March 25- A New Position In Christ

In my last blog I illustrated how much secular psychology has infiltrated the church. A good theology must precede a good psychology since everything emanates from God. As I transition from theology (a study of God) to psychology (a study of the soul) keep in mind the apostle’s warning in Col. 2:6-10. Every Christian is a new creation “in Christ,” which stands in stark contrast to the natural man that secular psychology seeks to understand. The prepositional phrase “in Christ,” “in Him,” or “in the beloved’ is one of the most repeated prepositional phrases in the Epistles. The phrase occurs over forty times in the book of Ephesians alone. It means that our soul is in union with God, and we cannot fully understand who we are without that connection.

Every stage of our sanctification is made possible because we are alive “in Christ.” We are to be firmly rooted “in Him,” in order to be built up “in Him,” which makes it possible to live “in Him” (Col. 2:6). Being alive and free “in Christ” is the basis for the apostle Paul’s understanding of how to live the Christian life. In sending Timothy to Corinth, the apostle said, “He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Cor. 4:17).

“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his son (1 Jn. 5:11), and Paul speaks of “the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:1). “In Christ” are “faith and love” (1 Tim. 1:14), “grace” (2 Tim. 2:1), “salvation” (2 Tim. 2:10), “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3) and God’s “riches in glory” (Phil. 4:19). Paul says that it is because of God’s work that Christians are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, “our righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). One can only say, “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” (Eph. 1:3).

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority” (Col. 2: 9,10). “Have been given” is past tense. Every believer is already “in Christ.” Being rooted in Christ refers to our positional sanctification which is the basis for our progressive sanctification. As believers, we are not trying to become children of God, we are already children of God who are in the process of becoming like Christ.

Paul is contrasting the means by which we live and grow in Christ with the human traditions of the world. “Hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and basic principles of this world” (Col. 2:8) cannot reproduce in us what only the life of Christ can. Paul says, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13), and Jesus says, “apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5).

Dr. Neil

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