The phrase “in Christ” appears more than 440 times in the New Testament. One person explained it by opening a book and putting a piece of paper in between the pages, then closing the book. The paper is hidden “in” the book.
The idea of being “in Christ” is very important. When God looks at me, He sees me in that position or status. Because of Jesus Christ, I have a new identity. Because of Him, I have His life and am a child of God. This is declared in these verses…
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Galatians 3:26)
Because this position or place was established by God “before the foundation of the world” then everything that happened to Jesus also happened to me. This is not about a physical event but about how my life is considered by God. He looks at me, like the paper in the book, and “sees” Jesus. Part of that view of me in Christ includes His death (how horrible), but it also includes His resurrection (how wonderful)!
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
This spiritual position is unseen by human eyes, but declared by the Word of God. When believed and received by faith, then what Jesus has becomes mine!
So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. (1 Corinthians 3:21–23)
This sweeping statement makes me shake my head in wonder. Paul is writing about those who are hung up about some people being better than others. He says God does not do that comparing thing because all of us share in all that He gives. Whatever anyone who is in Christ has is also mine — because I am also in Christ.
I’ve no worries about eternity for I already have His life. If I struggle with sin, being in Christ means I can consider myself dead to sin. If I’m fearful about pleasing God, being in Christ means no further condemnation.
Lately I’ve felt inadequate to do much of anything or match my actions to ambitions. God says I have all that I need to do whatever He wants me to do for I am in Christ.
What more do I need?!