What Does It Mean To Be In Christ?

by | Jan 2, 2021

“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Colossians 1:2

As I have been meditating on this verse the main thing that the Lord highlighted to me was these two words: “IN Christ”. We could talk about what it means to be a saint biblically, we could look at grace and peace, but actually none of that makes any sense without knowing what these two words mean. IN Christ. So, what does “IN Christ” mean? Lets take a look at the word IN.

The greek word is: 1722 en Meaning:
In, on, at, by any place or thing, with the primary idea of rest. As compared with eis (1519), into or unto, and ek (1537), out of or from, it stands between the two; eis implies motion into, and ek motion out of, while en, in, means remaining in place.

So, I am currently sitting IN my house as I write this. That means that I am actually inside the walls and structure of the home. I am not outside, I am IN my house. That means if you want to find me you would need to look within my house because that is where I am. You will not find me outside in the yard because I am IN the house. The word IN communicates the place or location that someone may be found.

Philippians 3:7-9 “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith”

Lets consider another scripture.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22a
“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die…”

All men are actually sinners not because of their own personal actions, though we have all received and walked in sin ourselves, but because we were IN Adam and when Adam sinned and died all who were IN him also died. Let us think of it this way, suppose I have a book mark and I place that bookmark into the center of a book. The bookmark is now IN the book. As long as the bookmark is IN the book, all that happens to the book also happens to the bookmark. If I drop the book, the bookmark also gets dropped. If I spill water on the book, the bookmark also gets wet. Because the bookmark is IN the book all that happens to the book the bookmark participates in. We are lost because of our being IN Adam our life, nature and identity came from him. This means that to really be saved we need to be saved from being IN Adam.

We have looked at the first part of the verse in Corinthians, now lets consider the last part.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22: “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Praise God for the “even so”. It is important that we see clearly why we are what we are because it also reveals how the promise and good news of God is true and effective in a life. Just as we were all IN Adam and his disobedience effected us all, so the obedience of Christ also effects us down to our very identity (life and nature).

Romans 5:18-19 “So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Hallelujah! I am justified, I am MADE righteous because of someone else. The way that this has an effect on me is exactly the same way that Adam’s disobedience did, because I was IN him. Because I am IN Christ, not by a work of my own, but by the work of God, I can receive, key word RECEIVE, not something that reforms, but an actual life and nature which transforms and conforms to the image of the Son of God.

How did we get IN Christ? 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 reads “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” According to God’s word this is the truth. We got into Christ the same way we got into Adam, God put us there. We now have the choice of receiving what God has done IN Christ or rejecting it. We have already received the effects of being IN Adam, being born a sinner and walking in transgression and death. Will we receive something just as real?  The Salvation from Adam, and therefore our fallen state, that is found only IN Christ.

Romans 6:6-8 “Knowing this, that our old (Adam) man was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (parentheses added).

I do want to add there is an important 2nd aspect to this that I plan to speak about in a later post so stay tuned!

-Ross H

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