, John emphasizes the unity of the Son and the Father (John 10:38; 14:10-11; 17:21-23). Without this unity, God’s plan of salvation could not have been completed. If Jesus was not God, His sacrifice could not atone for our sins. Being united with the Father also meant that the Son would do everything that was consistent with the Father’s will. In the wilderness, Satan tempted Jesus to deny the Father but He wouldn’t. Because of Jesus’ unity with the Father, the Son only did that which the Father willed.
Now with the imminent fulfillment of the Father’s plan of salvation, these heavenly mysteries are being revealed. When we accept Christ into our hearts, we become united with God in a perfect union in the same way that the Son is united with the Father. This was done so that, through our witness, the Spirit might apply God’s salvation to the hearts of sinners. Abiding in Christ is essential to performing our greater works. Paul writes, “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). So that we might do this greater work of presenting Christ to the world, God has given us “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Abiding in Christ opens the way, so that the resources of heaven can flow into our mission. Once we commit to abiding in Christ, through obeying His commands, we can expect to accomplish greater works.
Jesus returned to the Father so that the Spirit of Truth could come to us. And the Spirit testifies to Christ. The Spirit is given so that we might know the mystery of the Trinity, that the Son is in the Father, and the Father is in the Son. Jesus says that this truth cannot be understood without the Spirit. Our minds simply cannot comprehend the secret things of God. Now, not only do we understand the truth about God, we know His will and involve ourselves in it. We commit to introducing others to Christ so that they too will be united to Him.
Our relationship with God is a powerful thing. As we obey God’s commands, the Spirit’s power flows through us. We become sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and He uses us to open the eyes of those who are blind to the truth about Christ. But remember that God works through those who are living in obedience to the Word. Take time now to reflect on your union with Christ. Are there sins in your life that you need to confess, so that God’s power will be in you to perform greater works?