The state described in the scriptures as being "in Christ" is unique. It describes a special, personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a relationship so deeply meaningful that I'm not sure we can fully understand all that goes with it. It is not simply having a relationship with Christ, it is truly being in Him. Indeed, the scriptures speak of being "baptized into Christ" (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27).
Being "in Christ" is something deeper than just a relationship. The text in Romans states that we are not only "baptized into Christ" but that we are also "baptized into His death" (verse 3). It further describes us as being "buried with Him through baptism into death" and subsequently sharing in a likeness of His resurrection (verse 4). Then it speaks of our being "united together" with Him (verse 5). These are vivid images associated with being "in Christ."
Much is associated with being "in Christ." Redemption (Romans 3:24), sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:2), justification (Galatians 2:16) and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32) are all found "in Christ." Eternal life is "in Christ" (Romans 6:23; 8:1; 2 Timothy 1:1; 2:10; 3:15). We find approval before God "in Christ" (Romans 16:10). The new birth, a new life, is "in Christ" (1 Corinthians 4:15; 15:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17). True hope is found only "in Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:19). Ultimate triumph is "in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14). Reconciliation with God is granted "in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:19). We experience the ultimate effects of God's love "in Christ" (Romans 8:39). All spiritual blessings are "in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). A faithful Christian has the greatest reason of anyone to rejoice by virtue of his being "in the Lord" (Philippians 4:4). We contact God's grace "in Christ" (2 Timothy 1:9; 2:1). The ultimate peace for mankind is realized only "in Christ" (1 Peter 5:14; Romans 5:1).
The church figures heavily into this whole scenario. The church is identified in scripture as being the "body" of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23; Colossians 1:18). Just as we are "baptized into Christ" (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27), we are also "baptized into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13), which is the church (1 Corinthians 12:27). Just as salvation is only "in Christ" (2 Timothy 3:15), Christ Himself adds those who come to salvation to the chruch (Acts 2:47).
Adding even more depth to being "in Christ" is the additional understanding that, in some way, He abides in us (John 14:23; Galatians 2:20).
In view of all that it means to be "in Christ," why would anyone want to be, why would they center their lives, anywhere else? Are you "in Christ?" Are you ready to be "baptized into Christ" and thereby partake of all of the blessings that go with being in Him? There's an insert in this bulletin that you can fill out to receive a free Bible study that will teach you from the Bible all you need to know to come "into Christ" and thereby change your life forever. Just fill it out and leave it on your seat...
Gary L. Hutchens