What does it mean to be “in Christ”? Perhaps you have heard that term from a sermon or you may have even read it in a Christian book. Some would say that it’s just another way to say we are placed into Christ when we are born again, and that’s true. The moment we placed our faith and trust in the risen Savior, and His finished work on the cross, we are placed into Christ. But “being in Christ” means so much more. The very essence of our Christian faith is vested in the fact that we are “in Christ”. So it is vitally important to know the fuller meaning of what it means to be “in Christ”.
Space will not permit me to list all the elements of being “in Christ”, so I want to address three of the more obvious benefits of “being in Christ”.
You take on a new identity – The moment you trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you become someone you have never been before. That’s the reason Jesus told the Pharisee Nicodemus that you must be “born again”. (John 3:1-14) You have passed from death unto life. Before you were a pawn of Satan and now you are a child of God. ( Ephesians 2) The old person you once were is gone and you are now a new creation in Christ. ( 2 Corinthians 5:17) We now have a new nature occupied by the Spirit of the living Christ. ( Colossians 1:27)
Why is that important to know? Our identity in life is now settled. Having our fundamental identity in Christ frees us from trying to develop our identity from our occupation, achievements, our spouse or our financial statement. We no longer have to strive to measure up to some sort of religious standard to receive God’s love. God loves us because we are family.
People of every culture have asked these three questions.
1. Who am I?
2. Why am I here?
3. Where am I going?
These questions are all answered with our new identity. We know who we are, a child of the living God who is grafted into the family of God. We know why we are here, to glorify God by allowing the life of Christ in us to be manifested to the world. We know where we are going, our home is now heaven and this life is our journey till we get home. The Scriptures tell us that we are “strangers and pilgrims” in this world. A stranger is not familiar with the territory and a pilgrim is just passing through.
Your dependency changes – Before being in Christ, you depended upon your own strength. As a result, sometimes you felt like you measured up and sometimes you felt like a failure. Your sense of security was in your performance. If you performed well in your spiritual walk you felt secure, but if you stumbled you felt like a failure.
God knows our dilemma of trying to measure up, so He alleviated that struggle by allowing us to rest in Him as enough. He tells us to “cast all your care on him for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7) God also tells us not to “worry about anything but bring it to Him in prayer with a thankful heart and he will give us peace that passes all comprehension” (Philippians 4:6-8 – my paraphrase)
We don’t have to bear the burden, because He will do it all for us. God wired us to depend on Him. The more we carry the weight of our own burdens, the more unrest and misery will be part of our daily life.
You have a shift in your worldview – “A worldview is the lens or glasses from which you view the world. Your worldview is the foundation for your values and your values are the foundation for your conduct. Your worldview is a collection of what you think about law, science, history, family, social issues, education, theology and ethics.” (Brannon Howse)
There are basically two worldview’s, a Biblical worldview and a secular worldview. Society gets their values from one of two places, the culture or from Scripture. The secular worldview is driven by a “relative” mindset which believes that values change as the culture changes. The problem is that there are no absolutes, values are always changing, even to the point that wrong becomes right and right becomes wrong.
But for those who have been placed “in Christ” we have a different worldview. Our worldview is a Biblical worldview. A Biblical worldview is not based on the culture, or political correctness but on the absolutes of God’s Word. The lens we view life from is the Biblical perspective. If God said it, we believe and obey. Therefore, our worldview impacts our value system.
Being “in Christ” is more than just another definition for being born again, it is much more. It gives us a new identity that is wrapped in God’s love and care. It allows us to never be alone in midst life’s problems. God not only knows all of our problems, but He is there to walk with us every step of the way. We have a stable worldview that gives us rest and peace. We never have to conform to societies values because we have a value system based on the absolute, never changing promises of God. He is not only our God, but He is also our “Abba/Papa” who draws us near. He cries and rejoices with us through every victory, and every trial, just because we are “IN CHRIST”.