What It Means to be “In Christ”
The Bible uses the union of marriage as a picture of the union of Christ and his church. In fact, the Bible calls the church “the bride of Christ.” As Christ loves the church, so a man should love his wife. As the husband and wife are united in marriage, so Christ and his people are united in an inseparable bond. As a bride identifies herself with her husband, so God’s people identify themselves by their union with Christ.
We’ve been considering this matter of Christian identity in our Summer Sermon Series. Thus far, we’ve seen that Christians identify themselves as those made in the image of God, as children of God, and as the people of God. This is who we are; this is our identity.
Today I want to consider another aspect of Christian identity. We must identify ourselves as those who are “in Christ.” If you are a Christian, you are “in Christ.”
What does it mean to be “in Christ”? Paul uses the expression “in Christ” or something like it over 160 times in his letters. This is clearly an important principle that we should understand. In fact, being “in Christ” is one of the most significant parts of Christian identity.
Quote: Every aspect of God’s relationship to believers is in some way connected to our relationship with Christ. From God’s counsels in eternity past before the world was created, to our fellowship with God in heaven in eternity future, and including every aspect of our relationship with God in this life—all has occurred in union with Christ.
Once you know who you are in Christ, you then know how you should think and behave. Sadly, many people don’t know who they are in Christ and they don’t know what being in Christ means. They don’t know how it affects their identity, their view of themselves. We need to know who we are in Christ so we can do what God expects us to do.
What does it mean to be “in Christ,” and how does that affect our identity?
 Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004), 840.