These references are supplemental to the Wednesday Evening Sermon on 9/12/18.
By my count the phrase “in Christ” is used 78 times in the New Testament. The overwhelming majority of these references are found in the writings of the Apostle Paul (the Apostle to the Gentiles). Seeing as we are gentile Christians who have been adopted into the family of God and made joint heirs with Christ to the Promise of God these references are specifically directed toward us.
Searching through those 78 references, I find 31 scriptures that have something specific to say about you and me. Let these passages minister Grace to you:
Romans 3.24 You are justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8.1 There is no condemnation to you in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8.2 The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made you free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8.39 Nothing can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus your Lord.
Romans 12.5 We being many are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another.
Romans 16.10 You are approved in Christ.
1 Corinthians 1.2 You are Sanctified in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 1.1 You are holy and faithful in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 1.3 You are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 1.10 You are gathered together in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2.6 You sit in the Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2.10 You are created in Christ Jesus unto good works.
Ephesians 2.13 In Christ Jesus you are made nigh to God.
Ephesians 3.6 In Christ Jesus you are partaker of God’s Promise.
Philippians 1.1 In Christ Jesus you are a saint.
Philippians 2.5 You have the mind of God in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1.30 You are wise, righteous, sanctified, and redeemed in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15.22 You shall be made alive in Christ.
2 Corinthians 1.21 You are stablished and anointed in Christ.
2 Corinthians 2.14 You triumph in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5.17 You are a new creature in Christ.
Galatians 2.4 You have liberty in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3.26 You are the child of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3.28 You are one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 6.15 You are a new Creature in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3.3 You are the circumcision in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4.21 You are a saint in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1.2 You are holy and faithful in Christ.
Colossians 1.28 You are perfect in Christ.
2 Timothy 1.9 The grace of God is given you in Christ Jesus.
Philemon 1.6 Every good thing is in you in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 5:11-12 reads:
11 Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. 12 For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
The Bible here says that God “defends” you. As I was reading this passage the Lord directed me to look up the word translated defend in the Hebrew. I found that word means “to entwine as a screen” or by implication “to fence in, cover over, shut up, hedge about, shut in, overshadow.” Now, in verse 12 it says the Lord compasses (or surrounds) us with His favour as with a shield. Now put those two thoughts together and let yourself be encouraged and edified.
You are the blessed of the Lord and He fences you in with his favour. In every area of your life God is working all things together for your good. You are God’s favorite! It may seem like you’re all alone, it may sometimes feel like your lost, but neither are true according to this Scripture. Let the truth of verse 12 (that you are completely surrounded with the favour of God) bring the results of verse 12. Begin to rejoice and shout for joy and be joyful in God. He rejoices in you! He delights to save you and surround you with abundant mercies. You are blessed with all blessings.
Not to be repetitive, but before I move on I just want to encourage you to consider this again: according to this verse you are hedged in, overshadowed, fenced in, and covered over with the blessing and favour of the Lord. If that doesn’t thrill you, what possibly could?
I like to read this passage like this: “Thus saith the Lord: I am His blessed and highly favoured son in whom He is well pleased. I am hedged about, overshadowed, fenced in, and covered over with the favour of God. Now by faith in His Word I rejoice in God. I shout for joy. I am joyful in the Lord my God.” Remember the Bible teaches that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” You start confessing these verses as true of you and you better be ready to get happy! And as that joy fills you up you better be ready to get strong!
Now I think I can hear someone say, “Brother this doesn’t apply to me. It says the Lord will do all this for ‘the righteous’ and I am not righteous. I’ve messed up my life. I’ve made terrible decisions. This applies to some people but it doesn’t apply to me.” Now if you’re thinking that way, or in any of its many forms, you need to let your mind be renewed by 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Jesus to be sin for us…that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
You see by faith in Jesus you ARE the Righteousness of God. Make a decision right now not to talk or think the way you feel or the way you seem to be by your behavior. Instead speak what God speaks, think what God thinks: You are Righteous! Now that’s God word on the subject. You must decide what you believe and who you are going to trust.
You hear a lot of talk today about “fake news.” To be honest, I’m not sure I even know what that means. Furthermore, I am not stupid enough to step out into that minefield! What I’d like to tell you in this post is that there is a “fake good news” out there that tries to get your affections off of God and onto some other thing and ultimately, by extension, onto the god of this world, the devil himself, who is the author of the “fake good news.”
Paul said in Galatians 1.6-7
I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Before I go any further let me say this: the word Gospel means good news. This article would probably be blind to you if you don’t understand that. I am using the word gospel and good news interchangeably.
Notice that Paul said there is “another gospel.” Now he clarified that by saying that there is only one actual and real gospel. However there are some perverted forms of the gospel out there today. And we would do well to remember that the father of lies, perversion, trickery, etc. is none other than our enemy himself, the devil, who comes as an angel of light to deceive and has many messengers and assistants.
