Friday, August 17, 2007

When do you become "In Christ"?

2nd Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

Romans 8:1: "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

When does the Bible say that a person becomes "in Christ"?

A) Before the foundation of the world

B) At Calvary

C) Before he believes the Gospel

D) After he believes the Gospel

My answer is (D) based upon Ephesians 1:13: "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise."

Adrian Rogers: “Everyone is in Adam or in Christ. ... If you are in Adam, you’re going to face the wrath of God. ... I want to show you that we gain very much more in Jesus than we ever lost in Adam.” (In Jesus there is so much more: Romans 5:6-9)

Adrian Rogers: “Now what does it mean to be in Christ Jesus? Well, God wants us to be saved; He’s given us so many illustrations of salvation; one of the illustrations of salvation is Noah’s Ark. Noah’s Ark, the Bible teaches us in 2nd Peter, is an illustration, a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, if you want to know what it is to be in Christ Jesus, know what it was for Noah to be in that Ark.” (Turning Hurts Into Hallelujahs: Romans 8:8-11)


kangaroodort said...

Great post. I completely agree.

Richard Coords said...

Hey Ben,

One Calvinist friend of mine had answered (B) on the basis that we were crucified with Christ, having died with Him, and therefore we must have been "in Christ" even back then. However, my question then is this: We're we a "new creature" back then too?, as per 2Cor 5:17? Anyone who is "in Christ" is a born again, new creation, with the old creature having passed away. Therefore, I do not see how answer (B) could be the correct answer.

On the basis that there is redemption "in Christ", as per Romans 8:1, it would mean that alleged, elect-unbelievers, could never fit Jesus' statement at John 3:18, in that unbelievers are already judged. Galatians 4:4-5 says that Jesus came to redeem those who were "under the Law." But if alleged, elect-unbelievers, were in Christ before they were ever born, then they couldn't simultaneously be under the Law, since being "in Christ" frees us from the Law, and therefore the statement at Galatians 4:4-5 couldn't apply to them either. This is why I believe that becoming "in Christ" is a matter of something that we are born into, that is, born again into, and that being, born again into a spiritual race of the elect, as per 1st Peter 2:9.

Adrian Rogers weighed in on this matter, after citing the following verse:

1st Corinthians 12:13: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

Adrian Rogers comments: “We are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. When does this take place? When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, when we receive Christ as personal Savior, two things take place at the same time: We are baptized into the Body of Christ, and we are filled with the Spirit. We’ve all been baptized into His body and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. That is, the Holy Spirit of God, when I give my heart to Jesus, and I say, ‘Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. I can’t save myself. You died to save Me. You promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You. Once and for all, now and forever, forgive my sin, come into my heart, be my Lord and Savior,’ and then a miracle takes place, and the Holy Spirit says, ‘Now I’m placing you, Adrian, into the Body of Christ. I am baptizing you into the Body of Christ.’ Water baptism only symbolizes this Spirit baptism. I am baptized, verse 13, into the Body of Christ. But not only am I placed into the Body of Christ, the Holy Spirit is placed into me, and I’ve been made to drink into one Spirit. Just as I take a drink of water, the Holy Spirit just comes in to me. So I am in the Body of Christ, and the Holy Spirit is in me. That takes place when I get saved, and that makes the wonderful transformation, that makes the difference. And so when I am put into the Body of Christ, there I receive my spiritual gift.” (You Are Somebody in His Body: 1st Corinthians 12:12-18)

I inferred that when we "seal Christ in prayer," the Holy Spirit seals us in Christ.

Adrian Rogers adds: “Now, who is the Baptizer? The Holy Spirit. Who is being baptized? The believer in Jesus. Into what is he baptized? Into the Body of Christ. When is he baptized? At the moment of his conversion, the moment he gives his or her heart to Jesus Christ and no one is left out. We are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ.” (You Are Somebody in His Body: 1st Corinthians 12:12-18)

Thanks for stopping by,