The phrase “in Christ” is one of the most important, yet most overlooked in all the New Testament. Understanding the meaning of being “in Christ” is paramount to understanding Ephesians 1 and fending off many of the religious errors of the day.
Ephesians 1:1-14 contains at least seven references to being in Christ (including related phrases: (“in Him,” in the Beloved”). As one must be “in Christ” to be a new creation, one must also be “in Christ” to be:
- A saint – “to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus” (v 1);
- Be a recipient of “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (v 3);
- Among those “chosen before the foundation of world” (v 4);
- Made accepted before God (v 6);
- Have redemption through His blood and the remission of sins (v 7);
- Be gathered to God with all things in heaven and earth (v 10);
- Obtain God’s inheritance, being a part of God’s great plan (v 11).
Now, understanding the process by which one gets into Christ sheds light on all of these passages and chases away the darkness of error.
Galatians 3:26-27 teaches that we are in Christ when we are baptized (immersed) into Christ. Thus, one must be baptized into Christ:
- To be a saint;
- To be the recipient of all spiritual blessings;
- To be chosen of God;
- To be made accepted before God;
- To have redemption/remission of sins (cf Acts 2:38);
- To be gathered to God (cf 1 Cor 15:23-24);
- To be an heir to God’s inheritance (cf Gal 3:29).
Long story short… One must be baptized into Christ!