What’s It Mean to Be In Christ? A Study of Ephesians 1
Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? If so, you have become a new creation. Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” Part of that new life affords you certain rights, rights that belong to you because you are “in Christ.”
The Bible mentions being “in Christ,” “in Him” or “in whom” 134 times. And while we don’t have time in this article to cover every blessing afforded you as a believer, let’s take a few moments to study Ephesians 1, so we can better understand what it means to be “in Christ.”
Read Ephesians 1 (KJV).
Verse 4 states that every believer, including you, was chosen “before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” What do you think it means to be “holy and without blame”?
How does that affect you personally? In your own words, describe what it means for you to be “holy and without blame.”
Is there something in your past, some sin or failure, that has held you back from accepting God’s forgiveness, something for which you have been unable to forgive yourself? How does this verse change how you view that sin or failure today?
Verses 7-9 say, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.” What do these verses say that Jesus’ blood provided for you?
What part do you play in receiving these gifts? Can you do anything to deserve or earn them?
Now look at verses 15-23:
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”
The Apostle Paul writes that he is praying that the Ephesians, and every believer, receive “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling.” Does this mean that Jesus is only interested in having brought salvation to you, or does God want to impact every area of your life?
What does Paul want your eyes, as a believer, to be enlightened about, regarding Jesus? (verse 18)
To whom is Jesus’ exceedingly great power directed? (verse 19)
What position does Jesus hold? Is there anything stronger, bigger or more influential than He is? (verses 20-23)
Verse 21 states that Jesus is above every name, including every name in this world. How does this work with what we learn about Jesus in Isaiah 53:4-5? What are the names of this world that Jesus is above? Grief? Sorrow? Iniquity? Disease? Strife?
Is there any issue in your life that seems too big for Jesus? If so, ask the Holy Spirit to show you Jesus’ perspective on that issue.
As a child of God, you have certain rights, certain benefits that belong to you—redemption, holiness, wisdom, healing, peace, righteousness, provision and more. Let this study be the beginning of an exploration into what it means to be “in Christ.” And if you haven’t yet, be sure to read the article, “How to Find Yourself in Christ.” Jesus has so much He wants to reveal to you and so much He has provided for you. Don’t miss an ounce of what your Lord and Saviour has to offer you!