Notice that Paul said he was amazed and shocked that the Galatians had “removed from him that called” them. Now this is speaking of God. So then the Bible says these perverted gospels seek to remove us from God and align us with another god. Now let me say not everyone who is out there going after “fake good news” is actively worshipping the devil (or at least they aren’t in their minds.) You see this “fake good news” stuff is tricky. It’s easy to be deceived.
For example, allow me to get practical. While there is nothing wrong with physical fitness, and the Bible does plainly say that “bodily exercise profiteth a little,” I believe that one of the false gospels of our day is the “health” craze. You can easily create a false gospel when you take something good and try to make it something ultimate. Here’s what I’m getting at: there are many people out there who are living and dying (metaphorically) by the number on the weight scale. Now, being a healthy weight is a good thing. But when your weight becomes your ultimate thing, it crushes you. You can’t find ultimate fulfillment in physical fitness. It’s not there. You could be the perfect picture of health, with the ideal weight, but it will not save you or deliver you from the real evils of sin and death or what is wrong with you deep down. Only God can do that.
Another false gospel of our day is worldly wealth and honor. There are people out there who are sacrificing everything on the altar of “their job.” They have lost all other relationships, be it spouse, children, etc. because they are singularly focused on working. They do all this work and they make all these sacrifices because they are seeking ultimate fulfillment in honor, money, power, what have you. The sad thing is that when they get those things they finally discover that they do not satisfy. You can’t find ultimate fulfillment in worldly success.
Now here’s another one that I hope makes us all think: religion. There are countless multitudes who are devoting their entire lives to religious activity in the name of god who actually do not know the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and who do not actually trust on Jesus for salvation. All their religious activity is done to give them a sense of purpose and belonging, to make them feel superior to others, to get them a mansion in glory, so on and so forth. You see the problem is they are one degree removed from the truth. They have gotten near to God but they don’t have God. You can’t find ultimate fulfillment in religious activity. It won’t satisfy you.
The only thing that actually satisfies and fulfills us is “him that called” us into the Grace of Christ. Let’s leave the “fake good news” behind and receive the good news of Jesus. You are the righteousness of God in Jesus. God has made Him to be your wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. God loves you just like He loves Jesus. Jesus ever lives to make intercession for you at the right hand of God. You have boldness and access to God with confidence by the faithfulness of Jesus. Now that’s good news! And that WILL satisfy you.
You were made for God, go after Him who is the way, the truth, and the life.
In Christ I am a faithful saint. Grace and peace are coming to me from God my Father and from my Lord Jesus Christ. I am blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. God chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world. I am holy and without blame in God’s eyes. God loves me. I am adopted as a son to God by Jesus Christ. God’s eternal will and good pleasure is to make me just like Jesus. I am acceptable to God in Jesus. I have been redeemed and forgiven of all sins through Jesus’ blood. The riches of God’s grace abounds toward me in all wisdom and prudence. I am one in and with Christ. I have obtained an inheritance in Jesus and I am sealed with the Holy Spirit which is the earnest of that inheritance. God is thankful for me. God prays for me. I have the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus. The eyes of my understanding are enlightened. I know the hope of my calling. I know the riches of the glory of God’s inheritance in the saints. I know the exceeding greatness of God’s power to me. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is working toward me, for me, in me, and through me. I am seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named not only in this world but in that which is to come. All things are under my feet. Jesus is my head, I am His body. I am the fullness of God.
God loves me with a great love. I am quickened together with Christ. I am saved by Grace. I am raised up in Jesus and made to sit with Jesus in the heavenly places. God shows the exceeding riches of His grace in his kindness toward me through Christ Jesus. I am saved by grace through faith. This is not of myself. I boast in Christ alone. I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath ordained before the foundation of the world that I should walk in them. In Christ Jesus, by His blood, I am nigh unto God. Jesus is my peace with God and man. The law of commandments contained in ordinances has been abolished in the flesh of Jesus. I am reconciled to God. I have peace with God through Jesus. I have access to God by the Holy Spirit through the work of Jesus. I am just as close to God as Jesus is. I am a fellow citizen with the saints. I am of the household of God. I am built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ is my cornerstone. I am fitly framed together in Jesus. I am the holy temple of God in Jesus. I am a habitation of God through the Spirit.
I am fellow heir with Jesus. I am of His body. I am partaker of God’s promise in Jesus. The gift of the grace of God is given unto me by the effectual working of his power. The grace of God is given unto me. I can do whatever God calls me to do because He equips me to do it. Through me God makes known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places his wisdom. I have boldness in God and access to God with confidence by the faithfulness of Jesus. According to the riches of God’s glory I am strengthened with might by His Spirit in my inner man. Christ dwells in my heart by faith. I am rooted and grounded in love. I comprehend with all saints the breadth and length and depth and height of the love of Christ toward me. I know the love of Christ which passes knowledge. I am filled with all the fullness of God. God is able and willing to do exceeding abundantly above all that I ask or think. God’s power works in me and is doing more than I can ask or think.
