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Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

What Does It Mean To Be In Christ

What does it mean to be "In Christ."

There is a lot of Christian lingo that gets spread around in our culture and one of the phrases I hear quite frequently is the phrase "in Christ." I decided today to look into the phrase "in Christ" and try to understand what it means to me as a Christian.

I began by doing a word search for the phrase in my esword bible software and found the term to be throughout the New Testament at least 88 times. It is mainly used in the writings of Paul, but I also found it in the writings of Peter and Luke in the book of Acts (Acts 24:24).

So what does it mean to be "In Christ?"

The best place for me to begin is 2Cor 5:17. Just as I was a new creation at the moment of my human birth, I am now a new creation in my spiritual re-birth in Christ Jesus. 2Cor 5:17 tells me that I am a new creature, or creation. The old things have passed away and new things have come. Being one who is in Christ starts with us being transformed and living a new life from our old ways and habits. Christ died for us to have a new birth in His resurrection. Old passes away, new has come. But making the transition from old to new can be quite difficult from time to time since we are sinful and the old nature wants to creep back in and sabotage our walk with Christ.

Fortunately we were not left alone to accomplish our Christian journey on our own. God gave us the Holy Spirit as a pledge of our inheritance. (Eph 1:14, 2Cor 1:22, Acts 19:1-6) With the help of God through the Holy Spirit I am able to accomplish all things through Christ. Not by my own merit, talents, or ability, but because God has granted it to me. My faith comes from God through Christ. My grace comes from God through Christ, and all that I am is because of Christ. When we begin to understand that Christ is our source for all that we are, the fountain will never run dry. Too many times I try to love someone by my own strength. Eventually I get frustrated because I don't see love in return. When I forgive and the person offends again I find it quite easy to hold a grudge. When I rely on my strength and human ability I will fall short every time.

Being "in Christ" is to be intentional. One can not truly claim to be a Christian and not desire the ways of Christ. (Eph 4:1, 1Thes 2:12, Col 1:10)The old has passed away and the new has come. Being in Christ is coming to the throne daily and crying out to God for more of Him. More faith, more love, more grace... God gives abundantly according to His riches in glory in Christ. (Php 4:19)

For me to be "In Christ" means that all that I am, all that I have, and all that I do is done through and for the glorification of Christ. When I love someone I love them as Christ. When I show someone grace it is done like Christ. Even when I spend time at my job I am working as though I am working for Christ. (Col 3:23-24) Being "In Christ" is not just a pledge that hangs over one's door, it is a way to be. Christianity is not about following rules, doing the right thing, or trying to be good. It is about being one with the Savior and out of that oneness flows more blessings and love that one can imagine
  1. Our faith is - In Christ (Acts 24:24)
  2. Our redemption is - In Christ (Rom 3:24)
  3. We are made alive to God - In Christ (Rom 6:11; 1Cor 15:22)
  4. We have eternal life - In Christ (Rom 6:23)
  5. There is no condemnation - In Christ (Rom 8:1)
  6. We are set free - In Christ (Rom 8:2)
  7. We can not be separated from God's love - In Christ (Rom 8:39)
  8. We are all one body - In Christ (Rom 12:5)
  9. I have reason for boasting in God - In Christ (Rom 15:17)
  10. We are approved by God - In Christ (Rom 16:10)
  11. We are sanctified - In Christ (1Cor 1:2)
  12. I experience God's grace - In Christ (1Cor 1:4)
  13. God chose me - In Christ (1Cor 1:30, Eph 1:4)
  14. We are resurrected from the dead - In Christ (1Cor 15:18-21)
  15. I am triumphant - In Christ (2Cor 2:14)
  16. The veil has been lifted - In Christ (2Cor 3:14)
  17. I am a new creation - In Christ (2Cor 5:17)
  18. We are reconciled to God - In Christ (2Cor 5:19)
  19. We have liberty - In Christ (Gal 2:4)
  20. We are justified by faith - In Christ (Gal 2:16)
  21. We are sons of God - In Christ (Gal 3:26)
  22. We are all one - In Christ (Gal 3:28)
  23. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing - In Christ (Eph 1:3)
  24. We are raised to heavenly places - In Christ (Eph 2:6-7)
  25. I am created for good works - In Christ (Eph 2:10)
  26. I have been brought near to God - In Christ (Eph 2:13)
  27. I can partake in God's promises - In Christ (Eph 3:6)
  28. I have been forgiven by God - In Christ (Eph 4:32)
  29. I place no confidence in my flesh - In Christ (Php 3:3)
  30. My righteousness comes through faith - In Christ (Php 3:9)
  31. My heart and mind is guarded by God's peace - In Christ (Php 4:7)
  32. All my needs will be supplied according to God's riches - In Christ (Php 4:19)
  33. I am complete - In Christ (Col 1:28)
  34. My faith remains stable - In Christ (Col 2:5)
  35. I will give thanks in everything - In Christ (1Thes 5:18)
  36. I am called to salvation by grace not by works - In Christ (2Tim 1:9)
  37. I endure all things for the sake of others - In Christ (2Tim 2:10)
  38. Persecution will come to the godly - In Christ (2Tim 3:12)
  39. Those who revile me because of my faith will be put to shame - In Christ (1Pet 3:16-17)
  40. We will be strengthened and established after suffering for a little while - In Christ (1Pet 5:10)


