Today’s Scripture:

  • “ But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”  1 Corinthians 1:30
  • “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,”  Ephesians 3:17
  • “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20
  • “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”  Colossians 2:12

Introduction:

In Christ…everything we have, everything we are, everything that we receive, and our assurance of eternal life…it is all found in one place…In Christ.  Our holiness…In Christ.  Our righteousness…In Christ.  Our salvation…In Christ.  Our healing…In Christ.  There is nothing in the Christian walk that doesn’t come to us by being in Christ…because when we become Christians we’re also placed and live in Christ.

I believe this is going to be another one of those powerful messages that will answer many questions, and that the Holy Ghost is just going to take over and teach us.  So…with that…let’s pray…and get into the message…Amen!?!

Opening Prayer:

Lord…I know I’m going to need that supernatural ability that You provide through the Holy Ghost to write a message that will do justice to what it means and what being IN CHRIST is all about.  I ask for clarity, power, and that sweet anointing that only comes through the Holy Ghost.  I yield myself and ask You to take over the writing of this message.  I ask for unction, utterance, and that I may speak and write only of the oracles of You.  I ask these things in Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen

Today’s Message:

As mentioned in the opening…I believe that being in Christ is the precursor to all things that pertain to walking with God…because we can’t walk with Him apart from Abiding in Christ.  I love what the Bible says here:  “4  Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.5  I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”  John 15:4-5 Amplified

Apart from Christ we can do nothing.  Can I take it further?  How about apart from Christ there is nothing.  We can’t do anything, we can’t be anything, we can’t have anything, and we cannot be assured of anything…other than we will not be spending eternity in Heaven.  Apart from Christ there’s no relationship with God John 14:6 (AMP), apart from Christ there’s not salvation which means there’s no eternal life in Heaven Acts 4:12 (AMP), and there’s no hope of anything.

You see.  All this other religious stuff that sounds great, wonderful, and like it should be correct is wrong because in the end the truth of it is…anything that denies Jesus Christ…is from the spirit of the Anti-Christ…and that’s not my words…but Gods.  “And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would annul, destroy, sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.”  1 John 4:3 (AMP)

So, when you hear someone preach that we must water baptism holds the power of salvation it’s from that spirit of the anti-Christ.  If someone preaches that salvation isn’t by grace through faith in Christ alone, but requires us to work for our salvation…spirit of the anti-Christ.  Every spirit that denies Christ is from the devil.  Don’t get mad at me and write me some nasty letter or comments…if you don’t like it…write God the letter you were getting ready to write me…because He’s the One who said anything that denies His Son is not from Him.

I told you this was going to be a tough message to swallow, but it’s from the Holy Ghost…friends.  I’m just a messenger.  If you have an issue with the message…then maybe you ought to see if God will agree with you.  Just keep in mind that when we try to persuade God to look at things our way…that too is our own pride…because when we want God to agree with us…we’re saying we know better than He does…and I wouldn’t want to be in a place where I believe my way is better than His…Amen!?!

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:

We’re going to have a couple of points to look at…and see what the Holy Spirit will give us to break down the points…so let’s see what John writes…and then take them point by point.

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

Well…I hope you weren’t hoping for a short message.  I was thinking I’d be able to write two messages today, but it’s clear that I’m probably only going to get through this message…and have to write two messages tomorrow to catch us up on this series.  So…let’s get into these points.

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.”

You do realize that God knew you before you even arrived in this point in time and in the flesh correct?  If not…now you do, and isn’t it wonderful to know that before we even arrived in the flesh God already had grace planned?  I don’t know about you…but the fact that He planned for Jesus gives me a great sense of peace…and assurance that none of this is about me at all…but it really is all about Jesus.

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.”

This mirrors the previous point, but again it’s of great comfort and assurance to me to know that before I got here…God had already called out my name as one of His.  This further illustrates the point that I didn’t have to do anything to “earn” my place…it was already available…and I know that this is going to be a point for those “predestination” people.  Listen.  I still had the free will to choose whether or not I was going to answer the call of salvation.  I still had a choice to make, and just because I was chosen before the foundations of the earth…and before I arrived…doesn’t mean that I was automatically going to choose God.  I still had to come to that place where I recognized I needed a Savior…and I was still a whosoever who needed to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved.

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.”

In Christ we are loved with a love that is never going to end or be based upon us.  God loves us with a perfect love that’s never extinguished, never has any conditions, and never has to be earned.  This means that love can never…ever be taken away from us.  There truly isn’t anything that can separate us from the love of God because it’s not reliant upon us…it’s because God is love…and for Him to not love us would be for Him to go against the very thing He is.

