Part 6 of 7
The Liberating Blessing of Being “In Christ”
Most Christians think they need to be delivered from sin, from the world, from the flesh, etc., and they do, but this is not to be accomplished by human self-effort. Our freedoms come by our “believing,” by trusting Christ alone for our salvation from perdition... and then by trusting our union with Christ in both His death and His resurrection life as the basis of our new life.
All genuine believers are “in Christ” from the moment they are “saved by grace through faith…NOT OF WORKS.” If our salvation is “by grace through faith,” and Paul says “the LAW IS NOT OF FAITH” (Gal 3:12), then “the Law” has no direct part in our salvation. Thus, believers are freed from the burden of “the Law” (Rom 6:14b, 7:4a, 10:4). This initial freedom from “the Law” is the very basis for believer’s to enjoy many other freedoms; some noted here below.
- Paul, “the Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom 11:13) says; “…you are NO LONGER UNDER THE LAW but under GRACE” (Rom 6:14).
- Being “crucified with Christ” (Gal 2:20), we are freed from the dominion of “the Law” (Rom 7:1b)
- Being freed from “the Law,” we are thereby freed from the “dominion” of the Sin nature (Rom 6:6-7, 14; 7:4a; 8:2b). Being free from “the Law,” the Sin nature has become disempowered (1Cor 15:56b).
- Being free from “the Law” we are freed from “condemnation” (Romans 5:16-18, 8:1a). “The Law (had) stood against us” (
2:14 AMP), such that our condemnation came by “the Law.” Col
- Being freed from the penalty or “wages of Sin,” which “is death” (Rom 6:23), we are freed from “the fear of death” (Heb 2:15). We are no longer under the curse of “the law” (Gal 3:10, 13) or the sentence of death under “the Law” that was placed upon all those of
who did not “keep the whole law” (James 2:10). Israel
- We are freed from the control of other men (2Cor 9:19 AMP). We now willingly serve our one Lord and Master (Rom 6:22, 1Cor 7:22).
It is only by believers being “in Christ”… and then subjectively walking in union with Christ that they are made free to enjoy their freedom from all these Sin-related evils.
Believers need to know these Biblical truths. Otherwise, it’s no wonder that those believers who would still cling to “the Law” and “the works of the law” would lack the assurance of their salvation. Such a one, no matter how long they have been saved, obviously does not yet see the absolute total worth of being “in Christ”; so they generally lack the peace and rest that comes with the assurance of eternal security of being “in Christ.”
All the benefits of Christ’s cross are ours by being “in Christ.”
Let’s now consider further what it is to be “in Christ.”
1) Initially, to be “in Christ” is simply positional, applying to all who genuinely believe from the moment of their salvation. Believers are “in Christ” once and for all time by means of having been placed into Christ’s body. 1 Corinthians 12:13a For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body (of Christ)… where our life now is “hid with Christ in God” (
3:3). All who are “in Christ” are eternally saved from wrath, judgment, and perdition. Col
Being “in Christ,” we have within us “the riches of glory of the inheritance” that is in Christ (Eph 1:11-18).
2) But there also is a personal aspect of being “in Christ,” which is subjective or dispositional.
This aspect of being “in Christ” is another dimension of living. We as individual souls are then said to be “in Christ” when we live in a submitted position, as being willingly disposed to be slaves or servants of the Lord. The Lord frees us and then is working in our lives to bring us to a willing union with Him who dwells within our spirit as the Lord of our life.
1 Cor 7:22 (AMP) he who as a slave was summoned in [to union with] the Lord is A FREEDMAN OF THE LORD, just so he who was free when he was called is a bond servant of Christ.
First, to be “a freedman of the Lord,” we need to hear and “know” the truths of our freedom that are gained by the cross and enjoyed by our willing union with Christ. We need to be delivered for self-reliance and self-performance under “the Law”… if we are to trust and follow Christ leading us from within.
