Being in Christ

 

Last week we looked at the person of Jesus, and saw how he is fully God and fully human.

  • Being fully God we learnt that Jesus is the Creator – Creator of you, me and everything. And as Creator, He is the King of the Heavens and the Earth. He is King of the whole Universe! Jesus is the Heavenly King.
  • We also heard how He lived here on earth as a normal human being – just like you and me. Being fully human he experienced everything we have. Hunger, tiredness, irritating brothers and sisters, annoying parents! Who has an annoying brother or sister? Have you been angry with them? Mean to them? …  Wanted vengeance? … Yes, we all have! … Jesus had brothers and sisters too, and I bet they were like you and me … but Jesus was sinless with them.
  • Being fully God and fully Human Jesus can answer every question we have. Jesus knows because He has been there, seen it and done it! And He sits on His Throne, and we can pray to Him. We can approach the King’s Throne of Grace with confidence when we pray, and know He can and will answer.

Jesus is amazing – The Heavenly King on the Throne, who also lived on earth as a carpenter! He is the focus of our faith, and today’s reading shows that focus well. It is one of the hardest in the Bible – it is long and complex – but filled with truth. It starts with:

“Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us IN Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”

What would you think a spiritual blessing in heaven is? Joy, peace, love, wholeness, no illness, having perfect relationships with everybody you meet!

The passage tells us it is more than these. It also includes:

  • God chose us before the foundation of the world.
  • We have redemption and forgiveness by the Cross.
  • We have obtained an inheritance.
  • We are marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit.

But before we think about these, one other thing keeps coming up in the reading – about 10 times in these 11 verses – being IN Christ. To get these blessings we need to be IN Christ. Being IN Christ – what does that mean?

Look at these boxes – this will help us

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  • Here we have Christ.
  • All who believe are IN Christ – Colossians 3:3 say: “Our life is hidden WITH Christ IN God.”
  • We also learn in 1 Corinthians that the Holy Spirit is IN all who believe. So, we have the Spirit IN us.
  • So, we are IN Christ, the Spirit is IN us, and John’s Gospel tells is that the Christ The Son, is IN the Father.
  • It is a picture of the Trinity and us.

This helps us understand what the Spiritual Blessings are, and how we get them:

God chose us before the foundation of the world

I have often said that human beings are not random chemical accidents formed from a random biological soup. The universe and everything in it was created by God, and created for a purpose. In the same way, every single human being was created for a reason and a purpose.

Those who believe are chosen IN Christ – this tells us that there is nobody whom God has chosen who will not be saved. God’s Will can never be frustrated. If you are IN Christ, you are saved – saved for a purpose. Later Paul says we are saved for good works. We are not chosen and saved to live pointless and stupid lives, but for a good purpose and good works.

 

We have Redemption and forgiveness by the Cross

 

We looked at the Cross last month, so won’t get into detail now. But for us, to be IN Christ means we do not face the judgement for sin we should. All who sin should face the judgement of God. If we are IN Christ, Christ takes that judgement on Himself instead of it being on us. This is why the Cross is so important. On the Cross, Jesus took what we should get, so we could be reconciled with the Father.

 

Obtained an inheritance

 

Our heavenly Father loves the Son with an eternal love, which wants to give Him every good thing there is. If we are IN Christ, what the Father gives the Son, we also get, which is all the riches of heaven. How rich is heaven? Very. We will get this blessed inheritance because we are IN Christ. This is also why He can call us brothers, because we will share the family inheritance with Him.

 

Marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit

 

We have seen three promises from God. How do we know that we will get what God has promised? With a fourth. We are marked with the Seal of the Spirit. What does this mean? If you IN Christ, then you have Holy Spirit IN you. To have the Holy Spirit IN you means that God has marked you as SAVED IN CHRIST. God has set up home in you, and He is not leaving and will bring you to the fullness of living with the Trinity in heaven.

Four promises, and they are a complete package – you can’t have one without all the others. If you are IN Christ, then everything God has promised will come to you, as his child – as one who is part of His family.

This is a truth and reality we need to respond to.

  • For those who are not IN Christ, we need to pray that God would reveal Himself to them /you, and that they / you would accept Christ.
  • For those of us who are IN Christ, we should realise that enormous gift and blessing to us, and be thankful, and that to be IN Christ has a purpose and a point. Also, we should look to do the good works of God, and also ask for God to show us if there are specific callings and purposes He wants us to more into. Let us pray God would reveal these to us.