Alive with Christ
This book is about the inner work of God within the life of someone who has surrendered their life to Him and who is reliant on His Holy Spirit and Jesus atoning work on the Cross to live the new life. Price explains that it is a life of surrendering to God’s authority and leaning on Him for the power to accomplish the day-to-day life. This new life infuses and unites us with Christ, bringing re-creation and refreshment for the believer and causes their life to be instrumental in being part of usher in His Kingdom here on earth.
Price begins the book by explaining about the empowered life,
He uses a few great examples and analogies, which are very helpful to give an in depth understanding of what is available to us in Christ and how hard it is when we try to do it under our own strength.
He explains well about the indwelling presence of God that, we gain our strength through Him and that we can rely on Him. He explains well about our need to face our own moral failure, give up our rights and surrender to His will.
Price goes on to talk about the Art of the Covenant; referring to this as “God in a Box”, symbolising God’s dwelling place in the Old Testament and that the contents describe the meaning of his presence.
The symbolic objects, he says gives hints to what will become reality in the life and work of Jesus. God can only be approached on His own terms: Jesus blood. It explains, we too walk in some of the promised reality and can rely on Christ to bring us into the full reality. He also introduces the contents of the Ark.
Firstly, Price looks at the jar of manna, explaining it was actually never satisfying to them, how each day must have its own supply, thus connect freshly with Jesus each day. He helpfully explains that it looked like milk in the early morning and it tasted like honey, a daily reminder of the promises that He would give them a land flowing with milk and honey.
Aarons staff that budded represented God’s power and we also see that the blossoming our faith produces evidence to the world of what is going on in the inside, this is the bud that he mentions that grows out of the soil that has been fertilized by the Spirit within us, and nothing of our own doing.
He has a great usage of story and biblical imagery of picking up the snake by the tail; he explains that this leave the dangerous part, the head, for God to deal with. Within his analogy, he explains how in our own hands, even the good things in our lives, relationships, careers etc., can become dangerous for us, if we try and hang onto them when He has asked us to lay them down. He explains that sometimes He will give them back and if He does, they will have the dangerous parts taken out, the message being that is His will that we must seek and keep an open hand and hold things lightly trustingly.
Thirdly, Price speaks about the tablets of stone and the law including why God gave the law. He explains how the law displayed the actually character of God and His glory and that humankind on their own would always miss achieving its mark. Using narrative, he tells the story about a new convert, who prior to his conversion always read the law as unachievable commands that made him feel guilty. He read the same law after his conversion, as a promise to him from a faithful loving God about the man he would become, but not alone, not at once, but under His training and guidance. He speaks of God’s law representing God’s character and Glory.
Price moves on to list the items in the Tabernacle and giving their significance:
· Altar of burnt offering, a substitutionary payment for the penalty of sin, work to unite us with Christ, by removing our guilt and placing it on Christ, our old self is now also crucified with Christ.
· The grain offering was for the persons fully consecrating themselves to God
· The bronze basin he explains symbolised washing, a total cleansing of the person coming to the cross in repentance and faith. He explains this is a one-time completed action that places the person is in right standing with God. He explains the on-going need for cleansing.
· The table of bread of presence for our sustenance and strength. Jesus is the bread of life. Christ Himself is where our sustenance and strength come from.
· He explains, the Golden Lampstand needing renewing every-day, bringing light with immediate effect, explaining how oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit throughout the bible and like in Psalm 119:105, that the Holy Spirit brings us light, guidance and direction. We are the lampstand but the source of the light is the Holy Spirit and we must remain totally dependent on Him so that His life and beauty can be expressed through us.
· The Altar of Incense: Christ sin offering evaporated the stench of sin and instead produced a beautiful aroma to God, which permeated through the barriers. He also explains how our prayers that ascend into heaven, are a sweet aroma that comes from our intimate communion with Christ, and out of that time spend with Him, our prayers are formed in unity with His purposes and provide a sweet aroma to God.
Price explains that due to these fulfilments in the life and death of Christ, we can enter boldly yet humbly into God’s presence, fully confident in Christ finished work for us. He explains toward the end of this chapter a list of substitutes that people often turn to instead of Christ. It ends by calling us to give the only thing we can give to God, ourselves. In “The Indwelling Life of Christ”  it also explains that heaven is not someone we go when we die, but a new life that starts at rebirth, the new life is found in Jesus.
Towards to the end of the book, Price illuminate that the temples redundancy and how the new dwelling place of God is within His people, engraved no longer on mortar but the human heart and mind. He develops the illustration by showing that this outworking is seen in increasing or decreasing measures based upon our trust and obedience in Jesus sufficiency to handle our lives. The degree that His light and glory is be displayed has a direct correlation to the extent we are willing to hand over.
Price helps us understand that once the Holy Spirit has come into our hearts, the door is closed to His leaving us. However, what His union with us deposits, should not just stay with us, rather, he writes, the aim is that His life will flow outwards into the world towards the people and creation He loves and came to redeem.
I enjoyed many of his illustrations and narratives that were used throughout the book, they bought some spiritual truths into a fuller light. I loved the message of the book and felt throughout reading it, that I wished I had more time, it had so much richness and depth.
