"In Christ" is mentioned 88 times in the Holy Bible (ASV), including the 49 times we see "in Christ Jesus" used . This alone should give us a good indication of the importance of this critical phrase. Its meaning, is the standard by which real Christians must live and which all mankind shall be judged.
Does it pay to be a Christian? What advantage is it? Why should I be a Christian? These are all important questions to be answered.
In the New Testament, those who obeyed the gospel of Christ became Christians.
Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
No one is a Christian merely because he endorses Christianity. Each person must subscribe to the conditions required by Christ and obey from the heart before he is made free from past sin and is a child of God and eligible for eternal life.
Romans 6:3 Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life., 17 But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; 18 and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness.
Let's look at six reasons why every human being, able to sin, should be in Christ:
#1. TO BE SAVED-
No one can be saved without being in Christ. If so, Jesus died in vain.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.
From what is a Christian saved from?
What is Sin?
Sin is failing to hit the mark that God has set for us.
Jesus' own brother, James, writes that one who errors from the truth is a sinner, James 5:19-20
The Apostle John declares that sin is a transgression of the Law in 1 John 3: 4 Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. This is sin against God almighty Himself.
The prophet Isaiah writes: Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." Isaiah 59:1-2
The result of sin is death! Oh yes we all will die sometime but here we are talking about spiritual death because we have separated ourselves from God. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:17
Adam lived on for almost 800 years but he was dead to God when he disobeyed Him. How many of us are in that condition now?
James again writes For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also James 2:26
The most important consequence of sin to remember is that all those who remain in its guilt will spend eternity "in the lake of fire which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death" Rev 21:8
Surely we all wish to escape so horrible a fate, don't we?
Lets read some more scriptures from the Bible, the only place we get Gods authority and direction.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God, in his wondrous love and grace, provided us an escape from sin's consequences. John 1:29 On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!
Jesus Christ is the sacrificial lamb offered to make amends for our sins
It is His Blood, shed on the cross, which will remove the guilt of our sins.
Matthew 26:28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
It is only being "In Christ Jesus" that you really can call your self a Christian
The Christian life is a changed life. It is a new life. It means to be saved from the practice and quilt of sin. 1 John 2: 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. God wants us to quit loving sin, and to stop the practice of sin.
Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
After a person ceases to live a life of sin, the fact remains that he has sinned in his past life. How does one get rid of the guilt of those sin's?
Jesus wants to forgive us of this guilt. He will do so, if after believing that he died for our sins and that he is the Son of God, we will repent, confess our faith and be baptized for the remission of sins. Acts 2:38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins;
also see Mark 16:15,16
When a person obeys Jesus and does what he tells us to do... then and only then does one become a Christian. Then one is truly on the journey to eternal life with Gods blessing and His ear. Only then can your prayers have hope.
Being in Christ, and thus being a faithful Christian, saves one from the fear of death. Jesus said: "And fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28. The true Christian can meet death with courage and hope.
1 John 4: 18 There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love. If our souls are prepared to meet the Lord, death is only a gateway into a better world.
To be in Christ, is to be faithful to the Him, to live close to Him, to love Him
We will be judged by the gospel, (Romans 2:16); by the word of Christ, (John 12:48); by the things written in the books, (Revelation. 20:12).
Jesus saves us from hell; but he saves only the obedient. Hebrews 5: 9 and having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation . If a person wants to escape the punishment of hell, he can do so by becoming a Christian and being loyal to Christ thereafter. Our ONLY hope is in Jesus who delivereth us from the wrath to come.
#2. TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD.
As shown earlier, sin separates man from God. ( Isaiah 59:2 )
To be reconciled to God, one must become a Christian by getting into Christ, into his body which is one and the same thing. One becomes a new creature and is reconciled to God in Christ.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians. 5:17-19
Reconciliation to God is in Christ, and Paul says that both Jew and Gentile are reconciled to God in the "one body"; and this one body of Christ is the church of Christ Jesus. (Ephesians. 1:22,23; 2:16). Until one is in Christ, he is a rebel against God, separated from God.
Reconciliation to God is in His body
1 Corinthians 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
#3. TO ENJOY ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS.
All spiritual blessings are in Christ. Ephesians. 1: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. One must be in Christ before he can enjoy them. We get into Christ by faith and baptism, Galatians 3: 26 For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.; and the obedience that puts us into Christ makes us Christians.
In addition to being saved from past sins, a Christian is a child in the family of God, and an heir to a heavenly home. When we are in Christ, we can truly pray and say, "Our Father who art in Heaven." Through prayer we receive strength, peace of mind, forgiveness of sins, and all petitions scripturally presented that God sees best to grant.
#4. TO ENJOY GENUINE HAPPINESS.
No one can be genuinely happy without hope; and no one can have a true hope unless he is in Christ. Solomon, the wise king of Israel, in his search for happiness, tried the pleasures of this life to his heart's desire; he tried wealth unsparingly; and he tried wisdom. And he came up with this conclusion: "This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard; Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of men, for God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes. 12:13,14.
"For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Timothy. 4:8
#5. TO BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
Jesus said to his disciples: "Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
(also look at Phil 2:14,15)
No one can be the right example and influence in the world unless he is in Christ. If you are merely living a clean moral life, your light is not shining for Jesus because you have not obeyed His requirements. You are not wearing His name, you are not a member of His church.
Jesus wants us to be Christians. He loved us with an immeasurable love, and died that we may be saved, wear His name and follow in His steps. His disciples were called Christians first in Antioch (Acts 11:26), and thereafter. (Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).
There is not a person on the face of the earth that has scriptural authority for wearing the name Christian, unless they are in Christ. Christ is uttered every time the word Christian is spoken. We ought to be Christians to honor Christ our Saviour. Since we are commanded to glorify God in this name, love requires that we obey. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. Jesus also said, "If a man love me, he will keep my word." John 14:23.
#6. TO REACH HIS BLOOD.
No one can go to heaven in his sins, according to (John 8:21). "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Rom. 3:23. No one can be saved without receiving the benefits of the blood of Jesus. "For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Matthew 26:28
John 19: 34 howbeit one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and straightway there came out blood and water.
Romans 6: 3 Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
Therefore, a good moral man, who the world counts good, cannot be saved without having his soul cleansed by the blood of Jesus. The things Jesus commands a person to do to become a Christian bring him into contact and benefits of the blood.
Jesus has gone to prepare a place for the obedient and faithful, "for I go to prepare a place for you." John 14:2. He teaches that we should be ready, watching, and waiting, for we know not the day nor the hour when He is coming again. Nor do we know when death may snap up our lives.
The only wise thing to do is to be ready when the summons is given. "For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens." 2 Corinthians. 5:1.
"For we have not here an abiding city, but we seek after the city which is to come." Hebrews. 13:14.
HOW TO GET INTO CHRIST AND BECOME A CHRISTIAN ?
Do we fully understand how to become a Christian?
In the first place a person must be lost... in need of salvation. Jesus said " the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost ". Luke 19:10. So, babies are not included because they have not sinned and are not lost. Also, a person must want to be saved; and he must be willing to submit to the Lord's terms of pardon in the following order:
Don't go Beyond What Is Written-
"Prepare to meet thy God..."(Amos 4:12)
"For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad," (2Corinthians. 5:10).
" Not every one that says, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 7:21).
"Only those who hear and obey Christ are building on the rock. Those who hear and refuse to obey are building on the sand." (Matthew. 7:24-27).
Are you following men or Christ?
88 Scriptures on "In Christ"
What are the first principles of a Christian?
Where can I study more about God and His promises?