Being “in Christ Jesus”

Posted: January 27, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

by John Piper from here

 

Being “in Christ Jesus” is a stupendous reality. It is breathtaking what it means to be in Christ. United to Christ. Bound to Christ. If you are “in Christ” listen to what it means for you:

  1. In Christ Jesus you were given grace before the world was created. 2 Timothy 1:9, “He gave us grace in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”
  2. In Christ Jesus you were chosen by God before creation. Ephesians 1:4, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.”
  3. In Christ Jesus you are loved by God with an inseparable love. Romans 8:38–39, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  4. In Christ Jesus you were redeemed and forgiven for all your sins. Ephesians 1:7, “In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.”
  5. In Christ Jesus you are justified before God and the righteousness of God in Christ is imputed to you. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake God made Christ to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
  6. In Christ Jesus you have become a new creation and a son of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Galatians 3:26, “In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
  7. In Christ Jesus you have been seated in the heavenly places even while he lived on earth. Ephesians 2:6, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
  8. In Christ Jesus all the promises of God are Yes for you. 2 Corinthians 1:20, “All the promises of God find their Yes in Christ.”
  9. In Christ Jesus you are being sanctified and made holy. 1 Corinthians 1:2, “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus.
  10. In Christ Jesus everything you really needed will be supplied. Philippians 4:19, “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
  11. In Christ Jesus the peace of God will guard your heart and mind. Philippians 4:7, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  12. In Christ Jesus you have eternal life. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  13. And in Christ Jesus you will be raised from the dead at the coming of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” All those united to Adam in the first humanity die. All those united to Christ in the new humanity rise to live again

How do we get into Christ?

At the unconscious and decisive level it is God’s sovereign work: “From God are you in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

But at the conscious level of our own action, it is through faith. Christ dwells in our hearts “through faith” (Ephesians 3:17). The life we live in union with his death and life “we live by faith in the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). We are united in his death and resurrection “through faith” (Colossians 2:12).

This is a wonderful truth. Union with Christ is the ground of everlasting joy, and it is free.

 

 

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Comments
  1. Peter Black says:

    “conscious” versus “unconscious” is a false dichotomy. Creating this idea puts the mind of an individual man on equal footing with the mind of God. Does anybody really think that the mind of man on a conscious level has any such standing? Perhaps Pelagius did.
    The truth is that the standing of a regenerated human being is entirely by the will and work of God without any reference to or participation of the mind of man. The “work” of regeneration and all allied benefits of salvation is entirely God’s doing. Discard any idea of the “conscious mind of man” having anything to do with the accomplishment of God’s purpose and providence.

  2. doulos tou Theou says:

    Peter,

    thanks for reading and your comment.

    I agree with you and disagree with you. I completely agree in your statement of regeneration. But I think you’ve miss read the final point Piper was making with conscious.
    It also seem to me that in the Bible, in many places, an action that people are incapable of performing without the work of the Spirit is still required of them, that is to “believe”.

    Here is one such place from John 6 :
    “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” As it goes on Jesus lets them know , “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. ….No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him… Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life…. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

    & a bit from Romans

    “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
    and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

    “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? ….So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

    I take that and many other pieces of scripture to see that we are call people to use their “mind” to believe, but we know that it’s only the work of God in regeneration that causes repentance & belief.

    blessings

  3. Peter Black says:

    Yes, we are required “to believe” in Jesus, as He tells us in John Chapter 6. But we are also further instructed by Saint Paul to the effect that faith, which is the instrumentality by which God accomplishes His work in His own, is a gift of God; not the “work” of the individual human being. Further, we are told that it is God who works in us, “both to will, and to do His good pleasure.” That means, in the view of Reformed authors, that ALL of the willing and doing which God brings about is by the means He ordains and provides. Sinners like us are certainly no better able to will to do God’s good pleasure than were Adam and Eve, “ante lapsus,” at which time they were free from the corruption of sin. Even then, their “conscious will” was contrary to God’s purpose. No modern Christian should be led astray by the belief that he/she is able to make conscious choices which are in conformity with the will of God. Instead, we want and do that which is to our own benefit at every level; wanting God to think well of us, which is self-aggrandisement and selfishness. We are sinners in wish, choice, and deed.

    please continue to urge believers to rely upon God, not themselves.

  4. doulos tou Theou says:

    Peter,

    Brother I’m with you.

    In the scripture I gave was to show the command to believe, just like in Mark when Jesus proclaims in a commanding way “repent”, doesn’t mean we have the ability to accomplish this command without the regenerating work of the Spirit. Nevertheless we are called to repent, believe, love, pray,serve, worship,….etc. All of these are only possible and sustainable by God Himself and yet He still commands it.

    That thought it self makes me worship Him more that today when I read the scripture it was the Holy Spirits love to Glorify and Magnify Jesus that took someone who before being regenerated would never think of doing it. To see back and type this now humbles me to ponder the grace of God.

    So, I think you and I agree a lot more than you might think.

    peace & blessings

  5. Peter Black says:

    doulos: Thank you very much for your peaceful and non-contentious words. I was thinking of the famous prayer of Saint Augustine, in which he said [my paraphrase of the original Latin],
    “O Lord, make me able to do what you command me to do.”

    That petition I’m sure you recall was what prompted his contemporary Pelagius to insist that God would never require anyone to do anything which that person was unable to do. So, as Pelagius saw it, what is required of us is the will to do what God commands. That puts the burden on the human will, and implies that our nature is naturally good, and it is only oversight, or the unhappy consequences of evil in the external world which keeps us from being perfect. But our job is to try our best and to attempt to overcome our own faults. Both Augustine and Pelagius were addressing believers (church members, and their students); they were not talking to or about unbelievers. So it is that two separate streams of teaching and belief have flowed ever since; Pelagianism and Augustianism. In the present day, the former is by far more popular and numerous, as you well know. It is epitomized in the generic mainstream Evangelical Christian world, where teaching about the Christian life puts the burden on each individual to do his/her best to follow the Master in just such a way as seems good to that individual. This radical individualism is contrary to the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation, of course, as it is to the teaching of Scripture. But if any serious student needs a reason to question the worthiness of the human will, I say let him think about the outcome of the choice of the Angel of Light named Lucifer, who “willed” to be equivalent to the Most High. Was he not holy and pure when he so willed? And what about the uncounted numbers of other lesser angels who followed him in his fall, presumably making the same willful choice? In the face of that cosmic example can any mortal of any persuasion really think that he or she can guide and direct his or her own Christian life and walk and choices by means of his own will?

    Peter

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