What will you do in the New Year? Do you make resolutions or pick out a word to guide you? For me, I like to look to a word or phrase that can guide me through the year. This year, in light of COVID and all the unexpected challenges of 2020, I decided to focus on staying “in Christ.” So, for the year 2021, I want to align my life and thoughts with God, so I feel prepared for whatever comes my way.
The Meaning of “In Christ”
What does the phrase “in Christ” mean to our faith? I found these words on the C.S. Lewis website.
“To be “in Christ” does not mean to be inside Christ, as tools are in a box or our clothes in a closet, but to be organically united to Christ, as a limb is in the body or a branch is in the tree. It is this personal relationship with Christ that is the distinctive mark of his authentic followers.”(https://www.cslewisinstitute.org/In_Christ_page1)
We also find this phrase used by Paul throughout his letters in the New Testament. Paul used the term more than seventy-five times to express his thoughts. If Paul thought these words so important, then maybe I need to explore his ideas on them.
Surrender our old selves
To start this study of the phrase, we should begin with the central theme of the statement found in the verse below;
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”2 Corinthians 5:17
We become new creations when we unite with Christ. Our old way of living goes away. We no longer want things from our past that pull us away from God. We surrender our former lives to Him, and God exchanges them for something better. But, what do we get in return?
Let’s dig into some of Paul’s Bible verses to see how a life in Christ brings us a better way of living. We will look at six key themes.When we are in Christ, we lose the things that weigh us down in life and gain blessings, forgiveness, redemption, unity, grace, and heaven. Click To Tweet
In Christ, we become blessed. We find one example for this in Ephesians 1:3; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”
We receive forgiveness. Paul shows us this in Ephesians 4:32; “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
We become redeemed, righteous, and holy. We find these benefits in 1 Corinthians 1:30; “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”
We become united. Once again, Paul offers us this reflection in Galatians 3:28; “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
We receive grace. We turn to 2 Timothy 1:9 for this gift; “He has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”
We will go to heaven. Paul shows us the ultimate reward for a life lived in Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:16; “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”
When we are in Christ, we lose the things that weigh us down in life and gain blessings, forgiveness, redemption, unity, grace, and heaven. Sounds good to me. I want to use this year and become organically connected to Christ and deepen my relationship with Him. I want to follow the examples set by the Apostle Paul and be “In Christ.”
Abba, Father. Thank You, Father, that I am a branch united to you, my Lord Jesus Christ. May Your life flow through me like the sap flows through the limbs connected to the source. Fill me with Your fullness so that I may live and move and grow and bear fruit as I abide more and more in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Yvonne M. Morgan, author, blogger, and speaker.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Click here to purchase my books:
40 thoughts on “In Christ”
I pray we all will lean to Him and be “in Christ”. Happy New Year!
Happy New year Melissa and God bless
Finding peace “in Christ” is so reassuring in today’s world.
It is so needed. We need to be In Christ and on our knees for peace to return. Thanks Janice and God bless.
Thank you for unpacking this phrase!
Thanks Ava. Have a blessed day.
There are so many rich treasures we have when we are “in Christ.” Unity with him and fellowship with him forever are the most precious and powerful blessings we could ever hope or wish to have. Thank you for sharing these great and precious promises we have in Christ Jesus, Yvonne.
Thanks Melinda. He is our source of hope. We need Him now more than ever. Thanks and God bless.
In Christ we are safe… we have rest… we can do ALL things. He is our refuge and our strength! Amen. Such a hopeful message!
We all need hope right now as we try to share the love of Christ with those around us. So many are filled with anger. Thanks Jessica and God bless.
Waiting to hear that shout! Great post, Yvonne!
Amen. Thanks Nancy. God bless
Yvonne, love all your “we received” and “we become….” and especially the meaning of in Christ by C. S. Lewis! Such a powerful post and focus for us all in 2021!
Amen. CS Lewis is one of my hero’s of faith. Thanks for commenting and God bless.
A time of rest and renewal. How refreshing. Thank you for this encouraging blog.
Thanks Dawn. I appreciate your comments. God bless.
I love your guiding phrase for the year. The quote from CS Lewis to be “organically united in Christ” is a perfect way to look at it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Thanks. After our 2020 and the stress, I learned I needed to be more in Christ to maintain my peace and joy. Thanks Mary. God bless.
Such a powerful message to begin the new year! I pray that I stay connected to vine and continue to remain always “in Christ.”
If we stay connected to the vine, our year will be blessed. Thanks Carla and God bless.
I love how you display that being in Christ leads us to offloading our burdens. Important always, but especially so as we unload a heavy year and look forward with hope!
Amen Rachel. In Christ, we can get through the good and the bad. May the Lord bless you this year.
In Christ we live, mve, and have our being. Given the challenges of the past year and most churches going virtual, it’s expedient that we remain focused on being in Christ.
So very true Betty. Praying in Christ, that this year is better for all of us. Thanks for visiting and God bless.
Abiding in the Vine is definitely the best place to be right now. Thanks for this encouragement Yvonne!
Thank you Ava. May you always stay in Christ. God bless
Beautiful message, Yvonne! May I surrender more of my old self to be renewed in Christ. What a joyful promise!
Amen. Thanks so much. God bless
Beautiful! I have focused on being ‘Hidden in Christ’ and LOVE how safe that makes me feel in Him. Wonderful post sweet sister …
Thanks my friend. I love being hidden in Christ. It feels so safe and secure. God bless Donna
I feel like I’ve had a good word here! Thank you for helping me focus on all of our benefits in Christ.
Amen my friend. I so appreciate it. God bless you Laura
Beautiful post, Yvonne. Being in Christ is rich with goodness and gracious benefits. Your post made my spirit soar.
Wonderful to hear Pam. There is so much grace in Christ. Thanks and God bless.
“in Christ” is such a powerful phrase. I appreciate so much how you listed out, based on scripture, all that we have in Christ!
Thanks Summer. I appreciate you adding your thoughts. God bless
Amen! Thank you for this blessing, Yvonne! God bless and happy new year!
Thanks Sheryl. God bless
This is such an awesome post on being ‘in Christ ‘. My word for the year is ‘trust’ and I love how God works it into my life. It certainly is entwined with being ‘in Christ’. There is so much more peace and power when we surrender our lives to Christ and rest and remain in Him.❤️
Amen Karen. We find our real peace when we stay in Christ. Thanks for commenting and God bless