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.”

Ummm…if we’re told that Christ has forgiven us of ALL of our sins…then how many of them is God holding against us?  How many of our sins are sending us to hell?  The answer to both of those questions is an emphatic NONE.  Listen…if ALL of our sins are forgiven then that means that no sin that we commit either before or after salvation can change the fact that our sins…ALL of them have been forgiven…why?  Because we are IN Christ.  When God looks at us…He doesn’t see us, He doesn’t see our sin…what does He see?  He sees Jesus.  He sees the Blood of Jesus.  So…if all He sees is Christ…then why is it that we’re so sin conscious?  The spirit of the anti-Christ that says that some how we can still sin and not have it be covered by the Blood of Jesus.  Well…my friends…either the Bible is right and ALL of our sins are forgiven…or the Bible is lying and only some of our sins are forgiven…and none of our sins after salvation are forgiven.

I don’t know about anyone else…but when the Bible tells me that ALL of my sins are forgiven, and that God’s not counting any of my sins against me because He judged ALL of sin at one time on the Cross…that’s what I choose to believe.  I will always choose to believe what the Bible says over what some preacher says…because the Bible is infallible…and it’s NEVER wrong.  So…take heart…and know that ALL of your sins are forgiven in Christ.

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.”

I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  Guess what?  So are YOU.  You are also the righteousness of God in Christ.  So…go ahead and glory and rest in the finished work of the Cross.

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.”

I am a new creation in Christ Jesus.  Guess what friends?  So are YOU.  I am a son of the Most High God through faith in Christ’s work on the Cross.  YOU too are a son or daughter of the Most High God because you are in Christ.

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.”

Because I’m in Christ (and you are too) guess where we’re sitting right now?  We are seated in heavenly places…and even more specific…we’re sitting at the right hand of the Father.  Because we’re in Christ…correct?  So…if Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father (and He is) then if we’re in Him…that’s where we  are also…we’re seated with Him in heavenly places at the right hand of the Father…I don’t know about you…but that gives me cause to raise my hands and shout!

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.”

In Christ ALL of the promises of God have the same answer…YES, ABSOLUTELY, AMEN.  Do you know what that means?  That desire for the abundant life…YES.  The desire for every spiritual blessing according to the goodness and riches of Heaven…YES.  Healing in your body…YES.  The assurance of eternity in Heaven…YES.  There isn’t any promise that God made to Israel, Abraham, and any other promise that’s written in the Bible…YES.  Just like when the Bible says ALL of our sins are forgiven means ALL of our sins are forgiven…when the Bible says ALL of the promises of God have the answer…YES…ABSOLUTELY UNEQUIVACALLY YES…then that means ALL of the promises of God have the same answer…YES.

So…whatever promise you’re needing or standing upon…God’s answer is YES.  It is possible that there’s a delay in the YES because the timing isn’t quite right yet…but that doesn’t mean God’s answer is NO…because if it’s in the Bible…and it’s a promise…and we know that ALL of the promises carry the same answer…YES…then whatever promise you’re believing God for has already been answered…YES.

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.”

And we get back to the discussion about holiness and sanctification. I love this quote by Charles Spurgeon.  “Holiness is not the way to Christ; Christ is the way to holiness.” CH Spurgeon.  We aren’t holy…He is. Any holiness we achieve isn’t because of our own…but because we receive His.  Our holiness is because we’re in Christ.  In addition to this quote for Spurgeon is this gem from Oswald Chambers as well:  “Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me— sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for me.”

Wait a minute…if this is correct then that means that God did the work when it came to salvation…and now He also does the work of sanctification. If God provided for salvation and does the work of sanctification…then why are so many Christians working for one or the other or both?
If God already did the work…then why are we working so hard instead of resting in the finished work of the Cross?

Holiness is in Christ.  Sanctification is in Christ.  God did the work in Christ.  All the work is done…and ready for us to receive…how…in Christ…and the truth is we all ought to be resting in the finished work of the Cross…and not striving and working for something that can only be obtained by being IN Christ.

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.”

I don’t know how many more times I can say this…everything we need is supplied in Christ.  Friends…I don’t know about you, but when I see words like “all” and “everything”…to me that means that there isn’t anything left out.  “All” and “Everything” pretty much cover…well…everything.  If you don’t believe that ALL of the promises have the same answer…maybe you’ll believe every promise has the “YES” answer.  If you don’t believe everything is provided and supplied in Christ…maybe you’ll believe ALL things are supplied in Christ.

