Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

Christ in Me . . .

In Other Words . . .

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 07 April 2009

"Heaven must be in me, before I can be
in heaven."

~ Charles Stanford

. . . a truly astounding and beautiful claim. And at the same time, a rather profound sadness surrounds
Mr. Stanford's verse.

Scripturally speaking, the Bible does not talk about heaven being in us - rather, Christ being in us. . .

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
~ Galatians 2:20

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
~ Colossians 1:27

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?
~ I Corinthians 6:15

A growing number
of Christians prefer to just leave Jesus Christ out of any discussion of heaven. We prefer to dwell on God's Love and Hope of Heaven . . . Street of Gold . . . . Why is it so hard to acknowledge JESUS CHRIST?

Remember the television series Touched by An Angel? Nice show. One of the cleaner story lines you'd find on television at the time. But for all the talk about God and God's Love and Heaven -- not once did any character on that show ever mention the name of Jesus Christ. I wonder why. . . . The power is in the name of Jesus!

. . . that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
~ Philippians 2:10

Too many Christians today simply overlooked Jesus and his disgustingly brutal murder on a cross -- the whole concept of sin and righteousness is sorely lacking. We appear to have little sense that Jesus is ALIVE and active and living in us here and now today as a prelude to heaven. (Then again, maybe He's not.)
(. . . and maybe this is why we're so weak: No power.)

In many churches, Jesus is treated in the same way the British treat their monarchs. -- They strip the monarch of all political power and they do not expect the sovereign to do anything except look good. They treat the monarchs with great respect and reverence. They pay plenty of lip service, but they really don't expect anything from the monarch. This is the way Christians all too often treat the Lord Jesus. We forget that He is in charge of the universe! We forget that

"Christ must be in me, before I can be in heaven."

Heaven is a free gift. Heaven is not something you work for or deserve. Heaven is not something we can dream about and internalized and thereby arrive when we stop breathing earth's air. The Bible says:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

~ Romans 6:23

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in. . . .
~ Revelation 3:20

Is Christ is YOU?

"Christ must be in me, before I can be in heaven."
~ Paraphrase of the Entire New Testament Gospel

~ Esthermay Bentley-Goossen
© 2009 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife

This Chapter of InOtherWords is hosted by Denise on her blog, ShortyBear's Place.


Denise said...

Amen, amen. Thanks for telling it like it is my dear friend.

MiPa said...

Very well said!

Barbara said...

You got that one right!
Wasn't Charles Stanford a classical music composer?
LOVE the comparison to Touched by an Angel. Sad isn't it that they couldn't mention Jesus?

Laurie Ann said...

Esthermay, you hit the nail on the head with this post! While I believe we have glimpses of Heaven in our heart given to us by God, Christ is truly there if we are saved and we only have a foretaste of Heaven on earth. Great mention regarding TBAA. They mentioned Jesus a grand total of about 5 times, I believe. The show was good but because they wanted to reach a broader audience, they wouldn't share the true message. Yes, God loves us but He also has more of a message for us than just that - He wants us to accept His grace and mercy! Wasn't this a great quote to think on?

I wanted to ask you if you've read Heaven by Randy Alcorn, and if so, what you thought about it.

Headed to my training session now - I don't speak until 11:15 but I'm nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers. 45 minutes to yap on Travel. How fun is that?!

Karen said...

That is so true, we like to leave Jesus out of the picture when its with Him we should be traveling with since He's the key to the city needed to get in.


Amen!!! Awesome post. It is sad that so many are leaving Jesus out of the picture today. The world has their eyes fixed on everything but Jesus.

Blessings friend!

Edie said...


Christ is in me and I often wonder about the place He is preparing for me. I am in awe that one day I will be in His *physical* presence for all of eternity. It's amazing to ponder.

Thanks so much for your prayers. I so appreciate you!

Much Love!

Patricia said...

So true - it is only through the blood of Christ that we can gain entrance into heaven.

kalopoieo said...

