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Description: Will You let Christ Live in You?
Will You Let Christ Live in You
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Please turn to Ephesians 4:11-16 and I’ll elaborate on what I think God has to say to us today.
“And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and
teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we
all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to
the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” (That’s the subject of the message today, ‘to
the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’) “……so that we may no longer be children,
tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their
craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way
into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every
joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and up
builds itself in love.”
I think I’d like to get to business. I read you of course some of the funny things in the life of
Smith Wigglesworth but now I’ll go on to read you the serious part of this man.
“We have a wonderful God – God whose ways are past finding out and whose grace and power are
limitless. (Now this is one of his usual funny ones) I was in Belfast one day and saw one of the
brethren of the assembly. He said, ‘Wigglesworth I am troubled. I have had a good deal of sorrow
over the past five months. I had a woman in our assembly who could always pray the blessing of
Heaven down on our meetings. She is an old woman but her presence is always an inspiration. But five
months ago she fell and broke her thigh. The doctors put her into a plastic cast and after five
months they broke the cast. But the bones where not properly set and so she fell and broke the thigh
This man took me to her house and there was a woman lying on the bed at the right side of the room.
I said to her, Well, what about it now? And she said, ‘They have sent me home incurable. The doctors
say that I am so old that my bones won’t knit. There is no nutrients in my bones and they’ll never
do anything more for me. They say I shall have to lie in bed for the rest of my life.’
I said to her, Can you believe God? She replied, ‘Yes, ever since I heard that you had come to
Belfast my faith had been quickened. If you will pray I will believe. I know there is no power on
earth that can make the bones of my thigh knit. But I know that there is nothing impossible with
God.’ I said, Do you believe He will meet you now? And she replied, ‘I do.’
It is grand to see people believe God. God knew all about this leg and that it was broken in two
places. So, I said to the woman, when I pray something will happen. Now her husband was sitting
there and had been in his chair for four years. He could not walk a step. He called out, ‘I don’t
believe. I won’t believe. You will never get me to believe.’
I said, all right and laid my hands on his wife in the name of the Lord Jesus. The moment hands were
laid on her, the power of God went right through her and she cried out, ‘I’m healed!’ I said, I’m
not going to assist you to arise. God will do it all. She rose and walked up and down the room
The old man was amazed at what had happened to his wife and said, ‘Make me walk, make me walk!’ I
said to him, you old sinner, repent! Repent! He cried out, ‘Lord you know I never meant what I said.
You know I believe.’
I don’t believe he meant what he said but the Lord was full of compassion. If he marked our sins
where would any of us be? If we meet the conditions, God will always meet us. If we believe, all
things are possible. I laid my hands on him and the power went right through the old man’s body.
Those legs for the first time in four years received power to carry his body. He walked up and down,
in and out and said, ‘Oh what great things God has done with us tonight.’”
And Jesus says, “Whatsoever things you desire when you pray…..” We have a tendency to laugh at the
funny bits and say, “Boy I’d love to be able to do that. There is some trick to it. There is some
easy way in which I can get that faith. If I can rise up and have faith, that would happen to me.
I think God has given me real light about that. The funny bits are good but we sense that something
did happen. There are a lot of stories about his healings and we tend to think that Wigglesworth was
real. Whatever Pentecostalism was in him that puts us off he did see the power of God working. And I
must somehow get through to that. Maybe somehow I’ll get through to that. And I think that’s our
Now we are in our 60’s and you wonder how much time you have left to find out what the secret is? I
think it ties up with today’s verse. So will you start with today’s verse in Ephesians 6:19. Let
begin with verse 18, “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end
keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, (and then verse 19) and
also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of
the gospel — to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.”
Then, you remember we looked up the mystery of the gospel in several places. One short one is
Colossians 1:27, “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the
glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” That’s the mystery of the gospel.
That’s what we talked in some sense about last Sunday.
This is the mystery and the real gospel that is not preached. What is preached is that Christ died
for your sins and you can have forgiveness and you can be forgiven by God and get into Heaven.
That’s the gospel that is preached. The real gospel is the mystery that Christ is in you.
