The New Testament uses the phrase "in Jesus" or in Christ" over fifty times. Where used, we find promises and special relationships with Jesus and God. But what does the prepositional phrase mean? How are we "in" Jesus? Jesus is not a building, room, or an area like a city or state that we can be in. He is not an organization that we can belong to or be in - like in the Crumb Taster Club. Taken in context being "in Jesus" makes little sense.
The translators use two Greek prepositions en and eis that they translate as "in." Strong's Concordance gives a few more meanings than "in" which I will give at the end. Some translators say "in union with for en. That translation makes better sense than in." But it is still not really clear.
The best way to think about being "in" Jesus is to think about detective stories. The detective tries to get inside the mind of the criminal. That is exactly what we must try to do - get inside the mind of God and Jesus. ". . . [B]ut we have the mind Christ (1 Cor 2: 16) How do we get the mind of God or Jesus?
Two ways: 1 - We study and memorize God's Word. Whatever God says reflects His thinking, His mind. God's spoken thoughts express who He is. When we read what God has said we have gotten into His mind. When His Word becomes a part of our mind, He is in us.
And 2 - "All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them." (1 John 3:24) When we act on God's Word, we abide in Him. We are of one mind - God's.
Since Jesus is the living Word of God, we have his mind when we study the gospel and act on what Jesus tells us to do. Then we are "in" Jesus.
In Union with Jesus
When we have the gospel as part of our mind, our language and our very being, we know Jesus' love for us. He died for our sins. His life giving blood was sacrificed for us. This blood cleansed us from all our sins. And once cleansed, we are able to come into God's presence in prayer.
No greater love exists than a person, Jesus, dying for another. We know that nothing can separate us from Jesus' love because he proved that he was willing to accept and die for our sins. When we accept Jesus sacrifice and are determined to live by Gods Word, we become a part of the living church of God. This church is called the body of Christ of which he is the head and we the rest of the body; thus we are in Christ, metaphorically speaking.
(See: Rom 8:39, 12:5, Gal 3:26, 28, Eph 2:13,3:6)
Believing in Jesus
Most people believe in God. Few believe God, that is, believe and act on what he says. The Bible says that we should have the same kind of faith in Jesus as Abraham had in God. Abraham believed God, believed His promises. When we have the faith of Abraham, we believe in the promises that Jesus made possible for us. We believe that through Jesus's sacrifice and death we obtain eternal life.
In some cases, the Greek says that we ought to believe in the Jesus. The name Jesus comes from the Roman for Yeshua, or Joshua. The Hebrew meaning for Yeshua is savior of God. Thus, Jesus is the savior from God. Then when we believe in the Jesus we are accepting him as God's savior.
Further, when we believe in the Jesus Christ, God's savior, the Messiah, we accept his authority over us. Jesus' authority comes from his love of God, whose will Jesus always accomplished, and his demonstrable love for us. Love releases the power of faith in the Jesus Christ.
Our faithful relation with God comes from the love Jesus has for God and us. That love is poured into our hearts as we embody God's Word, when we have the mind of God and Jesus manifested by the Word.
When we believe in the Jesus Christ and all that entails, God considers us righteous. God sees us as righteous, not because of our intrinsic nature or actions but because Jesus made us his own with his nature imposed on our human (evil) nature. God sees Jesus' righteousness, not our unrighteousness because we have the mind of Jesus.
Not only is Jesus' righteousness stamped on our minds, so too is his wisdom. Clearly, Jesus provided redemption and sanctification. His blood cleansed our sins, made us white and holy before God. His Word surely is powerful when we begin to make it ours.
(See: John 12:11, Acts 24:24, Gal 5:6, 1 Tim 1:14, Rom 3:22, :26, 1 Cor 1 :2, :30.
Redemption from the Christ
Physiologists will tell you that the higher parts of the brain have ascendancy over lower parts. Linguists add to this fact by pointing out that the higher or more complex language controls the lower or simpler language. Greater ideas take over lesser ones. As we read and learn more, our younger simple language, while never disappearing, takes a back seat to the newer more intricate language patterns.
We have the mind of Christ. The Bible has the greatest ideas, to put it in modern language. Its pattern of thought is higher than any other. Naturally, it is Gods pattern of thought. In fact, as I have mentioned before, God made our brains to be most compatible with His thinking. On the other hand, when we try to fit Satans way of thought into our heads, our minds lose clarity, sanity, goodness and light. The demons thought patterns destroy our minds and our way of life. The more people adhere to this aliens mind, the less human they become.
Jesus redemption, when we accept his thought pattern, overwhelms our old, destructive ways of thought. While the old thoughts continue to exist, our diligence in renewing Gods engrams in our minds, overpowers the atavistic ways of our past. But, be aware that the older thoughts can make a comeback, to a certain extent, if we fail to bring these thought into subjection each day.
Jesus has authority over sin, sickness, Satan and death (and even weather). But his authority over these things in our lives depends on our willingness to put his words into deeds.
We are weak, we slip, we make mistakes, we get confused, and we become deceived. God understands our weaknesses. He, therefore, extends his grace to us, so that we may repent. God is unwilling to let anyone who shows the slightest interest in following his way to fail. He will do all it takes to change a person's character until it reflects His. If His Word is not sufficiently absorbed and acted on, He will allow circumstance to be a harsher disciplinarian. We saw how God allowed the ancient Egyptian gods wreck havoc on their lives as each extorted a terrible price for faith in them. The river god turned to blood, locust gods attacked, the sky god killed with huge hailstones. Each god worshipped turned on them and maimed, destroyed and killed. We do not need our gods, our unbeliefs and sins, to attack us because we refused to be led by God's Word. Yet, God will do what it takes to get us to act in faith, to implicitly trust Him and the Christ He sent to save us.