Either way…whether your understanding is all things or everything…that means that there isn’t one thing left out that isn’t supplied in Christ Jesus.  I don’t really know how to make that any clearer than that.  All means everything…everything means all.  So…if you can explain to me what’s left out after all and everything…I would really like to know how it is that you know better than the Word of God that says all and everything is supplied according to the 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.”

That peace that surpasses all understanding…comes from being in Christ.  That means the peace of His presence is always available.  It’s available in Christ.  It’s one of those things that I’ve found amazing.  I had a horrible time sleeping for many years, and there have been times where I’d play worship music or some kind of Bible message or just Bible reading…and the peace of God would fall in the room…and before I knew it…I was resting in that peaceful sleep of the Lord’s presence.

Friend…I don’t know what’s got you worried or stressed…but if you find either of those things manifesting in your life…turn off the world and turn on Jesus…and watch the peace of God come in and calm the storms of your life.

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.”

In Christ is our assurance of eternal life.  If you’re a whosoever, and you’ve called upon the name of Jesus to be your Lord and Savior…you not only receive Him as Lord and Savior…but you also receive the assurance that you’ll spend all of eternity in Heaven.  Why?  Because Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life…and the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus…if you’re saved…you’re in Christ…and if you’re in Christ…the you’re going to Heaven.  I don’t know if that can be made any clearer.

Listen…your eternal destination rests upon whether or not whosoever believes has everlasting life or not.  If the Bible is lying…then all of us have sins that God is counting against us…and there’s no hope for anyone to enter into Heaven because there’s NONE that are holy enough, righteous enough or sinless enough to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven on their own merit.  You cannot earn it…you can only receive it…as a free gift as part of being that new creation in Christ Jesus.

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

I believe I will let this one speak for itself.  There isn’t anything to add to this one because this proves that the dead and living who are in Christ will all be re-united one day.  If you’re in Christ you’ve been made alive…and will be for all of eternity.  That’s great news to me.  I don’t know if anyone else likes this news…but I love it and am looking forward to it being fulfilled.

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)

So…then I suppose there’s really only one question that really remains isn’t there!?!

How do we get into Christ?

If you don’t know Jesus then I would like to invite you to visit the Christlike Ministries NWA website at www.christlikeministriesnwa.org, and visit the most important page you’re ever going to visit.  In fact, it’s so important I’m going to give you the link right here: http://www.christlikeministriesnwa.org/Do-You-Know-Jesus-.html.  Please visit the page…read the entire page, watch the video supplied by www.paid4u.tv, and please don’t leave that page without the following prayer being said out loud:

“Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart.  Forgive me of my sin.  Wash me and cleanse me.  Set me free.  Jesus, thank You that You died for me.  I believe that You are risen from the dead and that You’re coming back again for me.  Fill me with the Holy Spirit.  Give me a passion for the lost, a hunger for the things of God, and a holy boldness to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am saved:  I’m born again.  I am forgiven, and I am on my way to Heaven because I have Jesus in my heart.  In Jesus’ Name Amen.”

Friends…the most important decision you’ll ever make is what you decide to do with Jesus.  Either you’re going to accept the offer to be in Christ…or you won’t.  If you chose not to be in Christ…than everything I’ve written in this message doesn’t apply to you…but if you have chosen to be in Christ…then all that’s written in this message today does apply to you.

I’ll close with the last remarks on this message by John Piper, and maybe a little something extra from J.C. Ryle.

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

I believe we do have room for one final thought:

“Let us strive to realize every day our need of the grace and presence of Christ. Without Him, we can do nothing at all.” ~ J.C. Ryle

In closing, let me just go back to saying that everything and all that we need is found in Christ, and that means in Christ everything is supplied, provided, and ours.  Whatever you are in need of today is found in one place…in Christ.  Amen!?!

Conclusion & Prayer:

What an amazing message.  I love talking about all the things we have, and are because we’re in Christ.  I think this is one of those messages I may read over and over again…not because it’s such a great message…but to remind me from time to time all that’s available to me because of my place in Christ…and I hope that if you ever need a reminder…you’ll come back to it from time to time as well.

Father, thank You so much for this message today.  What an honor it is to know all the things that are available to us because we’re in Christ.  I pray, Lord that You would sink this message deeply within our hearts so that we would know and be assured that because we are in Christ…we are also in right standing with You…and help us…dear God…to not ever forget that.  Lord we love You…and we give You ALL the glory, ALL the honor, and ALL the praise…and leave with thanksgiving in our hearts for all that You have provided for us through Your Son…in Whose name we pray…Amen & Amen.