In Christ, Chapter One
Paul said in Rom. 8:1-4,
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
And in Rom. 8:38-39,
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Also in Rom. 12:5,
"So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
And again in 2 Cor. 5:17-19,
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
And in Gal. 3:26-29,
"For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christís, then are ye Abrahamís seed, and heirs according to the promise."
The Lord gave the Apostle Paul a very deep understanding of being in Christ and Paul talked a lot on this subject in his Gospel to the Gentiles. So deep, in fact that the Apostle Peter had to admit in 2 Peter 3:15-16,
"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."
I have listed all the previous scriptures to show you some of the many witnesses that we are in Christ. What is the importance of being in Christ and how do we get into Christ and what happens to us if we are in Christ? These and other questions I will answer and you will be amazed at what it means to be in Christ.
First of all, How do we get into Christ. The Apostle Paul answered that question in the scripture I quoted you from Gal. 3:26-29 when he said that we are all children of God because of the faith we have in what Jesus did for us. We were born again by the receiving of the good news of what Jesus had did for us and we are baptized into Christ and therefore have put on Christ. The good news for you today is that if you have accepted what Jesus did for you and confessed that belief with you mouth and have been baptized you are in Christ.
The Church has not taught us much about what happens to you when you are baptized into Christ and what all that means. The Church in years past has only focused on getting you into Christ and keeping you there. When you are baptized into Christ you have just been born again and are just an infant in the body of Christ. You will have to be taught and trained in the ways of the Lord and grow to understand the deeper things of The Kingdom of God. I am sorry to say that the Church over the past 2000 years has failed to mature it's converts but has treated them like babies feeding them only on the milk of the word.
Many of the things that I have shared with you over the past few years, you have never heard taught in your church. We are living in a time for the revealing of the Sons of God and we have our work cut out for us. It is time for the mature Sons of God to stand up and be accounted for.
What then does it mean to be in Christ? Anyone want to answer that for me? Well, maybe we need to look at some more scriptures and see what else Paul had†† to say about this subject.
Paul said in 2 Cor. 5:17 that we quoted to you earlier,
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God,"
Notice that he said that something happened to that person. He became a new creature, a new character and a new creation. All things became new to him and all of these things were from God! I often sing a chorus that says,
††††††††† I'm in a new world, old things are passed away
††††††††† Behold all things are new every since that happy day!
††††††††† He opened up my blinded eyes and then I found a great surprise!
††††††††† I was in a new would since the Lord saved me!
This new world of the Kingdom of God opens up to us and we are filled with awe and every thing has become new to us but it doesn't take long until the church has burdened us down with so many do's and don'ts that the new wears off. Because of the many doctrines of men and demons we are told that we can only struggle here on this earth but all will be well when Jesus comes back again. Let's look at what the Apostle Paul was showed about what it means to be in Christ!
First let's take a look at what the intent and purpose of God was when He sent Jesus here. Paul says in In Ephesians 1:3-14, (NIV)
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and willóto the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Godís grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillmentóto bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ."
I have already pointed out to you that we are in Christ and now I want to point out to you what that really means and what the purpose of God was in putting us in Christ. First, Paul here says here that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing when we are in Christ. Not just some spiritual blessing but with every spiritual blessing. He has no more blessings to give than what He has already given. He did not hold any blessing back. What a powerful statement!
Our Father choose us to be in Christ before He created the world and He chose us to be holy and blameless in His sight. Well, it stands to reason that if we are truly in Christ we would have to be holy in the sight of God because Christ is holy before God. If you see yourself as unholy before God then you can't be in Christ because He is holy or else you may be mistaken because you haven't forgiven yourself.
If we are in Christ then God has granted us redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ and He has forgiven us of our sins. Not only our past sins but even those we will commit in the future. The riches of Godís grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding was the promises He made to the House of Israel in Heb. 8:10-12,
†For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
The problem that we all have had in the past is that we have been taught that we must do something ourselves in order to be righteous in the Lord's eyes. This is an impossibility to do. If we could do that then Jesus died in vein. Our only hope is to be found in Him when He returns. Paul said in Phil. 3:8-9,
"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"
God's ultimate purpose is to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ." Don't you think that it would be difficult for even God to bring Hell and Heaven together in Christ, since there is no sin in Him? Just something for you to consider.
Let's look at some more of that same chapter and see what else is ours if we are in Christ. Paul said in verses, 16-23, (NIV)
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."
Have you ever taken the time to meditate on what the Apostle Paul was constantly praying to God for us? First, he asked God to give us the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation. If you want to know what this Spirit of Wisdom will do for you read the first five chapters of Proverbs. The reason we need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation is so we can not only know our Father but also know who we really are.
Then Paul asks God to open the eyes of our heart so that we may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which he has called us, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. †That word 'power' comes from the Greek word, 'Dunamis' and means force (literally or figuratively); specifically miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself):óability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work. It's the same Greek word from which we get our English word, 'dynamite'.
You might say to me, "Well, Dave, I didn't know that God had given us any power like this?" I know, because we were taught that this kind of power passed when the last Apostle died. That cannot be the truth or Paul would not have prayed this way.
Notice, that Paul even tells us just how powerful this power he is praying for us is. He said that this power is like, or can be measured by, the working of God's mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
If we are in Christ and He was raised up from the dead and seated at the right hand of God, which is a position of authority, then we also were raised up and seated at God's right hand of authority!!!† Paul said in Eph. 2:5-7, (NIV)
"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."
I know that it is hard for the carnal mind to understand this truth because of all the doubt that it has accepted from those who were legalistic in nature and wanted to assign all these things to a time when Jesus will return to this earth. You may say, "Well, why are we not seeing saints walking in this power and authority?" That is a good question! I would have to say it is because of all the doubt and unbelief that is being taught in the Church during our lifetime. Most Christians have bought into the idea that we are weak and helpless and just struggling to keep the Lord's commands. We have written songs that say, "I am weak but thou art strong, Jesus keep me from all wrong!"
As knowledge is increasing at an overwhelming rate these days, so is the hidden manna of God being revealed to those who have an ear to hear. What about you? Do you have an ear that is opened to the Spirit of the Lord to teach you or are you so rigid in what you have learned in the past, that your ear has been closed to any other truth if it disagrees with what you have accepted as truth? I am not trying to badger you or condemn you. I am telling you that God is revealing His plans and purposes for this generation and you need to put your faith in Him. He will never lead you astray nor will He allow you to be deceived. Trust Him to lead you and be willing to go where He instructs you.