When Jesus' blood finally heals our minds and body, God's chesedness, His lovingkindness, will be praised forever. The God, the Creator of the heavens and the Earth, the One who so loved the world, will be adored and worshipped forever and ever. Amen.
Alive to the God
God, the Creator, breathed into Adam - and us at birth - the breath of life. God is the life-giver. His great plan for the children that He created in His image was eternal life. But, as we all know, sin interfered, apparently, with His plan. But really He knew that Adam and Eve would sin. He planned for the inevitable with begetting for Himself a son and savior. We know this because God revealed His mind to us in His blessed Word.
We have the mind of Jesus. We have the mind of God. We know what Jesus did for us. We know how he took our sins and died in our place. We know that God's justice was satisfied. We know that God's mercy was satisfied.
We know that we died to sin when we were buried with Jesus in baptism. We are dead to sin - the law of sin and death ended with the death and resurrection of Jesus. We have a new heart and a new mind renewed with our Bible study each day.
Jesus saved us almost two thousand years ago. We had nothing to do with our salvation accomplished two thousand years ago. We can only receive this grace from our ever-merciful God when we repent and live in the newness of life.
The God who gives us our every breath of life, also breathes His Spirit giving eternal life into us with inspiration of God's Word because God breathed eternal life into His Word. But first our human body must die, as the seed must die before it gives life to the plant, for our body to sprout into the new creature God has in mind for us. In Adam all die, but in Jesus we can have eternal life in the resurrection.
We are free, thank God, free at last. God gave us the mind of His beloved son and transferred us into the Kingdom of God. In fact, God considers us forever alive and seated with Him in heaven right now.
On that fateful day in the future, Jesus will come with the heavenly host to resurrect all who are his. God gave him the authority to bring Christians into the Kingdom of God.
So we are alive to God. Let us not forget that sin has no dominion over us because we have pledged our liege loyalty to the one God and His only begotten son Yeshua, the Messiah.
(See: Rom 6:11, :23, 8:2, 1 Cor 1:30, 15:22,2 Cor 2:14,5:14, Gal 2:4, Eph 1:12, :20,2:6, IThes 4:16, 2 Tit 1:1.
Supply Every Need
When Jesus' mind has taken over our evil thoughts, our wayward ways and given us his mind, we know that God will supply our every need.
We need not belabor the fact that God gives us our every breath of life and Life. We need not say that He will give us food, clothing, shelter. We need not elaborate the love God has even for the evil doers and gives them rain in due season. We are awash in His love. How could He not take care of us? Did not God give Jesus the authority to feed the hungry, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the possessed and calm the angry storms? Did he not, I say again and again, die for us? We are not alone ever. He is forever with us.
We need to set our minds on the things that are good things of the Bible. We need to fix God's Word in the forefront of our thinking and ignore the unfruitful ways of the world. What ever is good, whatever is pleasant, whatever shows God's grace and love - think on these things.
(See: Phil 4:19)
The Promises of Being in Jesus
The foundational promise of being Christians is knowledge of God's plan of salvation. Even the prophets of old did not know what God revealed through His son. God reveals to us through His Word, the power of His mind, the mystery of His very will. God teaches us the truth of His Word. These instructions offer the hope of salvation from Genesis to Revelation. Knowledge of God's Word makes us wiser than our teachers.
God's Word reveals to us that we need the faith of Abraham: we ought to believe not only in God but believe His promises and act on faith in appropriating them. We Gentiles have the same access to God as the children of Israel when we have the faith of Abraham. More! We, because we have the faith of Abraham when we believe in Jesus, accept His authority and have his mind, ascend to height of being sons of God. We are no longer enemies, no longer slaves of sin, but the very members of the God-family.
We have every spiritual blessing according to our needs and God's will. Among these blessings are speaking in tongues, preaching, teaching, serving, prophesying. Do all speak in tongues, preach, and teach? God gives these gifts to those whom He will.
But there is a better spiritual gift that will never fade or be rescinded. That gift is poured into our hearts. It is called love: patient and kind, never jealous or boastful, never arrogant or rude, never insists on its own way, not irritable or resentful, but believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. God gives us every spiritual blessing including the most important, love.
The greatest promise that our being in union with Jesus having his mind is the gift of the Spirit that God gives to those who obey Him. First God created humanoid creatures many millennia ago. Then He formed Adam from the red clay of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life. Afterward he raised mankind up another step toward sonship by imbuing him with the Spirit of God, the greatest power in the universe, which is activated by the Word of God.
With all these gifts and with all the help of God through Jesus, we become His workmanship with tasks that God sets out before us. God gives us the duty of being kind, tenderhearted, proactively loving all we come in contact with. We bless those who curse us, we live at peace, we heap coals of fire and overcome evil with good..
(See: Eph 1:9,4:21, Col1:9, 2 Tit 3:15, Phem 1:6, Gal 3:14, 3:22, Eph 1:3, 1 Cor 12:1-11, 1 Cor 13, Eph 2:10,4:32, 1 Pet 3:16.
This newsletter is complete with seven topics. (Seven is the number of completion.) It is God's will that we give thanks in all circumstances. The psalms give us a model of thanksgiving. And God's Word adds that we obey Him out of thanksgiving. So those who are Christians, who have the mind of Christ, who are in union with him, and those who are en Christ cannot help but praise God and give Him profound thanksgiving. We must not withhold any- thing from God because He did not withhold anything from us - He gave us His only begotten son.
(See: 1 Thes 5:18)