In Christ

ILLUSTRATION:

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  •  How do you find security in life?

  •  Many people find their security in the three “G”s – gold, guns or grub (food stocks).
  • Others find their security in real estate like their homes or in their stocks and bonds.
  • Some find it in the Government, the police, or the military.
  • And some find security in education or in their friends – like the number of friends on facebook.
  •  This morning we are going to look at the source of true security – the Lord Jesus Christ and our position in Him.

KEY VERSE:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

BACKGROUND:

  • There are many up and down Christians
  • There are many who have various doubts
  • As a result many live an inconsistent Christian life plagued by these feelings of doubt and insecurity
  • Today’s verse is the key to overcoming these feelings and living a consistent life
  • This key to consistency is found by realizing who we are in God’s sight and the full extent of what He has done for us

96436507 Do you live a consistent life – always being on target?

OUTLINE:

”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3

            God [OUR SOURCE]

            every spiritual blessing [OUR SUCCESS]

            in Christ [OUR SECURITY]

I  OUR SOURCEsource

God chose you – in eternity past (1:4)
God loved you – even when you were dead in sins (2:4) God gave you new life – made alive with Christ (2:5)
God seated you – with Christ (2:6)
God displays you – to the host of Heaven (2:7)
God keeps you - He is able (3:20,21)
and,
God blesses you – our verse

II  OUR SECURITY

The expression “in Him”, or “in Christ” occurs over 100 times in Paul’s heavenly letters.security

What does “in Christ” mean?

“in  Christ” means a believer partakes in all that Christ has done, all that He is before the Father, and all that He ever shall be. The moment a person is saved, God views that individual as being “in Christ“. He stands before God in all the acceptability of Christ Himself. This is positional truth; the believer’s spiritual condition can never alter this.

Born in Adam, reborn in Christ: (1 Corinthians 15:22)

Adam – the source and substance of our natural life
Christ – the source and substance of our new life

inchrist Adam Deactivated and Christ Activated: – only one

Rest in the objective reality that you already possess
God’s unconditional love for you = His love for Christ
God’s unwavering acceptance of you = His acceptance of Christ
No condemnation (Rom 8:1)
No separation (Rom 8:35-39)
Christ’s righteousness = attributed to you (2 Corinthians 5:21)

IN CHRIST:

We were chosen in Him (Eph. 1:4)who_i_am_in_christ
Our redemption and forgiveness is in Him (Eph. 1:7)
His will for us is found in Him (Eph. 1:9)
Our inheritance is in Him (Eph. 1:10, 11)
We were sealed by the Holy Spirit in Him (Eph. 1:13)
We are complete in Him (Col. 2:10)
We are enriched in Him (1 Cor. 1:5)
We are made holy in Him (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 1:2)
We have no condemnation in Christ (Rom. 8:1)
We have victory in Christ (2 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:37)
We are free in Christ (Gal. 2:4)
We have eternal life in His Son (1 John 5:11)

III  OUR SUCCESSimagesCAWBA3F6

SUCCESS – What is it?

  • Dictionary: Favorable outcome,  accomplishment of the end aimed at
  • Biblically: Enjoying God’s presence

SUCCESS – Where is it found?

  • With Christ In the Heavenlies (the heavenly places)
    A real place – where Christ is now (Eph. 1:20)
    Your present place – seated with Him there (Eph. 2:6)
    The place of your success – every spiritual blessing

Your success is secure

APPLICATION:

The Bible makes clear that the things we think about control our actions and feelings. One aspect of being made in the image of God is that we have a mind to know God, a will to choose God, and emotions to love God. With our mind we think about various situations and circumstances which arise and have to choose what course to take. In the natural sense our will is voluntary. On the other hand our emotions are involuntary.  When we hear of a situation, either wonderful or tragic, our emotions are automatically stirred.

Thus, our thought life controls our actions and feelings and not the reverse. This principle is stated in Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks so he is.”

This principle is also consistent with modern science which has determined your brain develops neural networks based on what you think. These networks control how you act. This can be illustrated in many situations in life.

Examples:

David and his slingnormal

Consider the skill involved in slinging a stone to hit a very small target. With much practice your mind has to be programmed to automatically release the sling at the exact point. David had this practice – he had killed both a lion and a bear (1 Samuel 17:37). In Guinea West Africa today, young boys have the task of spending their days slinging stones at birds to chase them from their crops. It is only with this continuous practice that their brain is programmed to know how to do this.

Sports

Consider the skill of the professional athlete. The quarterback has to anticipate where his receiver is going to be to hit him with a pass. In hockey, a cross rink pass made between two speeding skaters has to be precise. The batter has to coordinate his swing in such a way to hit a fastball. All of these things are developed by much practice until it becomes automatic. Even in these cases not every pass or hit will be succesful.

Memory

Memory is a pure mind function. Some of you may have played the game of placing 30 objects on  a tray, looking at them for 30 seconds, and then writing them down from memory. For most people it is difficult to remember half of the objects. However with training and a memory trick you can learn to remember all 30 items and can even remember them a day or week later. You are thus programming your mind.

Many of us have difficulty remembering peoples names. Some people can remember a persons name the first time they hear it. They have programmed their mind to do so by practice and using certain techniques.

Mathematics seems to be a lost art today, particularly with the younger generation unless they have a calculator or computer. You can do all sorts of mathematical things solely with the use of your mind and practice. When we are at the grocery checkout I quickly add up the cost of the items and usually come to within a dollar of the actual total. Or if I am planning to build a shed I calculate the amount of conrete needed or lumber in my head. Again this is an example of how our mind, which has been created by God, is such an amazing control center of our being.

Application:

The Bible gives us a number of exhortations as to our mind and what we should be thinking about.

1.     Renew your  mind (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23) –  transformed by the indwelling Holy Spirit

Notice that Romans 12 begins with the connecting word ‘therefore’ which points back to what has already been discussed. It does not seem to refer to chapters 9 to 11 which refer to Israel as a separate issue, but seems to refer to Romans 6 to 8 and so continues the subject of the Christian’s identity in Christ. The exhortation in Romans 12:1 is to present our bodies to God and in Romans 12:2 to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Renew your mind by thinking about your identity in Christ.App1

2.     Be of the same mind as Christ (Phil. 2:2) – emptied, bond servant, humbled Himself, death

The exhortation of Philippians 2:2 is to adopt the same mind as Christ in His incarnation.  In verse 5 we are to have the same attitude as Christ had. He humbled Himself and became a man and suffered the death of the cross.  We too are to humble ourselves and be willing to suffer for Him.

Adopt the mind of Christ to be willing to suffer for Christ.App2

3.   Guard your minds (Phil. 4:7) – Think about these things -true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, etc.

In Philippians 4:7 we are exhorted to guard our minds by thinking about the things in verse 8. Notice that each one of these things that we are to think about can be related to Christ. He is the one who is true, He is worthy of our honor, He is right and without sin or any fault, He is the one who is pure and lovely, He is the only one who is impeccable, He is excellent, and He is the one who is worthy of our praise.

Guard your mind by thinking of Christ.app3

4.     Set your mind on these things (Col. 3:2) – What things – Your position in Christ

In Colossians 3:2 we are exhorted to think about heavenly things. We are to think of the glories of heaven. In Revelation 1:12 to 20 we have an image of the heavenly Christ to meditate upon. In Revelation 4 and 5 we have the scene in heaven around the throne. In Revelation 21 and 22 we have the picture of our future state in heaven. These are the kinds of things we are to think about. Ephesians chapters 1 and 2 present your secure position in heaven.

Think about the glories of you being with Christ.App4