Pastor Larson’s Corner: He Lives
When I was growing up, we had a member of our church who started every telephone conversation by saying, “He Lives!” Whether you called him or he called you, he always started the conversation the same way. I always thought this was a little odd, but at the same time it impressed me to know that his life of faith was important to him. Christians don’t normally greet each other in this way except on Easter morning.
If I received a call from this man today, I would probably respond to his “He Lives” by saying, “He lives in you, He lives in me, He lives in all of us.” I would say this because I strongly believe it to be true. I believe that God has chosen to live in us. God does not dwell in temples made with hands but rather dwells in the hearts and minds of every one of us. The apostle Paul makes this point over and over again throughout his letters to the early churches. Here are just a few of the phrases he uses to describe this important truth: “You are in Christ Jesus,” “You are in the spirit and the spirit of God dwells in you,” and “Christ lives and dwells in you.”
But what does it mean for us as Christians when we say that Christ lives in us? For Paul the answer was clear: we are a new creation and our lives reflect that new reality in all that we do. This means that we are set free from the bondage of sin and death and are free to live for Christ in the world. For Paul, this means that our lives can now be characterized by what he calls the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, hope, gentleness, kindness, patience, faithfulness, and self-control. When these things dominate our lives, we know that God’s spirit lives in us.
Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.
Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at email@example.com
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 5, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.