Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Freedom # 16 IN CHRIST

We become Christians by recognizing first of all that we are sinners, cursed by God’s Law and under His wrath headed for a Christless eternity in Hell.   We place our faith in Christ who died and rose again for our justification.  Immediately we are IN CHRIST. What does that mean?  When we’ve answered that question, we have answered the question, “What is a Christian? 

BEFORE FAITH IN CHRIST 

We’ve seen in earlier studies what life was like prior to putting our faith in Christ.   We were condemned under God’s Law.  Romans 8:1-2    We were cursed by His Law. Gal. 3:10,13 We were sentenced to death by His Law.  Romans 3:19  6:23 We were in custody to the Law.  Galatians 3:23 We were slain by His Law.   Romans 7:11  

AFTER FAITH IN CHRIST 

When we believed the good news that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead  and when we received  Him by faith as our Saviour, we moved into the new position of being  IN CHRIST as described in Galatians 3:25-29. Death has no more dominion over us.  Romans 6:9  Though we still sin and though we have not attained perfection, sin has no more dominion over us. Romans 6:14 Though we love God’s Law and desire to keep it,  we are no longer under the dominion of His Law.  Romans 7:1 

THE TWO MARRIAGES 

This freedom from the dominion of the Law is explained in Romans 7 by two marriages. 

THE FIRST MARRIAGE  

My state before Christ. The Law was my husband.  I, the sinner, was married to the Law and the marriage was characterized as a life of bondage. Because I could not keep the Law perfectly, the fruit of that marriage was death. Romans 7:5 

Before I could be free of that oppressive marriage, one party had to die.  The Law did not die.  It is still alive today holding its club over every sinner and saying “Do this or die!”  No, the Law did not die,  but I did. I died in the person of Jesus according to Galatians 2:20 and Romans 6:1-14. Now that I am dead to the Law, I am free to be in a new marriage. 

THE SECOND MARRIAGE  

My state after trusting Christ. Christ is my new husband. I, a redeemed sinner, am in Christ pictured as His wife. The fruit of this marriage is mentioned in Romans 7:4 and Galatians 5:22-26 In this second marriage I am free from the bondage and condemnation of the Law and free to bear Christ’s fruit.  When I received Christ, the Law had accomplished its work in me.  I was now free to live  in a personal, saving relationship with Christ.  Galatians 3:26-29 

Though I am free from the domination of the Law, my freedom is not to live in sin, but in the righteousness I so long for as a Christian.  Romans 8:1-4 And one day my body will be totally free from my sinful nature, free to enjoy the glorious liberty of being in Christ.  Romans 8:21. That’s what it means to be IN CHRIST. 

Followers of Buddha, Confucius or Mohammed cannot say that they are IN those men. Ask an unconverted religious person if he is going to Heaven and he will tell you that he expects to because he is IN a church.  Such an answer evidences that he has no idea of a saving relationship with Christ.   He knows nothing of being IN CHRIST.  

THE RESULTS OF BEING IN CHRIST 

First, we are children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  Gal. 3:26    Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit as taught in Gal. 3:27  and I  Corinthians 12:13  we are placed into the Body of Christ.  This baptism has nothing to do with water baptism.  That is a totally different event.   The baptism of the Spirit makes us one in Christ.   Water baptism of believers is an outward testimony of becoming a Christian. See Acts 8  and  16 for examples of the purpose of water baptism.  

Second, we are adopted into the Family of God, as is taught in Galatians 4:5  and Romans 8:14-15  But in another sense, we are not only adopted into the Family of God; we are also begotten into His family.  John 3:16 tells us that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. 

However I Peter 1:3  and I John 4:9 tells us that we believers are also begotten of the Father.   How can that be?  We are counted as begotten sons because of our identification with Christ.  If He is the only begotten Son of God, we also are begotten because we are IN HIM.   As God’s children  Romans 8:23 assures us that we are joint heirs with Christ.  How can that be?  John 3:16 tells us that.  

Third, because we are born again by the Spirit of God who comes to live in us, He gives us the sense of intimacy with God.  We can call Him ABBA FATHER.  That is,  Daddy, Daddy.  As a child has freedom to come into the presence of his loving father any time and for any reason,  so we  who are IN CHRIST can come into the presence of our Heavenly Father any time and for any reason.  That boldness comes through our identification with Christ according to Hebrews 4:14-16 

Fourth, He leads us by His Holy Spirit according to Romans 8:14. 

Fifth, IN CHRIST, according to Romans 8:16. we have confidence and security that we belong to Him. 

Sixth, because we are IN CHRIST we are joint heirs with Him of all God is and has for us.  Read these wonderful verses and rejoice in your riches IN CHRIST. Psalm 16:5 Romans 8:17,  John 17:5,22,  Revelation 21:3.  To begin to grasp your wealth in Christ read Ephesians 1.  It will about take your breath away! Seventh, because we are IN CHRIST, we shall one day be just like Him.  Though we will never be God, we will enjoy His perfect holiness. I John 3:1-3 

Finally, because we are on IN CHRIST,  we are also one with all who are IN CHRIST.  We are all baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body.  This is a spiritual unity that no man-made ecumenical unity of churches can ever accomplish.  Wherever Christians who are IN CHRIST meet, they almost immediately recognize their oneness in Christ. See Galatians 3:28. 

WHAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY IN CHRIST? 

According to Romans 8:1-4  we are to walk each day under the control of the Holy Spirit and HE will enable us to walk; not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  Note the passive tense here.  If we actively seek to be surrender to Him, He will enable us to live out the righteousness of God IN HIM.  The Christian life is no longer our struggle. If is His work in lives surrendered to Him. 

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August 27, 2007 - Posted by | Freedom

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