Summary: This sermon seeks to contrast the difference in the persons life who is "in Christ" as opposed to one who is "in Adam" from the perspective of The Exchanged Life.
In those four verses what phrase is referred to three times? It’s the phrase “in Christ” or “in Him” meaning Christ. So my question and the subject of this sermon is: “What does it mean to be in Christ?”
For a couple of weeks now, I’ve talked about what it means to be “in Adam.” In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.” We looked at what it means to be born "in Adam" from the biblical basis of Genesis 3:1-6 in the message “Signing YOUR Declaration of Independence” and also in the message “What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life” last week from the biblical basis of Romans 5:12.
A picture of what it means to be born “in Adam” is found on page 80 of Bill Gillhams book "Lifetime Guarantee". It means you’re born spiritually dead, the power of sin came into your members, your soul and body is dying by degrees and you became instantly unified with Satan’s spirit – a dead spirit-being in human form totally submissive to the Devil. The reason this describes you as you entered planet earth is because you died with Adam when he died due to the truth that you were in Adam’s gene pool. That’s the truth of Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all en because all sinned.” (If your grandfather had died). Obviously that didn’t happen, but Romans 5:12 says that in some way it did happen to you “in Adam.”
Now another picture you need to get into your spirit in order to more clearly understand what it means to be “in Christ” is God’s perspective of you. I discussed this in detail last Sunday night in the message “Time Out.” The two pictures are also on pages 77 and 78 of Gillhams book. Suppose your time on earth is represented by the Main Street of an Old West movie set. (B=Birth, H=first haricut, E=entry into elementary school, S=day you invited Jesus Christ to be your Savior, T=today and D=your physical death. From T to your left=past; T to right=future because you’re a time bound creature. But, God’s perspective is like a person who is hovering over your Main Street in a helicopter. He sees the end from the beginning, forever into the past and future. That’s how He dictated the Revelation to John. And in that Book at Revelation 13:8 it states that Jesus Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” So, you see, God solved your problem of being born dead, a spirit-son of Satan, cut off from God’s acceptance by crucifying your Adamic identity “in Christ” and causing a brand new spirit-you to be born in Christ resurrection. So let’s look at the two sides of the truth that Christ is in me and I am in Christ.
I. At Salvation Christ is in Me
Now, salvation is a two-sided coin. One side represents Jesus’ coming into the believer and the other represents the believer’s coming into Jesus. He is in you and you are in Him. It’s a package deal. You can’t get one side at a time. It’s both simultaneously. In relation to this, I’ve discovered that for every verse you can find in the NT stating that the believer is indwelt by Christ, ie., Christ is in you, you will discover ten verses stating that Christ is indwelt by the believer ie., you are in Christ.
Now there is much said and preached about how to get Christ to come into you and save you. Praise the Lord for those messages! But on the other hand, if the Word of God is weighted 10 to 1 with you “in Christ” verses, do you see that many Christians are being fed on short rations: A straight diet of salvation messages to the church won’t bring us to maturity. God makes that clear in Hebrews 6:1 where He writes, “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works…”
There’s nothing wrong with John 3:16, but served up 63 ways to the believer is not God’s plan for victory. A Christian will starve spiritually on that kind of milk diet. That teaching won’t help you when you experience an assault on your self-esteem and feel rejected and unloved. You need power to resist the lie of the Devil. You don’t need to quote John 3:16. You need to know how to appropriate or receive the truth of what you “in Christ” is all about. So, At Salvation Christ is in You. Secondly,
II. Before the Foundation I was “in Christ”