“How God Saved You In Christ” Bible Study
When Jesus came into this world, some two thousand years ago, He came to be the Saviour of the world. It was however, the apostle Paul that God set aside to explain this good news of salvation, the gospel. When reading Paul’s writings you will find a key phrase that runs through all his epistles. If you were to remove this phrase there would be very little left of Paul’s explanation of the gospel. That phrase is “in Christ” or “in Christ Jesus.” The truth expressed by this phrase is also expressed by other similar phrases such as “in Him” or “together with Him” or “in the beloved” or “in whom,” etc. All these phrases express the same “in Christ” idea or motif (theme).
This truth, stated in the phrase “in Christ,” was first introduced by Christ Himself when He told His disciples to “abide in me.” These are the undergirding words of the gospel. If we do not understand what the New Testament means by this expression “in Christ,” we will never be able to fully understand the good news of the gospel. There is nothing we have as Christians except we have it in Christ. Outside of Him we have nothing but sin, condemnation, and death.
The concept of “in Christ” is however, difficult to understand. Just as “you must be born again” was beyond Nicodemus, one of the top religious leaders of the Jews, the phrase “in Christ” is likewise a difficult idea for us to comprehend. This is especially true of the Western mind. How can I, as an individual, be in someone else? Worse still, how can I, born in the Twentieth Century, be in Christ who lived almost 2,000 years ago? This makes absolutely no sense to our Western way of thinking. Because we cannot fathom this truth, we tend to ignore or skim over it. Yet appreciating the good news of the gospel hinges on our understanding these vital two words, “in Christ.”
The “in Christ” concept is based on Biblical solidarity, the idea that all men constitute or share a common life. This is what we touched on in our first lesson, the sin problem. Therefore, if we are to come to grips with this phrase “in Christ,” we must first understand what the Bible has to say about solidarity or corporate oneness. In Hebrews 7:7-10, Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek “in Abraham” since he was in the loins of his great grandfather Abraham when he paid tithe to Melchizedek. This is based on Biblical solidarity.
According to Scripture, three fundamental facts are revealed:
- God created all men in one man – Adam
- Satan ruined all men in one man – Adam
- God redeemed all men in one man – Christ
It is this last fact that constitutes the good news of the gospel and gives us everlasting hope. As you study God’s Word regarding the “in Christ” motif or idea may your eyes be opened to the matchless charms of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.