There is probably no word of scripture, which more clearly defines the essential fact concerning the New Creation, the Body of Christ than the phrase, "In Christ". This phrase with it’s equivalents, "In Christ Jesus," "In Him," "In the Beloved," "Through Him," "by Him," and "With Him," appears in the grace teachings of the New Testament no less than 130 times.
There is, nor ever has been, a hint of a possible position "In Christ" in any teachings of the law or of the Kingdom, the believer’s present position in Christ was not seen even in type or prophecy until the grace teachings of the Apostle Paul . In the ages past it was a secret hid in the mind and heart of God.
He who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, " hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace ; Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery (sacred secret) of His will, according to His good pleasure which he hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of time He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ." Ephesians 1:4-12
To be "In Christ" is to be in the position of His own infinite Person, power, and glory. He surrounds, He protects, He separates from all else, and He indwells the one "In Him". He also supplies in Himself all that a soul will ever need in time and eternity.
In His priestly prayer, Christ contemplating the glory of His finished work as having been already accomplished spoke of three unities within one relationship. In John 17: 20,23 we read: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their words; that they all may be one; as thou, father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us ….. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one".
Who can understand the depths of this revelation that the believer is related to Christ on the same level of oneness which exist between the Father God and His Son?
Considering the fact of this unity, the Apostle Paul likens Christ to the head and the believers to members of His body. So perfect is this unity between the head and the members of the body, that it is probable that Christ will never be seen in glory apart from His body, and the body will never be seen apart from Him (I Corinthians 12:12).
The unity between Christ and the believer is two-fold: The believer is "In Christ", and Christ is "In the believer". The believer is in Christ as to positions, possessions, safe-keeping, and association; and Christ is in the believer giving life, character and conduct.
There is no other work of God for the believer which seems to accomplish so much as does the baptism by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13). For by it the living union with Christ is established forever, and by virtue of that union the believer has entered the sphere of all heavenly positions and all eternal possessions, which in grace are provided for him in Christ. To the believing Christian, Christ has become his very life and all that the Christian is and all that he does is done "In Christ".
The Christian has become as much an organic part of Christ as the branch is a part of the vine, or the member is a part of the body. Being joined to Christ in this way, the Father sees the saved one only in Christ, as a living part of His own Son, and loves him as He loves His Son.
Most Christians do not really understand their true relationship to God, or what the new creation is all about, or the truth about who and what God says we are in Christ.
If you were to ask most Christians if there is any sin in Jesus or any missing of the mark in Him as it relates to God, they would say "of course not". But then if you asked the same Christians if there is any sin in them or any missing of the mark as it relates to God they would answer "of course". Then tell me, if God in His Word says that when you believed and trusted Christ you where placed "In Christ" and that which was placed in Christ (you) is sinful, then there is something sinful "In Christ" isn’t there? You can’t have it both ways, either Christ’s work in you is complete or there is something more you must do by your own efforts to make yourself more holy and righteous. If Christians are not what Gods Word says they are, "made forever perfect" by Christ’s sacrifice (Hebrews 10:14) and "holy and without blame" (Ephesians 1: 4), then if we who are in Christ have not been (by His sacrifice) made the righteousness of God, holy and sinless, then there is something of sin in Him. So either you believe the Christian bumper stickers that say, "Christians are not perfect They’re just forgiven", or you believe God’s Word when He says that Christian are "made forever perfect" in Christ, because both can not be true.