The concept of being “In Christ” is a foundational statement throughout all of Scripture, especially Paul’s letter to the Ephesians – in fact, the entire book revolves around understanding your position IN Christ.

In this expositional study of Ephesians 1:3, we examine the phrase “in Christ” found throughout Paul’s letters and discuss three aspects of being in Christ that are foundational for the life of a Christian.

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Key Passage: Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ …”

    • the heart of the epistle … used 34 times in the first 3 chapters
    • used 12 times just in the blessing section (12 verses)
    • someone said that “in Christ” is found 160 times in the Bible
  • EN: contains the primary idea of “rest”
    • eis: to go into or unto
    • ek: to come out of or from
    • en: implies no motion, but remaining in place

3 Aspects to being “In Christ”:

  1. Induction – How do we get “In Christ”?
    • Romans 5-6 says that it is through the work of Christ upon the Cross that you find the means of salvation.
    • Ephesians 2:1-4 … “dead in your trespasses and sins” … “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), …” Paul goes on in verse 8 and says again, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God …
    • Romans 10:9,13 – “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. … For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
    • Acts 15:11 – “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved …”
    • Acts 16:31 – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved …”
    • John 20:31, John gives his reason for writing his book and he says, “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
    • Romans 6:11 declares, I “reckon” (which is an accounting term meaning to count, to take into account, to determine, and apply) the death and life of Jesus as my own. His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and life are now mine.
    • In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul says, “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” He continues in verse 21 giving the answer to why this is possible: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
  2. Indwelling
    • There are two sides to being IN Christ — both are essential to the Christian life.
    • My life IN Christ … and Christ IN me
    • Galatians 2:20 declares, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
    • Colossians 1:26-27 says, “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
  3. Identity – our identity becomes Jesus

In Our Next Study Together …

I invite you to join me on this journey from the book of Ephesians to discover God’s eternal purpose, His plan for your life, and learn how to practically live out an abundant and fruitful Christian life. 

  • Focus of our next study: Ephesians 1:4
  • We will examine the concept of being chosen before the foundation of the world – found in Ephesians 1:4
  • I encourage you to read through Ephesians a couple of times this week and focus specifically on the blessing section found in Ephesians 1:3-14.

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The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series

The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series in Ephesians is an in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. These studies will guide you through this life-changing book of the Bible and give you practical application to help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, experience the victorious Christian life, and help you build your life around Jesus Christ. 

About NRJohnson 

NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps Christians discover and experience a passionate love for God and His Word so that they can grow in their faith, live victorious lives, share the Gospel boldly, grow in their intimacy with Jesus, and transform the world through the indwelling life of Christ.
Read more about him here.

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