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Discovery Magazine 4/01/2012

Victory "In Christ"!

by  A.P. Staff

God’s law in the New Testament makes it clear that, as far as salvation is concerned, there are basically two groups of people—those who are “saved” from their sins (those “in Christ”) and those who are “lost” (those “outside of Christ”). [A third group would include those who, like very small children or those who are mentally challenged, are neither saved nor lost. Instead, they are in a “safe” condition because, due to their current mental state, they cannot tell right from wrong and have not sinned. They also cannot understand, believe, and obediently respond to the Gospel. They do not enter into our discussion here.]

The group of the people who are “in Christ” is composed of those who are Christians. They have “purified their souls in obedience to the truth” (1 Peter 1:22-23), have been “born again” (John 3:3-5), and continue to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). This category consists of the saved—those who have done exactly what God commanded, in exactly the way God commanded that it be done. Thus, they are “in Christ” (Romans 3:24). As Paul told Timothy: “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). As a result of their relationship with God and His Son, those in this group have access to all spiritual blessings, which are found only “in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). It is only when a person is “in Christ” that he or she has “forgiveness” (Colossians 1:14), “redemption” (Romans 3:24), “salvation” (2 Timothy 2:10), and “eternal life” (Romans 6:23).

If a person is not “in Christ,” then he or she is “outside of Christ” and in a lost state. Anyone who is mentally mature, and who is old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong (that is, the difference between obeying God or sinning against Him), must respond to Him in one way or another. If that person has not responded by faith in obedience to God’s saving grace by being baptized into Christ (which is the only way we can get “into Christ” and have our sins forgiven—Read Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3-4, and Acts 2:38), then he or she remains in sin and thus is “outside of Christ.” According to the apostle Paul, any person who fits into this category is in a lost condition and will remain there until he or she obeys the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).

The choice is ours. Will we choose to obey God by hearing His Word (Romans 10:17), believing in Christ as His Son (John 3:16), repenting of our past sins (Luke 13:3), confessing His name before men (Romans 10:9-10), being baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38), and living a faithful life (Revelation 2:10)—thus being “in Christ” and destined to live in heaven? Or, will we choose to be a rebellious sinner who lives “outside of Christ” and is destined to live in hell?



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