Right at the core of the New Testament we find Jesus Christ. Everything centers on Him. Whatever subject comes up, one will find Jesus right there. Everything that we need comes from, by, and through Christ. He has done so much for us that it is difficult to put our appreciation into words. Paul captured this best when he wrote, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift" (2 Cor. 9:15). Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3). He has made salvation possible. He set up an institution in which we can worship and serve God acceptably (Heb. 12:28). When we enter into a relationship with Him we find ourselves on the receiving end of a multitude of things provided for our benefit. This relationship is often referred to in the New Testament as being "in Christ." We will study this relationship and its benefits today/tonight.
I. The Relationship.
A. Christ and the church are inseparable (Eph. 1:22-23).
B. When one is a member of any organization or institution, that person is in a relationship with the organization and its head.
1. Not one, but many individually (1 Cor. 12:14, 27).
2. Each acts according to the head (Col. 1:18).
II. The Benefits.
A. All spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3).
1. This shows the completeness of these benefits. All are in Christ.
2. Without Christ there are no spiritual blessings.
B. Grace (2 Tim. 2:1-2).
1. The most sought thing in the entire Bible is favor with God.
2. Jesus is the avenue of Gods grace (Jn. 1:14; Titus 2:11).
C. Salvation (2 Tim. 2:10).
1. He came to deliver salvation (Lk. 19:10).
2. He has accomplished what He set out to do (Jn. 19:30).
D. Eternal life (1 Jn. 5:11).
1. He is the forerunner of eternal life (2 Tim. 1:10; Jn. 14:3-4).
2. Eternal life is impossible without being in Christ.
E. Redemption (Eph. 1:7).
1. Redeemed, or bought back, from the realm of sin.
2. Jesus paid the price of redemption (1 Peter 1:18-19).
F. Forgiveness (Col. 1:14).
1. Blood necessary to forgive sins (Heb. 9:22).
2. Christs blood shed for this end (Matt. 26:28).
G. Righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21).
1. Righteousness is doing the right thing ("rightwise").
2. He has demonstrated righteousness for us (Rom. 3:25-26).
H. Love of God (Rom. 8:39).
1. Love toward Jesus is same as love toward God.
2. Love them, keep their commandments (Jn. 14:15; 1 Jn. 5:3).
I. New creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
1. This has reference to being born again (Jn. 3:3, 5, 7).
2. This is about "newness of life" (Rom. 6:4).
III. How To Enter This Relationship.
A. Faith in Christ (Gal. 2:16).
B. Baptism into Christ (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3).
C. Corresponds to Mark 16:16.
So much done for us, so much available for us. What is asked of us is small in comparison. Why not do what is necessary today/tonight for you to be in Christ.
By Terry Sanders
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