Experiencing The Indwelling Life of Christ


Major Ian Thomas 1915-2007

Major Ian Thomas
1915-2007

The Indwelling Life of Christ - All of Him in All of Me

The Indwelling Life of Christ – All of Him in All of Me

Background:

I have been studying through a wonderful book, The Indwelling Life of Christ, All of Him in All of Me, by Major W. Ian Thomas (September 13, 1914 – August 1, 2007), published in 2006, merely one year before his passing at the age of 92.  This book was a gift from a long-time devoted Christian friend, Bernie Webb, when we began weekly meetings to encourage each other in the faith.

In sharing the book with me Bernie wrote on the flyleaf:

“Dear Jim, this book by Major Thomas is my most treasured find of the Christian life over the past decade.  I purchase every copy I can find that I might share it with my beloved brothers IN Christ who find love, peace and joy in the mutual indwelling presence of Christ Jesus.  May it be an encouragement to you as it already has been to so many others.”

I cannot thank my friend enough for sharing his treasured findwith me.  Reading and studying through this book has enriched my Christian life immensely.

The book consists of fifty short individual readings.  Major Thomas encourages you “to read just one each day — allowing yourself to linger reflectively on each one.”  Not heeding this advice I quickly read through the first few readings without deep thought in order to preview the author’s writing style.  I quickly realized that the encouragement to “read just one each day” was a necessity to absorb the full impact of each message.  So I restarted my reading and did exactly what was advised.  Just as Major Thomas had  encouraged and my friend later told me that he experienced, I found myself reading and re-reading each of his writings and lingering on the few questions included after each reading.

Here is a sample of the kind of challenges that you will find in the book:

“… The first chapter of the book of Genesis tells us that God made two great lights and set them in the firmament of the heavens, a greater light (the sun) to rule the day, and a lesser light (the moon) to rule the night.

The moon, however is lightless of itself.  It shines into the darkness only by virtue of its relationship to the greater light, the sun.  It has nothing of itself to offer a world in the dark; it has only the sunlight that it receives and faithfully reflects, just as we have only the light of the Lord, and nothing of our own, to offer the world of darkness around us.  [1]

John 1:5 – The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

And another that I found to be particularly enlightening:

“True repentance is not being sorry for something you have done wrong. Now, if you do something wrong, you should be sorry; but that is not real repentance. Real repentance is hilariously exciting. It is facing the facts of life, recognizing how God made you, how you were intended to function, and then being restored to that relationship of mutual inter-availability that the Lord Jesus enjoyed between Himself and the Father, a mutual inter-availability in which you are prepared to let Him be God. That is true repentance. …

You give Him your hands for Him to work with, your feet for Him to walk with, your lips for Him to speak with, your eyes for Him to see with, your ears for Him to hear with, your mind for Him to thing with, your heart for Him to love with. You tell Him, “Thank You for being my Creator within the creature. You are in Business.” …

Faith means letting Him. In any particular situation you encounter, any particular need and responsibility that faces you, you will never let Him until you are prepared to admit that you cannot, and only God can.”

  • In what ways have you tried to live the Christian life for the Lord Jesus, instead of allowing Him to live it through you?
  • In growing faith, what do you need to allow the Lord to be in your life at this time?” [2]

Psalm 7:1a – O Lord my God, in You I put my trust…

In his introduction to his book Major Thomas really hits the nail on the head in the section with the title “A Purposeful Christian Life”  when he writes:

“Do you know what it is to live purposefully?  Is there an urgent sense of mission or some compelling thrust within you which makes life add up to the sheer adventure that God always intended life to be?  … If so, there is good news awaiting you, good news about the treasury of purpose and truth and wisdom to be found in the person of Christ, for living purposefully means trading our poverty for Christ’s wealth … our weakness for Christ’s strength.  We exchange the bankruptcy of the fallen Adam for all the fullness of the Life of Christ, and we discover the sheer adventure of allowing Jesus Christ to be God in our experience, for God He is!” [3]

Are you “Experiencing The Indwelling Life of Christ?” Are you standing aside, fully recognizing that you can do nothing on your own?  Are you allowing the Jesus in you, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to act on your behalf?  Have you allowed God to inhabit all of your life, or are you still cordoning off portions of your life where Jesus is not allowed? Christian, Jesus desires to indwell each of His followers to the point where their heart’s desire is “All of Him in All of Me.”

Reflection:

So many today are trying to claim Christianity apart from Jesus, THE Christ, THE Messiah, THE Savior, THE Son of God, God Himself.  They call themselves Christian for many reasons.  Some claim Christianity because they admire Jesus. Some say they are Christians because they were raised in a home where their parents were Christian.  Others refer to themselves as Christians because they attend a Christian church.  Some say they are Christians because they believe in God.  Still others call themselves Christian to fit in, to gain business, to impress others, to cover up a secret life.  Others falsely think that an emotional experience or a baby baptism is enough for them to call themselves Christian.  Some claim to be Christian because they went to a Christian school, lived a good life,  or went forward in a church service when invited to do so without true conversion.