We talked at some length last Sunday that that’s what men and women need to know. They are here so
that Christ, the son of our Maker, can live in them a life that he will live in nobody else. And I
agree with you that they know in some sense that Jesus comes in because they sing, “Come into my
heart, come into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus.” But they are very vague on it. And even
as we sing that verse I’m sure most are thinking that’s the mystery of the gospel. It’s a sign that
God has forgiven us if Jesus comes into our hearts. So we’re asking him to come in by his Spirit so
that we are sure that we are forgiven of our sins. That’s what we talked in some sense about last
If you say to me, do you mean that there is no sense that Christ is in us at all? I’d put it to you.
The secret to a successful Christian life at least three years ago and probably the one that is
accepted today is “What would Jesus do?” That’s about it. I think I’m right in saying that. It’s
about what they mean by Jesus coming into your heart.
Do what Jesus would do. Think about what Jesus would do and then if you do that, that’s what you are
here to do. With your sins forgiven, you should try to do what Jesus would do and then that’s it. It
seems to me we have not taken seriously the many places in the Bible where Paul does talk about what
we read there about rising up into the fullness of the stature of Christ.
We want to be as good as Jesus but we have little sense of the whole of those verses that we read a
few minutes ago in Ephesians. We are part of the body of Christ and you are to rise up into the
fullness of that body in which you dwell. In other words, you are part of Jesus and he says we are
to rise up into the fullness of Jesus.
Of course it’s mentioned in other places such as Ephesians 4:11-16 and then I think Colossians
1:19 is very definite. “For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” In Jesus all the
fullness of God was pleased to dwell. And we are encouraged to rise up into the fullness of his
Then there’s the verse where Paul exhorts us to rise up into the fullness that Christ may be formed
in you. It’s Galatians 4:19 and seems very definite in what he is saying there. “My little children,
with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!”
How did Smith Wigglesworth get into the fullness of the stature of Christ? Here are his own words.
“At one time I was so bound that no human power could help me. My wife was looking for me to pass
away. There was no help. At that time I just had a faint glimpse of Jesus as the healer. For six
months I had been suffering from appendicitis and occasionally getting temporary relief. I went to
the mission of which I was pastor but I was brought to the floor in awful agony and so they brought
me home to my bed. All night I was praying and pleading for deliverance but none came.
My wife was sure it was my home call and sent for a physician. He said that there was no possible
chance for me because my body was too weak. Having had the appendicitis for six months my whole
system was drained and because of that he thought it was too late for an operation. He left my wife
in a state of broken heartedness. After he left, there came to our door a young man and an old lady.
I knew that she was a woman of real prayer. They came upstairs to my room.
This young man jumped on the bed and commanded the evil spirit to come out of me. He shouted, “Come
out you devil! I command you to come out in the name of Jesus!” There was no chance for an argument
or for me to tell him that I would never believe that there was a devil inside of me. The thing had
to go in the name of Jesus and it went! And I was instantly healed. I arose and dressed and went
downstairs. I was still in the plumbing business and I asked my wife, if there was any work in. I’m
alright now and I’m going to work. I found that there was a certain job to be done and I picked up
my tools and went off to do it.
Just after I left, the doctor came in, put his hat in the hall and walked up to the bedroom. ‘Where
is Mr. Wigglesworth?’ ‘He’s gone off to work’, says my wife. ‘You’ll never see him alive again’ said
the doctor. ‘They will bring him back a corpse.’ Well, I’m the corpse!”
What came home to me was it wasn’t as easy as it looked. He didn’t get to the place of certainty
easily. God brought him through some things so that he could come up into the fullness of the
stature of his son. We tend to think, no, he was an extrovert. He had this Pentecostal experience
and somehow that brought the power of God down. God gave him the power at that time for that
particular ministry and it suited him.
It wasn’t so. The guy obviously came up the hard way. The issue is not whether you believe that
Jesus is inside you and you are inside of Jesus and therefore because of that you will be able to
lay your hands on somebody and they will be healed. The issue is — are you letting Jesus run your
life? Are you letting Jesus actually do the things he wants to do with your hands and the things he
wants to do with your time? And we say, generally to ourselves, there we’re doing our best to do
that. We’re trying the best we can to bring our time into order.