G. said...

Unbelievable study of being "in Christ". Thank you so much.

Here is a great quote from Pastor Gary Custis: "As Christians we become so eager to live for Christ we are not aware that we are to live in Him."

weapherblogs said...

Thanks G.

I appreciate your kind words and your quote...


Becky said...

Good words! Thanks.

weapherblogs said...

Thank you Becky for the kind words.

God bless,

Josh G said...

I am one of the youth leaders at my church and I am preparing a message about Christ being your all. You have put it so beautifully.

God bless you.

Another really helpful thing during my research has been a Paul Washer sermon called: "The Centrality of Christ" You may (Or may not :) ) find that truly God honoring. I know I did.

weapherblogs said...

Thank you Josh. I am glad you find this useful.

I look forward to listening to Paul's message.

All glory to Him,

talitha said...

Thank you for this information. I might use it for my nursing home ministry, if that is ok with you.
God Bless

weapherblogs said...

Talitha, use it for anything you wish. I hope you find it helpful.


Bob said...

Thank you for distilling this down so a believer of 24 years could get his arms around these profound truths.

weapherblogs said...

Blessings Bob. Thanks for the comment...

Anonymous said...

this blog is great I do a weekly bible study and this just confirmed what God was speaking to my heart praise Jesus for your obedience this will be a blessings to all..Jesus Bless!

Anonymous said...

What happens to the one who does not repent from Sin?

weapherblogs said...


Thanks for the question. I think the best way to answer the question is to look at the scriptures.

Luke 13:3 ESV No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Jesus tells us to turn from evil and turn toward God. Repentance is the key to a transformed life in Christ.

Repentance is to change your mind... or to turn from one thing to another. It is the act of making a 180 degree turn from sin to righteousness. We gain our righteousness only through Jesus who paid the price for our sin.

The first step is to identify that we are a sinner. John tells us that if we claim to have no sin we area liar. (1John 1:8-10) And that if we confess our sin He will purify us from all unrighteousness.

So without repentance there is no relationship. It is the key to salvation and unity with God.

Have a blessed day.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What an amazing study! Thank you for allowing The Lord to use you in His perfect will. You have done so and have blessed many.

Blessings be upon you!!!
Your Sister "in Christ."

weapherblogs said...

Thank you for the encouragement. Praise be to Him for it all :)

Be Blessed,

Anonymous said...

Thank you, with intentions daily,
A sister in Christ

David Kelsall said...

The thing I most enjoyed about this post was the list at the end, which for some reason I found very helpful, where I would normally have focused more on the preceding text. I think you have hinted at the most important thing, which is that when we're puzzled or intrigued by a bit of Christian 'jargon', we shouldn't accept it blindly and start casually throwing it around so we don't appear ignorant or unenlightened (far too common, do you think?) we should do what God wants us to do when we can't understand the literal significance of something, and dig deeper (Pr.25:2?) really enjoyed. More of this sort of honesty! God is lovely! David Kelsall, VOUK.

Stephen said...

I agree with the post about Repentance and turning away from that which was by coming to be in He whom I was not. I stray from a long list of affirmation statements that might or might not be true, that turns it into brain washing trough the power of positive thinking and then it's all about me and not Christ.

weapherblogs said...

Thanks Stephen. I truly believe that affirming through God's Word who we are in Christ is far more than positive thinking. It is taking God's truth and identifying with it. The reassurance we receive brings confidence in knowing who we are in Him. The world fills our heads daily with messages that are false. Filling our minds with God's truth is vital in our walk with Him.

I understand your concern with the Gospel becoming about me and I. I share that concern. It is all about His work and not our own.


Herma Ross said...

Believers are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. So we must reach our maximum potential and let our light shine as new creations in Christ.