i Corinthians c.1.vs.30-31. [God] is the source of your life in Christ Jesus Whom God made to be our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption, therefore as it is written, "let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."
Recently in sharing with a brother on peace, joy and love as being essentials of the victorious christian lifestyle he looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said "Oh you are going to be a nun then."
This quip played on my mind somewhat and made me to realise and not for the first time that when you come round to discussing the fruits and virtues of the Christ-like Christ-life the meaning of what you are trying to convey is widely misconstrued and interpreted as human feelings instead of being understood as what you really mean as a state or condition of the heart.
There is a theological term much beloved by C.H.Spurgeon among others which is thouroughly scriptural called the doctrine of IMPUTATION the reasoning of which is that when we come to God through Christ at the cross, He takes everything that is of ourselves, our sinful selves, and places it upon Christ, He then takes everything that is of Christ's self, His righteous self, and imputes this to us by a miracle of divine transference. All that we are or were is nailed to the cross, all that He now is in His risen life becomes ours by a divine exchange. All this is of course foreshadowed in Isaiah 53.
This exchange fully embraces the realm of mind and soul which is of course the seat of our emotions, but just as forgiveness and salvation cannot be earned or merited, nor can they be striven for or achieved by works of piety and prayer and such-like devotions, neither can anything else pertaining to the life of Jesus Christ in the human soul by the effectual working and indwelling of the Holy Spirit of the Living God.
This divine exchange or imputation must be recieved by faith as a gift but then we have to learn to walk in it, I call it practising the presence of Jesus, as it is written, "Lord in Thy Presence is fulness of joy."
As we daily learn to walk in His presence His peace will rest upon us according to His sweet promise and God pours His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. This is the Christ-like Christ-life and becomes our habit or way of life, moreover it is from this heart condition of what St Paul has called "righteousness, joy, peace and love in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit" that all our serving will flow as rivers of living waters and constitutes what St Paul calls true religion.