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You are Included in Christ!



And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Ephesians 1:13a


Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach due to being excluded from a relationship or a group? I have!


Being included feels awesome. It boosts our fragile self-ego. Sometimes, we clamor for inclusion into all sorts of groups - a particular circle of friends, a club, an honor society, or even a ministry in the church. Striving for inclusion can wear you out very quickly (trust me, I've been there).


However, no matter what you have ever desired to be included in, STOP! take a deep breath and rest in the assurance that if you are a believer, you have been included in Christ and belong to Him.


Nothing compares to being included in the Kingdom of God through Christ. The requirement is acceptance of God's open invitation in John 3:16. Those who receive Christ and believe in His name are given the right to become children of God (John 1:12) and belong to Him eternally.

What does it mean to be included in Christ?


To discover who we are as children of God, we need to understand the phrase 'in Christ.' These two powerful words appear multiple times in the Epistles (the letters written to the church and to you as a believer). Sometimes, the expression 'in Christ' is used. At other times, similar expressions with the same meaning, such as 'in Him,' 'in whom,' 'through whom,' 'through Christ, ' etc. are used.


Below are five biblical implications of our earthly and eternal realities 'in Christ.'

1. 'In Christ' explains our relationship with God through Christ

Christianity is based on a personal relationship with Christ. Before we were in Christ, we were in sin, separated and alienated from God (Ephesians 2:1-2). However, God loved us so much that he devised a plan to take away this nature of sin in us and give us His nature of righteousness through faith in the finished work of Christ upon the cross. The result is that we become His children and enjoy fellowship with Him.

So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith. Galatians 3:26

In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:5

2.'In Christ' explains our identity as children of God

All that we are and all that we have is based on the truth that we are 'in Christ.' Our self-esteem should never be based on our outward appearance, level of education, financial status, children, spouses, etc. Our self-esteem and self-expression, instead, should be based on our position as children of God through Christ Jesus.

For in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

3.'In Christ' means that because of Jesus, we are victorious

God has empowered us through Christ to fulfill our calling in life. No plan of the enemy over us will ever stand.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loves us. Romans 8:37

4.'In Christ' points to Jesus as the key to the abundant blessings and resources which God has provided to us as His children

He has provided everything we will ever need (both spiritual as well as physical needs) and deposited them into our accounts. The key to the reservoir of our blessings is found in Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 '

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:20

5.'In Christ' also implies that we are vitally connected to Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit, our lives reflect the life and nature of Christ

On our own, we can do nothing, but because we are 'in Christ,' the Holy Spirit who lives and dwells in us enables us to walk in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation: old things have passed away: behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17


Conclusion

Our identity, self-esteem, self-expression, self-worth/the value we place on ourselves should never be based on anything else but solely on who we are, what we have, and what we can do 'in Christ Jesus.'

This article is only the tip of the iceberg and obviously does not address all 'in Christ' scriptures. I strongly encourage you to start a personal study by reading through the Epistles and outlining all the relevant verses you find.

My prayer for us is that as we discover each treasure, we will accept and believe God's Word so that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will consistently think, talk, and act like those who have been included 'in Christ Jesus.' Amen.


- Dr. Chizobam Idahosa (a wife, mother to three beautiful girls, and a dentist specialized in oral medicine and orofacial pain. In 2015, she founded Beautiful in Jesus, a Christian ministry born from her journey toward inward beauty and maturity through the Word of God. We invite you to read more at BeautifulinJesus.com.)


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