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Christ In and Through Usby Duane Mabee on August 4, 2022
The founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, Dr. A. B. Simpson, taught that the Christ Who justified us also wants to enter each believer’s spirit and substitute His strength, His holiness, His joy, His love, His faith and His power for the believer’s weakness. This is one reason the Apostle Paul could come to terms with his thorn in the flesh. Though he pleaded with the Lord to take it away, the Lord refused. Paul wrote that the Lord said, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” (2 Cor. 12:9 ESV).
Simpson, along with others taught that the New Testament phrases “Christ in you,” “you in Christ,” “Christ our life,” and “abiding in Christ” are literal, not figures of speech. In Simpson’s theology, this incarnational life of Christ in us is critical to a life of holiness and power. He exhorted believers to “maintain an attitude of consistent dependence every moment on our union and communion with Christ.”
Simpson also taught, however, that many believers have no “present” Christ, (or sense of Christ’s power at work in them and through them) because they seek “the blessing” rather than “the Blesser,” Christ Himself. Simpson taught Alliance believers to sing about this difference in the gospel song “Himself”.
Holiness is not a thing to get, it is a Person to encounter. It is Christ Himself being substituted for our weaknesses. It is the fullness of Christ being lived in us and through us. Dr. Keith Bailey wrote, “What is it that makes us different from the world? It is the fact that God indwells us, that He has come to take up residence in us. If we are going to manifest any difference that will shake the world and speak to the world around us, then we are going to have to have this spiritual reality of the indwelling Christ within us.”
If we are ever to become all that Christ wants us to become, we are going to have to allow Him to live His life in and through us.