Wednesday - January 5th
Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 1:1-3
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God's holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus.
Nine times in the first fourteen verses of Ephesians, Paul uses some form of the prepositional phrase "in Christ." The phrase defines the central theme of the entire letter Paul writes to the first-century believers in Ephesus. In the first three chapters, He describes our position "in Christ" before God in Heaven now. God sees us covered in the righteousness of Christ. Positionally before God, we are whole and pure - nothing can change that.
In the last three chapters of Paul's letter, he focuses on our walk on earth "in Christ." In contrast to our perfect position before God, our walk or practice here on earth is still a struggle. We wrestle with sin, Satan, and the world. As we walk with Christ daily, we reflect Him more and more. When we are "in Christ," our position before God in Heaven is perfect, while our walk before others on earth is perfecting.
We are saved by being in Christ because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross. Positionally we are sealed and settled forever in Christ. We are transformed as we walk in Christ here on earth. Practically we are being sanctified - becoming more distinctly like Christ. Being like Christ does not save us; being in Christ does. Being in Christ then spurs us on to become like Christ.
Today, if you are a follower of Jesus, thank God that you are positionally settled now and forever "in Christ." Then, ask God to make you more like Jesus so others can see Christ in you!
Being "in Christ" positionally before God in Heaven makes it possible for us to live like Christ practically on earth!