But, it’s not your time. It’s not you that has to bring it into order. It’s Jesus’ time. Are you
letting Jesus spend the time he has in your life doing things the way he wants to. Are you letting
him do the things? But we keep saying, “I’m going to get to that thing. I know I have to come into
line. I know my life has to become disciplined. I’m getting to that. I will get to it.”
Is this your life to run or is it Jesus’ life? Is it yours to do your best to pass onto it the
instructions that he gives, filtering them through your mind, so that you give to it only the things
you know without a lot of trouble?
The issue is, are you letting Jesus inside you live the life he wants to live? I think that’s what
the guy came into through a lot of hardships and struggles. He allowed Jesus to be fully formed in
him. And as Jesus is fully formed then he stretches out his hand whenever he wishes. And if it’s me
stretching out my hand, I’m almost not conscience of it. It’s what Jesus wants to do and it’s his
hand. So Christ himself does the work and what he says is right – all we do need is simply faith.
God will do what we command if it is not “I that live but Christ that lives in me giving the
I think God is in process of trying to get us to let his son live — to take a couple of breaths in
the midst of all the breaths that we take. Our Father is patiently, mercifully giving us the chance
to let his son breathe – to let his son rise from the dead in us. And then, if we do that, his Son
will do the works that his Father has given him to do. You remember he says, “I’ll work and my
Father works. You work and I also work. Work out that which God is working into you.” I think that’s
I don’t think it some magical thing where you wish you had that experience that Wigglesworth had.
But we don’t quite believe that. We don’t quite believe that Pentecostal way. We think that
Wigglesworth came into it for some other reason – he was an extrovert character or because God had
that kind of work to do in that time when there was no medical insurance or some other reason that
we give for ourselves.
But the reason it doesn’t happen with us is because we won’t let the man out! We won’t. We won’t let
Jesus out! We keep him bound in those grave clothes while we do our thing and run our lives. We
aren’t that conscience of Him inside. We’re really not. We are in no doubt that this is our life and
we’ve written off as poetic exaggeration that Jesus is in us.
We are missing the whole point of our existence. Our job is to take the host around. And wherever we
meet a person the host is within us. The bread of life is within us. The Christ of God is in us. Our
job is just to carry the host around the way the priests in the Catholic Church did. But I think we
don’t see ourselves in that way and we don’t yield ourselves to that end – to rise up into the
fullness of the stature of Christ, to let Christ be fully formed in us. We don’t have quiet talks
with Him. Lord, why are you not filling me? Where do “I” take control? Where am I ignoring things
that you want to do? Where am I binding your hands? Where am I — and you just go on a little and
you get to the cross – where am I nailing you to the cross in my life so that you cannot move?
I think that’s it. It was real light for me. God led me to this book (on Smith Wigglesworth) in the
library when I was thinking how could I make that clear? And it became clear to me by Wigglesworth’s
life. That was the explanation. He had risen up into the fullness of the stature of Christ and we
It wasn’t at all that he was Pentecostal or an extrovert or an uneducated plumber and so God had to
help him. It’s simply that he went through the agonies in his own life until he realized that “I
dare not do a thing unless the Savior inside of me wants to do it.”
I think that’s what we are here for and that’s why God has us together. I think it will be
dastardly if we keep on doing this until we die. God has brought us here so that his Son could be
fully formed in us and do the work that he wanted to do. You know fine well what I’m talking about
when I say, “Do we think of this body as his hands?” In a distant way we do. But when it comes to
this afternoon do we say to the Savior, “What would you like to do?” Do I say to the Savior, “What
would you like to do?” I think that’s it and it’s that simple.
So we’re here, you’re here; you personally are here so that Christ, the Son of our Maker can live
the life in you that he has planned. That’s why you’re here. Sure you’re here to be his wife, you’re
here to be his husband and you’re here to be my friend – but above everything else we are here to be
a carrier or Christ who has a life that he wants to live through us. And when we begin to live that
life healings won’t be a difficulty. They will be a small thing. The sales will blast and the money
will come. God will be faithful to his promise, “Ask anything in my name, and I’ll give it to you.”
You’ll ask for $5000 in sales and he’ll give it to you, but not if it will take you into more
indifference to him. Then he won’t because he wants you most of all. He wants you as his child. He
wants you as the expression of his dear Son. And he will work upon you to that end. Let us pray.