What does the Bible reveal who we are in Christ? What does it mean by saying we are “in Christ?”
Acts 24:24 “After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.”
The important thing about faith here is of the same importance for all believers and that is that their faith is in Jesus Christ and Him alone for there is no other name by which we can possibly be saved (Acts 4:12). Faith in anything or anyone else but Jesus Christ is no faith at all. Felix may have been close to being persuaded but unfortunately for him, it’s like almost being in a lifeboat but not getting into the lifeboat. You can believe in the lifeboat but until you get in it, it is of no saving help at all.
Ephesians 2:13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ”
Before we were saved, we were separated from God by our sins (Isaiah 59:1-2) and the distance was unbridgeable but in Christ, specifically by His blood, we have been brought near to God and into a saving relationship with Him. Without Jesus’ shed blood, we could not be seen by God as having the required righteousness of God to enter the kingdom but Jesus became sin for us so that God would see us as He sees His own Son (2 Cor 5:21).
Romans 3:23-34 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
The Greek word for “all” means just what it does in English, all! There has never been anyone born of a woman, outside of Christ Himself, that has not sinned and fallen exceedingly short of God’s glory but we are justified by God’s grace and like a gift, we could never earn it or it wouldn’t be grace (Eph 2:8-9). This justification is made possible only by the redemption brought by Jesus shedding His blood for us who were once afar off but now have been brought near to the God Who loved us so much that he sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16).
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Both Romans 3:23 and this verse are part of what is called the Roman Road and has been used for centuries to bring people to the knowledge that they are sinners and as sinners, they need a Savior and that Savior is Jesus Christ. The gift of grace is free and this gift is eternal life but only in Christ Jesus Who is our Lord. Jesus’ work at Calvary was the “canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands” by which it was “nailing it to the cross” the debt we owed that we could not pay (Col 2:14).
First Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”
As fallen mankind, we will all die and then comes the judgment (Heb 9:27) and unless we are in Christ, this judgment will be swift and severe (Rev 20:12-15) but if we are in Christ, that is if we have repented and trusted in Him, we will be made alive forever more. In Adam only there is death but in Christ, there is eternal life that no one or nothing can ever take from us (Rom 8:38-39).
The words “in Christ” appear almost one hundred times in the New Testament so there must be supreme importance to these two words when placed together so it was difficult picking only five verses. To be “in” something means to literally be inside of something. For example if I were in the closet, I’m not in anything else and maybe that’s the important point. To be in Christ means to be out of the world even though we are still in the world physically but we also must think about Christ being in us.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman[ssba]
image source: CC BY Even Blaser
modifications: text added, cropped
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