It was a very hard read for me and I found the chapters long. I also found some of the examples hard to follow and had to reread them a few times to process the information.
Would you recommend to others to read yes/no and why/why not
I would highly recommend the book to others to read. I would however recommend it with a warning. My comments would be a very worthwhile book but with difficult readability. It’s has a rich depth and well worth the effort.
The Reason God' is Not Shocked At our Failure
Price explains that God doesn’t want us to follow techniques, that it is God Himself that produces the power and effectiveness in our life when we rely on Him. To illustrate this, He uses the analogy of pushing a lawn mower over across the lawn, when we have not engaged the engine.
I agree with His analogy and it explains why so often the work we do, fails, is difficult, or does not produce fruit. Life without God’s authority and power just does not work. God knows that without His Spirit’s power and authority at work in our lives, we are powerless to live the life He asks of us.
The Old Testament and New has many stories of the strong being defeated with weakness topped up with God’s strength. Gideon is just one example of someone who was weak, trusting in God’s strength to accomplish the greater work. There is also the story of David and Goliath  were David went in the strength of the Lord.
In the New Testament, it also says that we have treasures in jars of clay.
Possibilities of being dissatisfied as a Christian, Even though we have received the Holy Spirit
Price explains that God’s purpose was to bring his people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, to give them an inheritance. He explains that God did not mean to satisfy them in the Wilderness. I agree, as whilst we are still drawing from old wells, our satisfaction will be temporal and non-sustaining.
The other main message is in relation to being forgiven but not filled. He explains that it is a progressive journey, one of daily coming to Christ, learning and moving on with Him. Price is saying that we have a guaranteed inheritance once we receive forgiveness, but we need to grow in our dependence on Christ who is the sustainer of our faith. In Chapter 16 of “The Indwelling Life of Christ”, it mentions that “we are saved by His life” He goes onto explain that our relationship with Christ is our daily deepening and broadening of our faith. Price also mentions Ephesians 3:16 which is about gaining our strength from Christ and that this is a continuous need that we will never outgrow. I agree and refer to Colossians 3, it says that if we have been raised with Christ, then we must set our heart and minds on what is above and not on things on earth. It goes on to say where Christ is seated at God’s right hand. This points us to Christ and our inheritance and that by doing this, we will be sustained.
The Secret of Living the Christian Life
According to Price, the only way to live the Christian life is to allow Christ to live His life in us. He explains about the supernatural life that God’s makes available and how that releases the power and authority to live a new way. He explains that if we give Christs Holy Spirit access, He will “fill our lives and express His own power and beauty through us.”
I agree with his explanations and examples for the following reason: In looking to the bible, I understand these truths to be reflected in Paul’s exposition in Romans 7 & 8. In Romans 7 he speaks about us being released from the law and goes on to explain that because the law is spiritual, humans can’t achieve its perfection on their own, as it reflects God’s glory and character, it needs His essence.  In Romans 8 as he explains about life in the Spirit, explaining some of his own struggles with sin, (similar to Major Thomas explanation on how we spoil the picture on our own), Paul says how hopeless it seemed, but goes onto say that its not hopeless and points us like Price to whom and where our hope is found. Paul gives a victorious declaration as he explains Jesus Christ is the way to achieve the heart of the law I think that Price explanations reach agreement and assist us in understanding these truths.
The books conclusion is that through Christs sacrifice, we have a restored relationship with God. The invitation is into a friendship and partnership with Him to help in accomplishing His purposes. We ourselves are changed and empowered with authority in the process; we can also be part of His plan to bring the whole of creation into a state of recreation and redemption.
Reflect on the Indwelling Life of Christ can be applied to your life.
From Chapter 1: There was a section that was asking the question, help me be where you are today, not be with me where I am today. I found this very helpful to change my perspective, the days I do this invites His presence in a more powerful way and my thoughts are moved outward and upwards.
I liked how he explained about Gideon going in the strength that he had, this really helped me to realise that Gideon was just trusting in God's ability and so must I. I do not have to have it all sorted or have all the ability, God comes in and does what we cannot. In believing in His transforming power, I can put my perceived weakness's in His hands and trust Him to help me do my best. In accepting any limitation as His design for my life, my relationships, my work, and all that I am. I can trust Him to grow me, that He will come through for me but perhaps not in the way I can perceive, this assist me to accept the mysteries and unknowns.
The part in the book that speak about the law and how it was written on stone, but now within our hearts and minds. I reflect back on an earlier time in my life when I pondered this and I said to the Lord, Lord, please place the law in my heart, I felt Him tell me, He already had but I need to grow into it.
The message I found within the book was that Jesus Christ Himself is the source of our inheritance and the source of the new life that we live. The Christian's new life is lived in the dependence on Christ for our daily source of work, wonder and wise counsel. He takes us by the hand and leads us on. The message from Ephesians comes through to us in that the works that He has for us are indeed a gift that He has prepared for us in advance, in order to bring us and the work he has designed for us, is a blessing to us as well. In us, the works lead us into a life that brings God glory and transforms us into the character of Christ, indeed a gift to us.