Coming in April – Lord, Teach Us To Pray, daily reflections on The Lord’s Prayer


So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
2 Corinthians 5:17

Do you have a favorite phrase that keeps popping up in conversation? It might be a phrase by which your friends know you or a phrase by which you them. It is a phrase that is characteristically you.

The apostle Paul had a favorite phrase by which everyone knew him: “in Christ.” From the day the risen Christ stopped Paul in his tracks on the Damascus Road, Paul could not stop talking about and writing about the wonder of life “in Christ.” The thought of being “in Christ” possessed him. Paul uses the phrase “in Christ”,in the Lord”, and “in Christ Jesus” for a total of 216 times in his letters. He cannot stop talking about “in Christ” and all that it means.

Paul also delights in talking about “living with Christ” (Romans 6:8; 2 Corinthians 7:3), “being crucified with Christ” (Romans 6:6), “being raised with Christ” (Colossians 2:12; Ephesians 2:6), “being glorified with Christ” (Romans 8:17), “inheriting with Christ” (Romans 8:17), and even “reigning with Christ” (2 Timothy 2:12).

Paul is enthralled by the thought of the believer’s intimate, indissoluble union with the Savior. He explains that each day’s life “in Christ” is the fulfillment of Christ’s promise that “you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). It is no surprise that Paul can so exclaim: “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).

Paul uses this wondrous phrase “in Christ” for everyone who believes in Christ, from the least of us to the greatest. Throughout the New Testament, to be “in Christ” means to be a Christian. Every believer in Jesus lives in an entirely new sphere of existence: “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Here is heaven’s math in which 1+1=1!  

The believer in Christ is “baptized” into His death (Romans 6:3), into His resurrection life (Romans 6:4), and into His ascension to the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20; 2:6). This is how God sees you and me who believe in Jesus: “in Christ”!

This means getting rid of any notion of Christ “up there”. The Good News is that Christ lives in us even as we live in Him. Jesus is with you in the challenges as well as in the opportunities you will meet today. Christ laughs with you as you laugh and weeps with you as you weep. You have been joined to Him as the source of new divine life. The life of the Vine, Jesus, flows through you to produce eternal fruit (John 15:1-5).

You are not trying to do something for God today, but Christ is doing it in and through you. The Gospel is not about you imitating Christ but it is about you participating in His very life. This means that you too can say of this day: “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). What a wondrous, exciting way to live!

A fellow traveler,

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