“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” Ephesians 1:3 ESV
The concept “in Christ” is mentioned in scripture approximately 300 times. Yet many readers of the Bible pass over that phrase with a limited view of its meaning. Therefore, we shall provide a quick overview that will open our eyes to the riches we have in our relationship with Jesus Christ. In summary, the apostle Paul used that phrase to highlight four distinct views of our relationship with Jesus Christ.
In certain instances, Paul would simply use the word interchangeably with our position as a member of His physical body: the Church (Romans 12:5). Because of Jesus Christ, we are spiritually incorporated within the same membership one with another. Jesus is the center that keeps us together. He leads and directs us as He chooses.
Again at times Paul would use the phrase to emphasis our identity (2 Corinthians 5:17). That we are associated with Jesus Christ. We are his brothers and sisters. We are included within Jesus’ life. As we mature in the faith, we become more and more like him. Our identity is no longer found is our performance, our race, or sexual status, but found only in him. When the Father looks at us, He views us through the lenses of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes he would embellish on our shared participation with Christ (2 Corinthians 1:5). That we have been buried and resurrected with him. That like he suffered, we also may accept suffering. Not as a savior from sin, but as believers learning obedience through the trials and tests of life. Like many of the early apostles that died a martyrs death, we likewise may share in the experience. Our participation with Christ comes in walking and serving him through similar encounters with others in our daily life. Jesus said that through him we may even do mightier works than He.
At other times Paul would focus on our union with Christ (Ephesians 2:6, Galatians 3:26). Just as the Father and Son are one, we are also one with Jesus and the Father. In fact, we are one with the Triune God – Father, Son, and Spirit. As the Father-Son shared life’s experiences together and with us, we likewise now share our life’s experiences with Jesus.
Jesus is the Author and Sustainer of our salvation. He has given us the opportunity to be identified with him, incorporated with him, participate with him, and walk in union with him. This is the short, simply definition of what it means to be “in Christ.”
So how about starting the New Year living life knowing what all this truly means each day?
Rooting For You in Christ!
Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married
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