Paul’s “mystery” gospel (Greek. musterion, secret gospel) is the basis of our individual union with the Lord. This is the “mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations”; until Christ first revealed these truths to Paul for us (Eph 3:1-2). Paul at that time received revelation of the truth and significance of God’s eternally planned “mystery” (Eph 3:2). “The mystery” revealed to Paul for us today is the truth of our union with Him… “Christ IN YOU the hope of glory.”
Colossians 1:26-27 Even THE MYSTERY which hath been HID FROM AGES AND FROM GENERATIONS, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of THIS MYSTERY among the gentiles; which IS CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY:
Paul’s words below reveal the importance and “power” of “the mystery”, which had been “kept secret since the world began.”
Romans 16:25 Now to HIM THAT IS OF POWER to STABLISH YOU according to my (Paul’s) gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of THE MYSTERY, which was KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN.
Gal 2:20a I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST LIVETH IN ME….
Paul says we are “established” only as we experientially learn to rely upon the truth our union with Christ, of “the mystery” of Christ within us as our new life. Christ’s all sufficient indwelling life is versus “the Law.” Here the Apostle Paul clearly says the outer written “Law” cannot “give life.”
Galatians 3:21b Is “the Law” then against the promises of God? God forbid: for IF there had been A LAW given which could have given LIFE (the vitalizing spirit life), verily (then) righteousness should have been by “the Law”.
The living, liberating, and empowering “law of the Spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus” within the believer’s spirit (1Cor 6:17) is the key to living the righteous Christian life. 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.
Note here the contrasts between the outer written “Law” and … the indwelling “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ.”
1. Those that live by “the Law” do not live by faith. “THE LAW DOES NOT REST ON FAITH [DOES NOT REQUIRE FAITH, HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FAITH]…” (Gal 3:12a (AMP)
But believers who rely upon Christ’s cross and His “Spirit of life” within can say as Paul;
“…being JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” (Romans 5:1)
“that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, NOT having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but POSSESSING THAT [GENUINE RIGHTEOUSNESS] WHICH COMES THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith. (Philippians 3:9 (AMP)
2. Outer written Law-keeping promotes outer doing by means of soul-self effort; … while Christ’s Life is innermost, within the believer’s spirit; prompting, guiding, restricting, and empowering the believer.
3. The written “Law” is dead, powerless, fruitless (Rom 7:5-6); … while Christ’s limitless life is empowering, spontaneous and fruitful. Christ’s “Spirit of life,” as an indwelling living law, works within the believer to regulate those who trust and rely upon Him to lead them (Rom 8:14).
Let’s now examine God’s purpose in the outer written LAW a little further.
Romans 7:7 (NASB) What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I WOULD NOT HAVE COME TO KNOW SIN EXCEPT THROUGH THE LAW; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
- “The Law” (the outer, written law) is intended… to expose sin and reveal our utter inability to live righteously due to the indwelling Sin nature. I do not condone sinning but it is clear that God is not deterred from His purpose by our sins and failures – Christ’s blood took all our sins away; past present and future sins! What mother is deterred from loving her child because he messed his diaper, or because he fell and skinned his knee? Children are to grow and learn.
- God uses “all things,” including “the Law” and our failures to show us our need to rely upon Christ as our life. Romans 7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But SIN, THAT IT MIGHT APPEAR SIN, working death in me by that which is good; that SIN BY THE COMMANDMENT MIGHT BECOME EXCEEDING SINFUL.
- God uses “the Law” to expose our overwhelming Sin problem in order to convince us that we are hopeless within ourselves and that we need another “LIFE,” a LIFE that is capable of righteousness – we need to receive and rely upon Christ’s own “Spirit of life.”
It is in this way that “The Law” works for the good.”
Galatians 3:24-25 Wherefore “the Law” WAS (formerly) our schoolmaster to bring (push us) us unto Christ, (so) that we might be justified by faith. 25but AFTER THAT FAITH (TRUST IN CHRIST) IS COME, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A SCHOOLMASTER (LAW).
The Christian’s failures under “the Law” should “turn” him from “the law,” and toward trusting Christ’s life within to lead, guide and empower him as the Lord or governor of his life. When the believer is turned to trust the Lord, then “the Law” has done its job!