Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
The place was probably Phillipi, and it was about the latter part of A.D 56, when the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the saints in Corinth. His purpose was to expose deceitful workers and to defend his apostolic ministry. From the text I want to focus on the phrase “In Christ“. Particularly, I want us to zoom closer on the word “in“.
To the casual reader, the word IN can be viewed as just a small word. One syllable in pronunciation. It contains just one vowel and one consonant. However, the word “In” though having only two letters is a very dynamic, powerful, often used and therefore an important word in our vocabulary.
Let me remind us of a spiritual lesson when it comes to perception. Without God small things will remain as simply small, but with God in our periscopic lens small can be tall. While some will see tiny my God will see shiny.
Jesse & Samuel learnt this lesson in 1 Sam. 16:7 when he went in search of whom to anoint. When Samuel saw the older children of Jesse he said surely the LORD’s anointed stands here. But God responded
Do not consider his appearance or his height…. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart – 1 Sam. 16:7
Goliath saw a ruddy boy (1 Sam 17:42-43) as an insult of a challenge and the disciples only saw five loaves and two fishes as insufficient (Matt. 14:17)
In the same way with a limited perception of the word IN we may miss the dynamics at hand and how powerful a word this is.
The word “IN”
- It can be used as an adverb,
- it can be used as a preposition,
- it can be used as a noun,
- it can be used as an adjective and
- it can be used as a prefix.
As we explore the topic of “Are you in?” I want us to examine four (4) points.
- I want to be in
- How to be in
- I want to stay in
- Let us Begin
I want to be in
I want In because being In is powerful, dynamic and changes things. In as an adverb can be used to express the idea of moving closer to a target. Paul said
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:14
We are advancing towards a heavenly destination.
In as a preposition can be used to express inclusion and involvement. Paul said
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: – Ephesians 1:3
I want to be numbered among the saints who are working to be mature, perfect candidates for heaven. I want to be in heavenly places in Christ having access to all spiritual blessings.
In as a prefix changes the meaning of a word. It usually adjusts the word to mean the opposite. Examples. God is incapable of lying (Num. 23:19; God is indestructible (Ps. 147:5). As you see when in is placed before a word it changes things. As Christians (In people) we are in this world to change things for good. We are the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13).
How to be in
Know ye not, that so many of us that have been baptize into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death – Rom. 6:3
For as many of you as have been baptize into Christ have put on Christ – Gal. 3:27
A careful look at both passages shows the importance of baptism in our relationship with being clothed in righteousness which is being In Christ.
I want to stay in
In Christ, we have been made new (2 Cor. 5:17), the old sinful lifestyle was washed away as a result, we should walk in the newest of life. This is a daily pathway, a continuous journey, an everlasting covenant and a blessed fellowship.
Staying in Christ requires us to be steadfast, unmovable and always abounding in the work of faith (1 Cor. 15:58).
I want to encourage everyone to Begin your journey in Christ. We must begin singing, begin fasting, begin praying, begin serving, begin working, begin studying the word, begin increasing in faith, begin growing. If we are going to help people get out of sin, we need to begin preaching, begin evangelizing, begin teaching, begin living faithful to the call. For too long so many of us have been lagging behind on the back bench! It’s now time to begin getting involved, begin being interested, begin testifying about the goodness of the Almighty God. Let’s Begin being fully In!