Summary: Being in Christ is more than being saved. It is consistanly walking, living and dwelling in the light of Christ.
I want to talk about what it is to be "In Christ" tonight...
What does the Bible means when they use the term “In Christ”?
The Bible uses this term over 50 times in the New Testament. And if you actually study the phrase out you will find that “In Christ” is an actual place. The Bible talks about being “In Christ” as if it is a place you can go or a place you can leave.
The Apostle Paul talks about being “In Christ” and says that we are alive only when we are “In Christ”. So what does it mean to be “In Christ”. Most people think it means that once you are saved you become part of the body of Christ and therefore you are “In Christ”. That is true. But I believe it is also much more than salvation.
I believe when you truly understand being “In Christ” as a state of being you start to truly recognize your plan and purpose in life. To be part of the body of Christ IS to be “In Christ”, but to live and walk and dwell with Jesus you must make a constant decision to follow his guiding light. This to me is to be “In Christ”
I want you to imagine you are standing in a dark room. This room represents your sin nature and it is the state of sin we are all born into. It is impossible to see anything clearly through all the darkness that surrounds you. Everywhere you look the images are distorted due to the intense darkness. When you are surrounded by sin you don’t see things clearly. You think you do, but that’s only because your eyes have become accustomed to the darkness of sin and you’re not familiar with the light of grace. What would be offensive to those in the light has become commonplace to you. And you don’t even realize you’re in the dark.
There is a mirror in the room of darkness and if you could look into this mirror you would see the picture of perfection, which is Christ Jesus. His image could guide you to a clear understanding and total illumination if you could see Him clearly enough, but again the darkness of your sin nature makes it impossible to see anything clearly.
The darkness is so deep that no matter how hard you glare into the mirror you cannot make anything out. You can’t even see what your own reflection looks like, let alone the image of Christ. You have been in this state of darkness for so long now that you don’t even realize it’s abnormal. To you it simply is the states of being you have come to know as life.
This dark room represents your sin nature and the way people choose to live everyday of their lives. In this kind of darkness you can never know who you truly are or who you were meant to be. In this darkness you can never truly experience your destiny “In Christ”.
Now imagine you see a light off in the other room. You follow the light and see that it leads you to another room, slightly bigger and a little brighter. You grab your mirror and walk into the room and the lighting hurts your eyes a little at first. Now keep in mind this mirror is supposed to be showing you what perfection looks like. In this mirror you can see and learn how and who you are supposed to become in life. Coming to the Lord can hurt a little at first. You’ll have to give up things to move towards your call and the light of life. The darkness cannot survive the light. There are things you have to leave in the other room that you think you’re going to miss but I can promise you this. The Lord will not take ANYTHING from you that He doesn’t bless you a hundred times over for His names sake.
But your eyes adjust quickly and now as you look around you start to see things a little more clearly. You realize you have never seen yourself in this kind of light and so you grab the mirror of perfection to find out what you really look like. Since you can see your reflection more clearly now you are eager to examine your own features in this newfound illumination. When we first come to Christ you are usually very eager to serve and find your purpose. By now you have served in the church and even started tithing. So you look into the mirror and find out that your image is not so bad after all. You’re actually a pretty nice looking person.
In fact if you look long and hard enough at yourself in this kind of light you might even find a thing or two to admire about yourself. In the dim lights of hypocrisy we can find that we look clean and good and kind and just. Of coarse we’re still not seeing the complete picture of ourselves; remember the light in this room was only a little brighter than the other room that was full of darkness and controlled by our sin nature. When you first accept Christ as your savior you are saved and you are a new creature in Christ. But that new creation takes time to become perfected. And perfection takes continuing your journey towards the light of Christ. Unless you continue to walk towards the light of Christ you can and will once again become enslaved to your sin nature and live in the darkness that Christ died to free you from.