I love your paraphrase of the entire New Testament Gospel.

Well written!

Michele Williams said...

So right my friend.! Amen!

Debbie said...

I remember watching "Touched by an Angel" too. I enjoyed the show but kept wishing they would mention Jesus but they never did. I think it gave people a false hope by leaving out the most important one; Jesus. Without Him we have no entrance into heaven.

Solace said...

I love this line:
"Heaven is not something we can dream about and internalized and thereby arrive when we stop breathing earth's air. The Bible says. . . "

When will Christians start reading their Bibles and stop intellectualizing what they think God means and what God wants. What good is the Bible anymore? Everything from Genesis 1:1 to the end points to JESUS! To deny Him is to deny all of the Bible.
I love your truth-filled blog.

Michelle Bentham said...

Oh Esthermay... I just couldn't grasp this quote this week to write about it. But, you have done well here. Your passion for God's absolute truth is so palpable. Thanks for "being out there" with and for us...

Truth. That is how your post wrings. True. I am excited about tomorrow. I have some posting guildelines up today.


Betsy Markman said...


It's even fashionable to talk about "Christ..." as long as it isn't JESUS Christ." People want some sort of fuzzy, esoteric "christ-consciousness" which deifies us all, and are only willing to acknowledge the deity of Christ if they can also claim it for themselves.

Those of us who believe in Jesus as the Only Begotten Son of God are becoming more and more outnumbered. Guess we'd better shine our lights all the more brightly, huh?

Susan said...

"Christ must be in me, before I can be in heaven."

Yes, this was GREAT...

Who was Charles Stanford anyhow?


As holy week is upon us - I am so thrilled with how many people are sharing the gospel in full force this week. I intend to begin that tomorrow too.

I appreciated the wisdom of this post and you know I love Gal. 2:20 which is my life verse. THAT explains Christ in us - changing us from the inside out!

Looking UPward and Choosing JOY,
[In FLight]

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

Wow! It's interesting how many different directions one quote can lead. I would not have thought of this in connection with this quote, because I believe there is a lot of biblical truth in what Stanford said, but I certainly see how you came to think of it, and I agree that it's true. I so appreciate your thoughtful handling of Scripture and all of the food for thought!

sara said...

amen and amen! I have said many times that christians today only want to look forward...I believe in Christ therefore I will be in Heaven....however, they don't want to start at the beginning...because of my depravity, Christ died for me....Easter is a great example. We spend more time on the resurrection and tend to quickly skip over the cross.

This year, I am even more thankful for the cross. Knowing that because of this wonderful gift, I did not have to say goodbye to my Aunt, but see you soon!!!

LauraLee Shaw said...

I know so many people who believe in God...and Buddha...and Oprah...you get the point.

A little while back, I had a relative who asked me if I had read "The Shack." My ears perked up, because I've been praying for her to receive Christ. She talked about how it refreshed her faith in God and her love for Him. The next day when I saw her she asked me if I had ever read another book. Can't remember the title, but it was something about the path to Islam. Later that day she started talking about her "parking lot angel," (she wasn't joking) and other stuff.

It just ain't enuff to talk about the love of God. Jesus Christ is the only name on earth by which we can be saved. It's not just a belief. It's a fact. I've been praying for Holy Boldness, to become more vocal about not just what I believe, but about what is true. You can change a belief, but you can't change the Truth. Only God can do this, because I hate conflict.

Anyway, rambling. Didn't mean to hijack your post. You just struck a chord in me that has been resonating for awhile now. I'm sure it's no accident. Always love your holy boldness, friend.

Rebecca said...

I read recently that John W. Peterson (writer of music) wrote Beyond the Sunset, submitted it for publication, and was asked if he could reword it to focus more on heaven - less on Jesus. He said, "It wouldn't be Heaven w/o Jesus" and went home and wrote ANOTHER song - "I have no song to sing, but that of Christ my King...."

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