KNOWING CHRIST BY KNOWING WE ARE IN HIM
A Sermon By Wayne Camp
TEXT FOR SERIES: Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
TEXT: II Tim. 2:10; Rom. 8:1
INTRO: Both of our texts show very important facts that have to do with our subject this morning. The first speaks of the salvation with eternal glory that is in Christ Jesus. The second speaks of the blessed truth that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. There is eternal glory in Christ and there is no condemnation in Christ.
There is perhaps nothing that better speaks of our intimate relation to Christ than the fact that we are in him and he in us. John wrote, Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit (1 John 4:13). Apparently, the Holy Spirit and John felt that it was important that we know of this intimate relationship. Think on those words for a few moment. AI am in him and he is in me. What grace that the Lord of Glory would be willing to dwell in such a one as I am!
In this message we will first establish that this intimate relation is real. Then, we will consider the sense in which this intimate relationship of being in Christ is true. And finally, we will weigh the importance of this intimate relationship with Christ.
I. ESTABLISH THAT THIS INTIMATE RELATION IS REAL
A. Paul spoke of his own situation of being in Christ when caught up into the third heaven. 2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
B. Paul referred to Christians who had died as having fallen asleep in Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
C. Paul declared that one who is in Christ is a new creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
D. Paul addressed the Christians in Philippi as the saints in Christ. Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.
E. Paul addressed the saints in Colosse in the same manner. Colossians 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
F. Paul promises that at the second coming those who are dead in Christ will rise before the living saints will be raptured. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
G. Peter saluted certain saints as being in Christ. 1 Peter 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
H. In the parable of the vine and the branches Jesus spoke of this intimate relationship of our being in Christ. John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
I. John assures us that we can know that we are in Christ. 1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
II. CONSIDER THE SENSE IN WHICH THIS INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP OF BEING IN CHRIST IS
A. There is a sense in which the elect have been in Christ from eternity past.
1. We were blessed in the heavenlies in Christ before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
2. We were chosen in him before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
3. We were predestinated to the adoption of Sons in him before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
4. God raised us up and seated us in the heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
5. He gave us salvation and the calling thereto in Christ before the foundation of the world. 2 Timothy 1:8-9 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
B. There is also a sense in which we were in Christ during the days of his flesh.
1. We were in Christ when he endured the sufferings of the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2. We were in him when he arose from the dead. Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
3. We were in him when he ascended into heaven and in him are already glorified in the mind and purpose of God.
C. There is also a sense in which we are in Christ from the time of our regeneration and conversion.
1. This was when we became a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2. This is when we were created in him unto good works. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
3. This is when we personally obtained the salvation that is with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
4. In this sense one person may be in Christ before another while that is not true in the first two senses we considered. Romans 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
5. This is the sense of this intimate relationship to which Paul referred when he declared that there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ.
a. Every unbeliever is under condemnation before he believes. John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
b. Every unbeliever is under the abiding wrath of God. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
c. When one believes on the Lord Jesus Christ he passes from death to live and from condemnation to a relationship that assures that he can never be condemned. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
d. Those newly brought into this intimate relationship with Christ are new born babes in Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
e. We must be brought into this sense of this intimate relationship through the preaching of the gospel. 1 Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
f. We must be established in this sense of this intimate relationship. 2 Corinthians 1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God.
g. It is to this sense of this intimate relationship that Paul referred when he spoke of the promise of life in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.
III. WEIGH THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP
A. If you were never chosen in him in eternity past you will never be in him in life nor in eternity future.
1. Only those given to Christ before the foundation of the world will come to him. John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
2. Only those chosen in him before the foundation of the world and predestinated to the adoption of sons will ever be sons. Ephesians 1:4-5 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
3. Only those foreknown and predestinated in eternity will be called and justified in time and glorified in the future. Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
B. Unless we are in him we are condemned. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
C. Unless we are in him we have no spiritual life. John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
D. Our sanctification is in Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
E. We are assured of victory by being in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
F. There is no life except in Christ. John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.
G. The salvation with eternal glory is ours only if we are in this intimate relation of being in Christ. 2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
H. The only way we would ever have a righteousness that would permit our entrance into God’s presence is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
I. It is only in Christ that we can live a life of righteousness. 1 John 3:6-9 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
CONC: What a glorious and gracious blessing God has bestowed on us in placing us in Christ in his eternal purpose and bringing us into Christ in our experience. What a blessed and intimate relationship to actually in him and have him in us. I don’t understand all about it but I rejoice in it. I can’t explain it but I know that my entire eternal well-being is dependent on my being in him because only in him is found the salvation with eternal glory.
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Thursday, May 15, 2003