Wednesday October 12, 2011
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2C
"What Receiving Christ Does "

Understanding What Receiving Christ Does requires having a basic understanding of what receiving Christ is; it is an action, an action that shows you loving Him, an action that, when taken, changes your life.

John 14:17 KJV, from the recent article “Christ Wants To Be Received” shows that receiving Christ requires knowing Him and knowing Him requires that you know what love is; Love is Christ dwelling in you:

    Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The Spirit of the Truth is love and love is not something just waiting around to see if it plays a role in your life.  Love dwelling with you is good and obtaining it is a full time job, full time enough and spacious enough to keep havoc and turmoil from interfering with you receiving it; John 14:23 KJV, the spot where you left off in “Christ Wants To Be Received”, explains:

    Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Making your abode with Christ is keeping his Word.  It is you paying attention to Him and you showing a strong desire to love Him. 

Recognizing that you want to receive God and join Him in His world of love, 1 John 4:20 KJV says that you must first convince Him that you love your brother:

    If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Requiring you to love your brother shows God placing priorities on love and that He expects that you recognize how important it is for you to love Him.  Love is placing the needs of others ahead of your own, even if it requires replacing your priorities in life.  

Loving your brother, as a condition for showing God that you love Him, equally applies to married couples and those considering marriage; spouses are brothers too!  Genesis 2:24 KJV addresses loving this brother:

    Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

So, loving your spouse has one extra requirement and by meeting it, you include your spouse on the list of brothers that you love.

Loving your spouse God’s way is making decisions as a single unit; it is a sharing that increases the love you both have for Him.

The extra requirement of you thinking as a single unit shows you putting the needs of this brother first.  Doing





things together is the one flesh way and with practice it becomes the natural way, natural enough to meet the challenges and opportunities that the two of you face every day.

Occasionally there comes a time when you both cannot agree on how to deal with a particular situation and unlike the senate where the vice president's vote breaks the tie, all you have to do is to go with the suggestion of the one who in the past has the best batting average when dealing with a similar situation.

Loving your spouse in this manner increases your love for God and together the two of you form a majority that Luke 1:37 KJV shows impossible to overrule:

    For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Even continuous peace and harmony is a possibility; loving God through your spouse brings it to you.  Just think of it as love bouncing turmoil and havoc out of your life, think of it as a bonus for loving God's way; Romans 8:28 KJV shows that us working together in love brings good to you and me:  

    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God purposes loving and receiving Him but doing it requires answering questions:

Am I living my life in a way that will lead to love like this?

Do I want to live a life in which love displaces havoc and turmoil?

Do I realize that loving my spouse as one flesh is the beginning of achieving it?

Do I understand that placing the needs of others ahead of mine is love?



Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at or viewed online at