By: Major W. Ian Thomas
Christian living is not a method or technique; it is an entirely different, revolutionary principle of life. It is the principle of an exchanged life" not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20).
This is all part of our Gospel - it is not the Gospel plus! We must not get our terminology wrong. To divorce the behavior of the Christian from the Gospel is entirely false and is not true to the Word of God, yet all too often such is the characteristic of gospel preaching.
I would like to explore with you what is the true spiritual content of our Gospel not just heaven one day, but Christ right now! Christ in you, on the grounds of redemption this is the Gospel! To preach anything less than this must inevitably produce "Evan-jellyfish" folk with no spiritual vertebrae, whose faith docs not "behave!"
Do you remember what James says in his epistle? "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead" (chapter 2:26). The "spirit" there means breath, and a body without breath is dead. Stop breathing and folk will bury you! In other words, a living body breathes, and a living faith breathes, and a living faith breaths with divine action. A living faith breathes with the activity of Jesus Christ. That is why the Lord Jesus, in John 6:29, said, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent."
That is the work of God. It is your living faith in the adequacy of the One who is in you, which releases His divine action through you. It is the kind of activity that the Bible calls "good works," as opposed to "dead works."
"Good works" are those works that have their origin in Jesus Christ - - whose activity is released through your body, presented to Him as a living sacrifice by a faith that expresses total dependence, as opposed to the Adamic independence (Romans 12: 1,2).
It is only the life of the Lord Jesus -- His activity, clothed with you and displayed through you, that ultimately will find the approval of God.
From: The Saving Life of Christ. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House. ©1961.