Let me help you here if you have doubts as to whether you may truly be a Christian.  None of the above “reasons” are enough to refer to yourself as a Christian! These are simply lame excuses and none are not supported by God’s Word, The Bible.   The Bible teaches that there is only one way you can rightfully refer to yourself as a Christian …  you must be “born again.” Jesus Himself addressed this topic directly in a personal conversation with a devout Jewish Pharisee named Nicodemus telling him:“… truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3, ESV).”

Only one way?  Yes,  only one way!  That is exactly what the Bible teaches!  No other way!  The Bible describes a process through which you can be “born again.”  There are many scriptures that could be cited to explain the process, but here are the ones that I use when asked:

  1. Realize that you are “lost” – totally estranged from God and separated from God by a sinful nature.  (Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.)
  2. Acknowledge that sin deserves punishment. (Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)
  3. Acknowledge that Jesus took the punishment for your sins by dying on the cross. (Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrated his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.)
  4. Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and come into your life. (Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.)

The harsh reality is that if you cannot point to a specific time in your life when you truly went through the above process, then you are not a Christian and do not have the right to refer to yourself as a Christian.

You can become a Christian right now.  Use the process outlined above as a guide.  If you need help with step 4., then use the following prayer as your own or pray one that contains these elements:

“Dear God, I admit that I am a sinner.  I recognize that I deserve punishment.  I also know that Jesus died for my sins and that He was raised from the dead.   I turn from self and sin and trust You to be my Savior and Lord.  Take control of my life and help me to be the person that You want me to be.  Save me now and save me forever.  Thank You, Lord, for hearing my prayer and saving my soul.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

God promises in the Bible that anyone who accepts Jesus as Lord will be saved.  (Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.)  If you prayed the above prayer or one equivalent to it and meant it, you can be assured that God has saved you and you are “born again.” 

The Bible offers many other words of assurance about your salvation.  One of the clearest descriptions of that assurance can be found in 1 John 5:11-13 – And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

NOW, as a “born again” believer you can call yourself a Christian.  You should unite with a local church where you can grow by learning more about Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word and through small group Bible study with other “born again” Christians.

One final thing, as a “born again” believer … and only as a “born again” believer … you should be baptized by immersion in water in accordance with the command of Jesus found in Matthew 28:19.  Baptism is not necessary nor sufficient to be “born again.”  Baptism is only an act of outward obedience to God’s command which exclaims to the world that you have been saved … “born again.”  If you want more specific information about water baptism, I refer you to the teaching of Dr. Charles Stanley at this link.

Once you can truly claim that you are a Christian, immerse yourself in God’s Word.  It is good to read Christian books, but make sure that what you are reading is grounded in and measured by the truth of the Bible.  Your Christian Pastor can recommend Christian books that are suitable for you in your daily walk with Christ.  I can strongly recommend that The Indwelling Life of Christ, All of Him in All of Me be among your early reads.

Footnotes:

[1] The Indwelling Life of Christ – All of Him in All of Me.  Major W. Ian Thomas, Multonah Publishers, Inc. 2006. ISBN: 1-59052-524-8.  © 2006 Major Ian Thomas.  p 156. 
[2] Ibid. pp 103-106.
[3] Ibid. pp 9-10.

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About jimdavenport

Jim Davenport resides in the USA in Northeast Georgia, is a member of a Southern Baptist Church and is a retired Christian business man. Jim and his wife Charlotte have one son and daughter in law, Keven and Amy, four grandchildren - Ashlyn (Davenport) & Josh Murphy, and Mason & Rebecca Davenport. We have three great-grandchildren, Rhory Camile Murphy, Rhett Levi Murphy and Sawyer Joshua Murphy. Jim and Charlotte own a mountain get-away home located on Lookout Mountain in Alabama where they spend many spring, summer and fall days working in their raised bed organic garden. Jim has served as a Deacon and Trustee in his local church most of his adult life and on the Executive Committee and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees of Shorter University, an intentionally Christian institution located in Rome, Georgia. Jim has a passion for the word of God and has always believed that Christian principles should guide every aspect of his life. He also loves Christian music and often served as a tenor soloist in his church. One of the highlights of his life was the nearly 20 years he spent singing with The Good News, a Southern Gospel quartet. Jim served as an Information Technology professional his entire working career of 50 years holding senior positions in and consulting with hundreds of world-class organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand. Jim remains as President and CEO of InfoSys Solutions Associates, Inc. and is a retired partner of IT Governance Partners, LLC, both of which are “Trusted Advisor” technology and business consulting firms. Jim has authored a number of books available at www.jimdavenport.me/jims-books. His blog has ben read by readers from more than 170 countries. Jim holds both a BS and an MS in Mathematics from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and completed Management Development Training at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
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2 Responses to Experiencing The Indwelling Life of Christ

  1. bwebbjr says:

    Reblogged this on Believing IN Christ Jesus through ALL things and commented:
    My dear friend Jim has written an excellent review of the book that has had the greatest influence on my walk of faith (apart from the Bible) – I hope and pray you will consider seeking this book out and reading it. Bernie

    Like

  2. bwebbjr says:

    You are indeed welcome Jim … so glad to hear the book has been a blessing. An excellent review I plan on reblogging … Abide IN Christ Jesus dear friend … abide! Bernie

    Like

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