What does it mean to be "In Christ?"

Paul’s background reveals that he had many degrees and training in Jewish law. Understanding his background of being a top Pharisee speaks of his undying devotion to the Torah and living it out.

Knowing that, it is important to note that Paul’s conversion and his writings of Jesus fulfilling the law and being the sacrifice for all mankind is a great example of what it means to be “in Christ.” Paul’s reminder of being “in Christ” speaks of the forgiveness he found in his relationship with Christ from all of the persecution and pain that he caused the early church before his conversion. Paul’s example of being in Christ also points to all men being in unity through a relationship with Christ. We are a spiritual family through the death and resurrection of Christ over sin. Every person who believes in Christ alone for salvation is brought near (Acts. 2:39) to God.

The atoning death of Christ on the cross washes away the penalty of sin and leads us into a pure relationship with God. Not only our lives spiritually but on the outward when it comes to different people (race, background). Reconciliation is the key that Paul reminds believers in Ephesians 2:13-16.  The barrier has been broken down points to the temple wall that was partitioned off the gentiles from the area that was only exclusively accessible by the Jews. Paul refers to the “wall as symbolic of social, religious, and spiritual separation that the Gentiles and Jews were a part of in the early church days."

Paul was able to find his theology through knowing and growing closer to the Jesus. Paul was able to see God change him through the “Damascus road experience” and to see God’s provision and deliverance and grace was greatly seen in Paul’s ministry. He was truly a “new creation” and was used greatly by God.

3 Promises of being in Christ:

1.   Unconditionally loved by God

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1a)

2. Absolutely accepted through Christ.

 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

3.    Made whole through a relationship with Christ. (v.17b)

The term “In Christ” refers also to “Christ in us” and the transformation that He does in a believer’s life.

The way that a non-believer would understand being “in Christ” would be that Jesus is the complete “boss” of your life and all of who you are is found in a relationship with Him. The person needs to know that faith in Christ alone for salvation is how a person comes into beginning a relationship with God. A relationship with Christ pictures a person coming “home” and is made a son/daughter of God through the forgiveness they find in Christ.