Being in ChristSubmitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, December 15, 2013.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. I. There are different ways one can be in Christ. One can be in Christ: 1. In election 2. Represented in His death 3. In regeneration 4. In the local church 5. Practically II. In Christ in Election 1. God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). A. Since we did not exist before the foundation of the world, God therefore chose us in covenant to be His children in Christ (Eph 1:4-5). B. Since God's choice to elect and save us in Christ was according to His own purpose and grace, and NOT according to our works, He didn't retroactively choose those who first chose Him (Rom 9:11; 2Ti 1:9). C. In fact, when God looked down on mankind to see who would seek Him, He found NONE (Psa 14:2-3 c/w Rom 3:9-12). D. Furthermore, God chose us in Christ that we should be holy and without blame which demands that we were not holy (having already chosen and believed in Christ) when He chose us (Eph 1:4). E. It is of God that we are in Christ Jesus, not of ourselves (1Co 1:30). 2. There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). 3. We are preserved in Jesus Christ (Jud 1:1) and we shall never perish (Joh 10:28-29). 4. Election, which began with God choosing His elect in Christ before time began, will result in all of the elect being gathered together at the end of time to forever be with the Lord (Eph 1:10). 5. Positionally, we are already there in Christ (Eph 2:6). III. In Christ in His Death 1. Christ was made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2Co 5:21; Phi 3:9). 2. This was accomplished by his death on the cross (1Pe 2:24). 3. Thus we are said to be crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20). A. Since we are in Him, we were crucified with Him (Rom 6:6). B. Since we are crucified with Him, we are dead with him (Rom 6:7-8; 2Co 5:14-15). IV. In Christ in Regeneration 1. Those who are in Christ are new creatures (2Co 5:17). 2. A new creature implies a creation. A. Thus we are said to be his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10). B. This is called regeneration (Tit 3:5). C. Regeneration - 1. a. The action of regenerating; the process or fact of being regenerated; re-creation, re-formation, etc. 2. a. In religious use: The process or fact of being born again in a spiritual sense; the state resulting from this. V. In Christ in the Local Church 1. The local church is the body of Christ (1Co 12:27). 2. When a person is baptized and added to the church (Act 2:41), the Holy Spirit baptizes him into the body of Christ (1Co 12:13,27). 3. Since the church is Christ's body, when a person is baptized into the church he is baptized into Christ (Gal 3:27). 4. Since the church is the body of Christ, joining it is called being added to the Lord (Act 5:13-14). 5. The members of a local church are one body in Christ (Rom 12:5). 6. Each local church is in Christ (Gal 1:22; 1Th 2:14). Here are a few examples of local churches which were in Christ: A. The church at Philippi (Phi 1:1). B. The church at Colosse (Col 1:2). C. The church of the Thessalonians (1Th 1:1). 7. A person may be in Christ in election, in Christ's death, and in regeneration, but if he is not in the local church which is the body of Christ, he is missing out on an essential part of being in Christ where the Holy Spirit dwells (Joh 7:37-39 c/w Act 2:1-4 c/w 1Co 12:13). VI. In Christ Practically 1. Those who have be baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Gal 3:27). A. You are in whatever you put on. B. If you are in a coat, then you have put on the coat. C. If you are in the church which is the body of Christ, you have put on Christ. 2. Those who have received Christ should walk in Him (Col 2:6). A. Doing so will cause you to be rooted and built up in Him (Col 2:7). B. We will find completeness in Him (Col 2:10). C. Complete adj. - 1. a. Having all its parts or members; comprising the full number or amount; embracing all the requisite items, details, topics, etc.; entire, full. D. God has given pastors to help in this process (Eph 4:11-14). i. Edify v. - 1. trans. To build; to construct 2.c. fig. To build up, establish, organize (a system, institution, or law, a moral quality, etc.), to establish or strengthen (a person). ii. Perfect v.- 1. a. trans. To bring to completion; to complete, finish, consummate; to carry through, accomplish. E. This is why is it essential to be in Christ, both in the church and practically. 3. Christians who are already in Christ in all the previously shown ways are exhorted put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 13:14). A. This is putting on Christ in practice. B. It's not making provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts, but rather denying it (Luk 9:23). C. Putting on Christ and abiding in Him means walking as Jesus walked (1Jo 2:6). D. If we abide in Him, we won't be ashamed at his coming (1Jo 2:28). 4. Putting on Christ in practice isn't always easy. A. Those who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2Ti 3:12). B. You may be evil spoken of for your good conversation in Christ (1Pe 3:16). C. If this happens to you, rejoice (Mat 5:10-12).
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