“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
On the day that I write this blog, I am leading a bible study focusing on Ephesians 1:3-14. In this text the most repeated word is the word “in”. Verse 4 says, “he chose us in him before the foundation of the world.” Verse 6 says, “he has blessed us in the Beloved.” To be in Christ is to take refuge in him. I like to think of the Ark during the flood of Noah. We, like Noah, take refuge in Christ, our Ark, to avoid the wrath of God and to have life abundant.
Christ in Us
In Galatians 2:20 Paul speaks about Christ living inside of him. Jesus also speaks of this in John 15:5, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” When a person repents and places their faith in Jesus, His Spirit indwells in you. The indwelling of Christ causes you to live out your new life in a way that reflects your newness of life. It is the Spirit of Christ that causes you to love him more than the things of this world. It is the spirit of Christ that gives you peace in the midst of trials. It is the Spirit of Christ that provides the strength to endure in the midst of sin and persecution.
This is similar to Christ being in us, for Christ being in us causes us to become like Christ. All true disciples of Christ begin to look like their master. 1 John 3:16 says, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” We mimic our Messiah. When the world sees true Christians, they should see the attributes of Jesus shining in our lives.
Another way to understand our Union with Jesus is that Christ is always with his disciples and will never separate from them. In Matthew 28:20 as Jesus sends his disciples into the world he says, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” No matter how high the waters get, the Shepherd is always with his sheep.
All of these truths point us to the centrality of Jesus in the plan of God. Ephesians 1:7-10 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”