I walk worthy of the vocation wherewith I am called. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, I forbear everyone in love. I endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. God is through me and in me. Grace is given unto me according to the measure of Christ. I am gifted through Jesus. In the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God I am a perfect man. I am the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. I am not tossed about with every wind of doctrine. I am not deceived or led astray. I speak the truth in love and grow up in Jesus in all things. I am the body of Jesus. He works effectually in me and makes me to increase and be edified in love. I walk in the mind of Christ. I am connected to the life of God. I put off the old man and put on the new man by the renewing of my mind. I am righteous and holy. I put away lying and speak truth with everyone. I do not let the sun go down on my wrath. I give no place to the devil. I do not steal. I work with my hands that thing which is good so that I may have to give to anyone who needs. No corrupt communication proceeds out of my mouth. I speak only that which is good to the use of edifying. My words minister grace to the hearers. I do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. I am sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day or redemption. I put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice. I am kind toward everyone, tenderhearted, forgiving everyone as God has forgiven me.
I follow God because I am His dear child. I walk in love as Christ has loved me. Fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, and jesting is not once named in me. I am known as one who gives thanks. I am not a partaker of the wrath of God. I am a child of obedience. I am light in the Lord. The Spirit produces all goodness and righteousness and truth in me. I have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, I reprove them. Christ gives me light, I am awake and alive. I walk circumspectly as a wise man. I redeem the time. I understand what the will of the Lord is. I am not drunk with wine but am filled with the Spirit. I speak to myself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in my heart to the Lord. I give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ. I submit myself to others in the fear of God. I love my wife as Christ loved the Church. I love my wife as my own body. I nourish and cherish my wife. I am Jesus’ Bride. He nourishes and cherishes me. He has cleansed me by the washing of water by the word. I am a glorious Bride. I have no spot or wrinkle. I am holy and without blemish. I am a member of Jesus’ body, his flesh and bones. Christ left His Father to come for me and now we two have been made one flesh.
I obey my parents in the Lord. I honour my father and mother. It is well with me and I live long on the earth. I do not provoke my children to wrath. I bring my children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I am obedient to them that are my masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling in singleness of my heart as unto Christ. Not with eyeservice as a manpleaser but as the servant of Christ doing the will of God from my heart. I do service with good will as to the Lord and not to men. I know that whatsoever good thing I do I shall receive the same of the Lord. I do not threaten anyone. I am strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. I put on the whole armour of God. I am able to stand against the wiles of the devil. I wrestle against principalities, powers, rulers of darkenss of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. I take unto me the whole armour of God and I am able to withstand in the evil day. Having done all, I stand. My loins are girt about with truth. I wear the breastplate of righteousness. My feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. I take the shield of faith whereby I am able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. I take the helmet of salvation. I take the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. I pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. I watch thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. Utterance is given unto me. I open my mouth boldly and make known the mystery of the gospel. I am a beloved brother and a faithful minister in the Lord. My heart is comforted. Peace and love with faith are coming to me from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace is with me. I love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
The Bible was written for us, but it wasn’t written to us. Now someone may not immediately care for that statement so allow me to explain. The book of Ephesians was written to the Churches in Ephesus sometime in the mid first century. Paul, having intimate knowledge of the Ephesian Churches, sat down and wrote a letter to the people that he knew and loved. (To be completely honest Paul dictated the letter to an Amanuenses - fancy word for assistant). He spoke of things pertaining to their own experience according to his personal knowledge of their lives and affairs.
So the book of Ephesians was written by the Apostle Paul to real people who were living roughly 30 years after the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Therefore, I cannot say that the book of Ephesians was written to me, David King. However, I CAN say, that God in His love for me has preserved this letter that the Apostle Paul penned under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost FOR me. What it says to the Ephesian Christians it also says to me as an individual.
Now the real fun of reading the Bible (if fun is the right word…perhaps thrill would be better) comes when you take the letter that Paul wrote to the Ephesians and receive it into your Spirit as the word that God is speaking to you. After this post, I am going to post the book of Ephesians the way I read it FOR me (and also for you). What I hope this does is show you that reading the Bible is the best thing in the world. Nothing can bring joy, pleasure, excitement, and every other good thing like reading the Bible in the first person can and will do for you as it does for me.
Take the time to go through the Bible and bring it into the first person. Apply the Bible to your own situations! God is speaking to you and you can hear from Him. The Bible says that these “exceeding great and precious promises” have the ability to make us “partakers of the Divine Nature.” So taste and see how good the Lord is.
By the way, let me say briefly, there is a passage of scripture that everyone reads in the first person and therefore everyone loves and cherishes. It is the 23 Psalm. Notice it doesn’t say, “The Lord is a shepherd. Those who follow Him shall not want.” No it says “The Lord is MY Shepherd. I shall not want.” I believe that’s why we are so crazy about that passage. I mean seriously, we don’t know anything about sheep, more than likely we have never even met a Shepherd, but we are in love with a Psalm written from the perspective of a Shepherd! It’s not the shepherd’s perspective that excites us. It’s the first person perspective that excites us. You can do that with all Scripture! It may not have been written originally to you but it has been preserved for you and it applies to you today just as much as it ever has applied to anyone at any time.
Here are the Pastor's Blogs that have been uploaded to Facebook over the past month.