Experiencing Christ

Being in the Inward Parts of Christ

Phil. 1:7  Even as it is right for me to think this concerning you all because you have me in your heart, since both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel you are all fellow partakers with me of grace.  (8)  For God is my witness how I long after you all in the inward parts of Christ Jesus.

This verse [v. 8] indicates that Paul experienced the inward parts of Christ. The Greek word rendered “inward parts” means bowels. It signifies inward affection, then tender mercy and sympathy. Paul was one with Christ even in His bowels, the tender inward parts, in longing after the saints.

Verses 7 and 8 belong together and should not be separated. Notice that verse 8 begins with the conjunction “for.” This indicates that grace is related to the inward parts of Christ. Paul partook of grace, for he longed after all the saints in the inward parts of Christ. To enjoy Christ is to be one in Christ’s inward parts. This refers not only to enjoyment, but also to living Christ. To live Christ is to abide in His inward parts and there to enjoy Him as grace.

Elsewhere in this chapter Paul speaks of magnifying Christ and living Christ. Experientially, to magnify Christ and to live Christ require that we remain in the inward parts of Christ. In simple words, this is to abide in Him. If we would be those in Christ, we must be in His inward parts. We need to be in His tender heart and delicate feelings. If we abide here, we shall enjoy Christ as grace and experience Him in a very practical way. As we experience Christ and enjoy Him as our grace, we shall be sustained in suffering for the gospel by caring for the accomplishment of God’s economy on earth today.

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