"In Christ," "in the Lord," "in Him"--this
phrase or its equivalent occurs 164 times in the New Testament.
When the apostle Paul
wrote his letters, he used the phrase "in Christ" so often, you'd think
early printers would run out of
"i's" and "n's." Out of his nine general letters, in six
he described his readers as "in Christ."
Paul never actually defined
the term "in Christ." We don't have to either. He simply used it, over and over,
until you see its glorious ramifications. It implies incredible
closeness to Him. It implies the meeting of all our
life-needs. "In Christ" implies protection.
From the moment
you obeyed the gospel, you were translated from the kingdom of
darkness to the kingdom of light. God placed you into Christ, and it will take
eternity for you to understand all the advantages of your new position in Him.
From the first three
chapters of Ephesians alone, you see these advantages. In
1. Blessed with every spiritual blessing (1.3);
All these advantages of ours are just from Ephesians' first three chapters
alone. Other New Testament references proclaim that in Christ you're:
2. Chosen before the creation of the world (1.4);
3. Loved (1.4);
4. Predestined (1.5,11);
5. Adopted (1.5);
6. Accepted (1.6);
7. Redeemed (1.7);
8. Forgiven (1.7);
9. Lavishly given God's grace (1.7,8; 2.7);
10. Shown the mystery of His will (1.9,10);
11. Given a guaranteed inheritance (1.11);
12. Made "for the praise of His glory"; (1.12);
13. Secured by the Holy Spirit (1.13);
14. Called to be a glorious hope (I.18);
15. Made a recipient of God's power (1.19);
16. Made alive together with Christ (2.5);
17. Raised up with Christ at His ascension (2.6);
18. Seated with Him in the heavenly realms (2.6);
19. Created as God's masterful workmanship for the purpose of good works
20. Brought near to God (2.13);
21. Brought into a relationship of peace between Israel and the Gentiles (2.14);
22. United into one body of Christ (2.15,16; 3.6); made a fellow citizen with
God's people and a member of His household (2.19);
23. Created for the Spirit's habitation (2.21,22);
24. Made a partaker of God's promise (3.6);
25. Given the revelation of His mysteries (3.8-11); and
26. Given bold and confident access to God (3.12).
27. No longer condemned (Rom. 8.1);
The good news is that everyone can get into Christ by obeying the gospel. When
we have heard the gospel and believed it, repented of our sins and confessed
Christ as the Son of God, we can be baptized into Christ. Romans 6.3-4 says,
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were
baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into
death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the
Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
28. Made a child of God (John 1.12; 1 John 3.1,2);
29. Foreknown (Rom. 8.29);
30. Called (Rom. 8.30);
31. Justified (Rom. 3.24; 5.1; 8.30);
32. Glorified (Rom. 8.30);
33. Sanctified (1 Cor. 1.30);
34. Made a recipient of eternal life (Rom. 6:23);
35. Made a new creation (2 Cor. 5.17);
36. Reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5.19);
37. Made righteous (2 Cor. 5.21);
38. Made a citizen of heaven (Phil. 3.20);
39. Made complete (Col. 2. 10);
40. Made perfect (Heb. 10.14); and
41. Made God's own possession (1 Pet.2.9).
Galatians 3.27 adds: "For as many of you as have been baptized into death have
put on Christ."
All of these blessings await anyone who will be "baptized into Christ."