Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So, to become a Christ-follower, known as a Christian, it involves being in Christ. Let us examine what this means.
In Christ starts with FAITH
In Acts 24 (v24), as he explains what he believes to the governor Felix, and King Agrippa, “Paul ... [spoke] about faith in Christ Jesus.” Hebrews 11 explains that faith is a deep seeded belief based on the evidence presented. Paul consistently presents this evidence to convince others to believe in who Christ Jesus is, and what Christ Jesus did. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the promised Messiah who saves people from their sins, the second person of the Trinity (making Him God). Jesus Christ did the sacrifice necessary as the perfect Lamb of God to pay the penalty for our sins, defeating death and the devil, once and for all time for those who accept this great gift. Faith, being convinced of these facts as presented in God’s Word (the Bible), is what starts the journey of living in Christ.
In Christ is true LIFE
Romans 6:11 says, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” When you have accepted the gift of salvation from God, provided by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, you may then consider yourself truly alive! You see, life is not about the blood pumping in your veins (that is physical life), but rather about the blood that Jesus shed for you, making possible a right relationship between you and God the Father. This is true life, and our true purpose. We were created for this relationship, then given the choice. Since there is a choice, many choose to not have this relationship, and it has become a part of our nature to refuse this beautiful gift. What Jesus Christ did, removed the barrier our sin creates between us and God. Despite the fact that we do not stop sinning (yet), Christ’s sacrifice washes away all sins, for those who receive His forgiveness. Just as faith was key to starting the journey, so repentance is key to moving forward to true life. Each time we sin, we must recognize that it is sin (confession), then seek to turn completely away from that sin (repentance). This is living under God’s “umbrella” of forgiveness. It is a recognition that we need to depend on God for the power to live right according to His standards (righteousness), and that what Christ Jesus did covers us in the courtroom of God’s justice. Choosing life, means choosing to reject selfish desires, and following God’s direction.
In Christ provides BLESSING
The Bible is clear, from cover to cover, that truly living as God intended as great benefits, which the Bible calls blessings. The first blessing of living in Christ is justification before God. Romans 3:24 says, We “are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” This means that God sees your slate as clean, as long as you live under the ‘umbrella’ of forgiveness. The resulting blessing of living in Christ is that no one, not even the devil, can condemn you for anything! Romans 8:1-2 explains, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” This is a call for us to live in freedom! We who are under the ‘umbrella’ talked about earlier, are free from any condemnation. This is also a reminder that we are not to condemn others! Judgment is up to God, and is directed at those who choose to not be under the ‘umbrella,’ or in Christ.
What a wonderful life it is to be in Christ! So many benefits. We must also remember the dangers of not being in Christ. All those things we have, provided by Jesus Christ, do not belong to those who choose to not be in Christ, who step out from the protection of God’s ‘umbrella.’