Understanding abiding in Jesus is probably the most soul satisfying concept in the Bible, after knowing the selfless love of Jesus’ sacrifice. However, these two concepts; the sacrificial love of God and being unified with Jesus are not entirely distinct from each other, but are like two sides of the same of coin. I believe it was for the Father’s highest glory to save mankind for eternal union. God was pleased to save us and bring us into the deepest levels of intimacy within the Trinity.
Ephesians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus.”
IN-DEPTH STUDY OF “IN HIM”
“IN HIM” USAGE BY PAUL: The terms “in Christ Jesus,” “in the Lord,” “in him,” etc., occur 160x in Paul’s writings; 36x in Ephesians (Fire Study Study).
DEFINITION OF IN HIM: “In Christ” means that the believer is now united with Jesus through a personal relationship and lives within the realm of his character, influence and purposes. Union with Christ is the Christian’s new environment; everything the believer does is within the context of his or her relationship with Jesus and should reflect his influence and leadership. “In Christ,” his followers are constantly aware of their Lord’s presence and companionship. Because this relationship is so deep, Christians’ lives are seen not as their own, but as Christ living in them (Galatians 2:20). This personal unity and companionship with Christ is the most important thing in the Christian life and experience. Union with Christ comes as a gift of God through faith (Fire Study Study).
“IN HIM” USAGE IN EPHESIANS: I found it used in its variations 33x.
- Chapter 1:1,3,4,6,7,9,11,12,13
- Chapter 2:6,7,10,13,15,21,22
- Chapter 3:6,11,12,21
- Chapter 4:13,21,32
- Chapter 5:8
- Chapter 6:1,10,21
“IN HIM” IN EPHESIANS 1:1-14: See if you can count how many times Paul uses the terms, “in Christ Jesus,” “in the Lord,” and “in him,” in the passage below.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 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. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Click here for the sermon series on, “Abiding.”
“IN HIM” BASED ON JESUS’ TEACHINGS IN JOHN
John 15:1-12, 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Abide [remain] in me, as I also abide in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must abide in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not abide in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and abide in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
PUTTING THE “IN HIM” TRUTH INTO PRACTICE
- BELIEVE: 1 Corinthians 6:17, “1 Corinthians 6:17-18, “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.”
- CONFESS: “Christ is in me and I am in Him, I am seated with Him in heavenly places, blessed with every spiritual blessing. I am united with Jesus in my spirit and am holy, complete and perfect in Him.”
- PRAY FOR DEEPER UNDERSTANDING: Ephesians 1:17-18, “17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.”
- CONTEMPLATION: 1 Corinthians 2:16, “’Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.'” Concrete, abstract and ecstatic dreams and visions. John of Damascus said, “God inhabits, through the mind, the bodies of saints.”
- ACTION: Ephesians 4:22-25, “22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore each of you must…”
God the Son joined Himself to human nature, that we might by joined to His divine nature. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.