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What Does it Mean to be “In Christ”?
As we look more into the idea of being a faith prepper, one of the key elements to understanding our position in Christ is to get a firm grasp on our union with Him. After all, it seems the most common phrase in Scripture regarding our position is “in Christ” or “in Him”. But what does that mean? And what kind of union with Christ does that phrase imply?
Let’s put on our theology hats for just a moment and look at the two types of unions spoken of in Scripture about Christ.
Two Types of Union
First, we can see our union with Christ as a federal (head) or covenantal union (called Federalism). Romans 5:12-21 shows each of us as being in Adam before salvation and in Christ after salvation. And God established Adam as a representative or federal head of the human race. If Adam continued in righteousness, we would also have been considered to have continued in righteousness, being in Adam. But if Adam sinned, we too would be considered as also having sinned, being in Adam. This is where we begin to understand original sin.
If Adam sinned and fell by the transgression of God’s command, then we would also be considered to have sinned in him and Adam’s sin judgment and subsequent death would pass on to each of us. And, as we know, Adam did sin and death was passed on to each of us. This is the proof of our identification with Adam.
But Jesus did not sin and, by living a perfect, sinless life, not only demonstrated for each of us a practical and perfect righteousness in His own life, but He also died for us who would be united to Him in faith. See 1 Peter 3:18 ––“the just for the unjust”.
Thus, those judged sinners because of Adam’s sin are now declared righteous because of Christ’s righteousness. Our sin was imputed to Him and His righteousness was imputed to us.
Therefore, because He is justified, we are justified. Because He is raised, we are raised. Because He is exalted to heaven, so are we. And because He now sits at the right hand of the Father in glory, so also are we seated.
Second, we can describe our union with Christ as an experiential union with Him. This refers to the actual effects in us of our relationship and union with Christ. It’s how our union with Him relates to us in real-time. It is like positional vs practical sanctification. And we can see most clearly it in Jesus’ teaching about the vine and branches in John 15.
Let me suggest you turn to John 15 in your Bible and read along as you listen to this teaching. Why? Because knowing who you are “in Christ” is a fundamental first step in becoming a faith prepper. And becoming a faith prepper is a necessary first step to becoming the kind of believer you will need to be to navigate the times that are coming.