What flesh did Jesus come in? He comes in our flesh.
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Did Christ come in sinful flesh? Absolutely. John is saying something more than just confessing Christ came 2000 years ago in a human body. Let’s examine this carefully.
1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
How do we know the Spirit of God? Because Christ is come in the flesh. What flesh? Was it coming in flesh 2000 years ago that we are to confess? Is this what John is trying to say? It is not just confessing Christ is come in the flesh 2000 years ago. It is confessing that Christ is living in your flesh TODAY. Right now. We read in verse 4:
1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Who is in you? Christ Jesus. “He that is in you” is “come in the flesh”. He lives in your flesh. It is Jesus Christ living in your sinful flesh today if you will confess and believe it. Jesus told us he would come and live in us:
John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 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 world does not see him, or know him. But you do. Who was dwelling with them? Who was going to be in them? Jesus is the comforter.
Joh 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
And what does this mean? This means you “know the spirit of God” (1 John 4:2). It also means you “know the spirit of truth”(1 John 4:6). He is dwelling in your flesh. Will you confess it? (1 John 4:2-4). “Greater is He that is in you” (1 John 4:4) How does He dwell in you? By His Spirit. What is His Spirit? It is His life, his character, his mind.
1 Corinthians 2:12-16 Now we have received… the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God… we have the mind of Christ.
The old man being nailed to the cross, Christ now lives in this flesh.
Romans 8:14-15 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Since Christ is living in my flesh. I now have a freedom from sin, am no longer captive to it as the chains have been broken.
1Jn 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Whoever is a son/daughter/child of God does not commit sin. Again, who is it that is living in me? His seed? Who’s seed? God the Father’s seed. Who is the seed of the Father? The Son, Christ Jesus. God has sent forth the spirit of his son to dwell in me. And because He lives in me, I no longer commit, that is make the commitment to violate His law. It is Christ living in me.
This is not something we as born again believers work towards. It is the written word and all we need to do is believe that the word is in us and will do what it says it will do. Is the word in your flesh? Will you confess it?
Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
If Christ is living in this flesh, are we still found sinners? I believe that many have this confession and they think Christ is living in their flesh. But this would mean Christ is a sinner. But as Paul our confession should be:
1 Timothy 1:13-15 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (14) And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (15) This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Paul “was before” chief of sinners. Did Paul continue to be chief of sinners? No. If “we also are found sinners” than we would make “Christ the minister of sin”. After salvation from sin. We are to be found “saints”.
Paul didn’t write “to the sinners that be at Ephesus”. He wrote “to the saints that be at Ephesus”(Eph 1:1). Some may find this arrogant, yet this is the word of God. And this is to be our testimony, since our testimony is to be “the testimony of Jesus Christ.”(Rev 12:17) And what was the testimony of Jesus Christ?
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Joh 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Abiding in Christ
Since Christ is living in us, we can confess that our Father has not left us alone. Can we not also confess that we “do always those things that please him”? Can our Father say when looking at us “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”(Matt 3:17) Or are we sons of someone else?(See John 8:34-41)
If we are confessing that we are still sinners, then we are not confessing that Christ is come in the flesh, and therefore the spirit of God is not in us, but rather the spirit of antichrist.
Satan wants to come to you, to have you question your identity. He wants you to doubt you are God’s son. Just as he tried to do to Jesus he comes to you, trying to get you to prove yourself saying to you “If you are the son of God then how come this is still here in your life.”
If Jesus has paid the price for your sins, give them to him and submit yourself to God and Satan will flee. Don’t keep what he paid for. Let it all go, and let Christ live in you freely. Remember your identity and don’t let Satan trick you into selling the birthright for a bowl of pottage and end up trying to seek it carefully by tears. It is by faith in the word of God to do what it says in you. He has forgiven you, he has given you a new life.
“…Even now are there many antichrists;”(1 John 2:18) Many have pinpointed the Pope as “the antichrist”. But it is possible that even you yourself have been an antichrist. That you did not accept the sonship our Father offers. But our Father bids us “go and sin no more”(John 8:11) and with that word comes the power and the enabling to do what the word says, since that word is the living word Jesus Christ. “The word was made flesh”(John 1:14) and you are living proof as long as you will believe, accept and live it.
David Barron is a teacher of the Bible & Director at The Third Angel’s Message. He is currently travelling North America, teaching the Bible and giving lectures upon request.