What is meant by being in Christ?

To be "in Christ" is one way of describing what it means to be a Christian. Those who are "in Christ" are spiritually united to and identified with Christ such that all the blessings and the benefits obtained by Christ belong to them. The book of Ephesians alone references the believer as being "in Christ" twenty-seven times and expounds on the rich spiritual blessings that belong to such believers. Though the Christian's union with Christ was predestined by God before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9), it is not the state into which we are naturally born. In fact, Scripture describes all mankind as being born in a state of separation and alienated from God (Ephesians 2:12). Our union with Christ is not realized until, by the grace of God, we repent of our sin and exercise faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8–10). Through faith in Christ we come to experience a spiritual union with Him wherein we participate in His life, death, resurrection and ascension (Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:5; Ephesians 2:6). Analogies used to help us picture this spiritual union include how branches are united to a vine, and even marriage, where man is united to woman (John 15:5; Ephesians 5:31–32). Below is a list of just some of the amazing benefits which belong to those of us who are "in Christ."

1. In Christ, we are adopted into God's family (Ephesians 1:5). We are made children of God with Jesus Christ as, not only our Lord and Savior, but also our elder brother (Romans 8:29).

2. In Christ, we are accepted by God (Ephesians 1:7).

3. In Christ, we experience the eternal and unbreakable love of God (Romans 8:38–39).

4. In Christ, we experience the peace of God which transcends understanding and guards our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7–9).

5. In Christ, God has promised to meet all of our needs, both material and spiritual (Philippians 4:11–13; 2 Peter 1:3–4).

6. In Christ, we are justified and sanctified in the sight of God. We have had our sins imputed to Christ and Christ's righteousness has been imputed to us (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 5:18–19). This is a "double exchange" wherein Christ voluntarily suffered for our sins and clothed us with His righteousness. This is the basis for the forgiveness of our sins before our holy God (Ephesians 1:7).

7. In Christ, we belong to the church, which is referred to in Scripture as the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). Those of us who are in Christ are also united to one another (John 17:20–21). Our union with Christ is the basis for unity amongst believers. We are living stones brought together to make up a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5). We are members of Christ's body. We are the very bride of Christ.

8. In Christ, we share in the benefits of His life, death, resurrection and ascension such that, not only are we recipients of Christ's life and righteousness, but we have been freed from the power and penalty of sin and death (Hebrews 2:14–15; 1 Corinthians 15:55–57). In Christ, we have been made alive to God, having been made new creatures with new spiritual natures (2 Corinthians 5:17–19). In Christ, we are being progressively transformed into His image and likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). Finally, in Christ, we eagerly anticipate receiving glorified resurrected bodies and reigning with Him forever in the new heavens and the new earth (Philippians 3:20–21; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:10).

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What must I do to become a child of God?

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