Onward Christian Soldiers
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
In our last lesson series we learned that there are now two families in the world—the family of Adam and the family of Christ. God sees us as being IN ADAM if we are in Adam’s family. If we are in Christ’s family, He sees us as being IN CHRIST.
To be in Adam is to share in all that Adam was and did. By nature we were all in Adam—separated from God and slaves of sin and Satan. But when we were born again, God put us in Christ. We could not do this ourselves, but God did it for us.
The most precious phrase in the whole Bible is the little phrase, “In Christ.” This phrase or its equivalent is used over 130 times in the New Testament! Here are some verses that tell us of our new position in Christ:
1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
Ephesians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.“
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if any man be IN CHRIST, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
1 John 5:20 says, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
Colossians 1:14 says, “IN WHOM we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 1:2 says, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.”
Did you notice the words “in Christ,” “in Him,” and “in whom”? As you read the New Testament, you will find these words used many times.
To be in Christ is to share in all that Christ is and all that He did. The Bible says that God has “blessed us with all spiritual blessings IN CHRIST.” We are going to consider some of the blessings that are ours because we are in Christ.
1. We are forgiven. Because we are in Christ, God has forgiven us of every sin. The Bible says, “IN WHOM we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
2. We are justified. What does it mean to be justified? It means to be declared righteous. How are we justified before God? We are justified IN CHRIST. The Lord Jesus was perfectly righteous, and now God sees us righteous in Him. He took our sins that we might have His righteousness. The Bible says, “For He [God] has made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God IN HIM.”
3. We are made near to God. As sinners we were separated from God and afraid to come into His presence. But now, in Christ Jesus, we can come boldly into God’s presence because the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed us from all sin. The Bible says, “But now IN CHRIST JESUS you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
4. We are accepted by God. Before we were saved, we were enemies of God. Now we are accepted by Him as His own dear children. Why are we accepted by God? Because we are IN CHRIST! The Bible says, “To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted IN THE BELOVED [in Christ].”
5. We are made holy. God has a new name for believers. He calls believers “saints in Christ Jesus.” The word “saint” means “holy one.” In God’s sight, every believer is a saint in Christ. In ourselves we are not holy, but God sees us in Christ. When we stand before God, we stand in the holiness of Christ. We are “holy IN CHRIST.”
6. We are sealed. We are God’s children and our destination is Heaven. God has put us in Christ and has sealed us with the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, “…IN WHOM also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
7. We are complete. Everything we need to live the Christian life is ours in Christ. We are complete in Him. The Bible says, “For in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete IN HIM….”
We have considered only a few of the verses that tell us what it means to be in Christ. As God’s children, we are no longer in Adam. We are now IN CHRIST and you learn more about what that means as you walk with Him.