In Christ

inChrist

2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (KJV) Now thanks be unto God, {who} always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. [15] For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: [16] To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? [17] For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Audio of Sermon: 

Sermon Notes: It is “in Christ” that we have victory. As the Apostle Paul went out to preach the Gospel he encountered the same things we encounter today. People look at our current world and believe that it is worst than its ever been. The truth is, the only difference between the world NOW and the world THEN is that our level of technology is greater. In Paul’s day he didn’t have to contend with the network news on television and radio, nor did he have to deal with the Internet. Technology was less. There were no automobiles. But the human spirit was still the same. The darkness was still just as dark. Nevertheless the Apostle said:

2 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV) Now thanks be unto God, {who} always causeth us to triumph in Christ,

The Church will triumph, but only if the Church remains “in Christ”. Our Lord Jesus said:

John 15:5 (ESV) I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.

The Church will win. The Kingdom of God will win. The people of God shall cross the Jordan and defeat the enemy – not with swords or guns – but by being “in Christ”.

It Is “In Christ” That We Are Saved

We are not saved by our own works, but by the works of Christ. The Scripture declares:

Titus 3:3-7 (NKJV) For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 BUT when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The testimony of every believer saved by Grace is that we are not saved of ourselves, but saved of the Grace of God in Christ. We preach His Grace, His free Gift of salvation. We preach His GOSPEL by GRACE.

Think about the word GRACE for a moment.

  • The “G” of Grace stands for GOD. A perfect God created a perfect world.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)

God made everything that is. This God is Holy, Righteous, and Just. He is Loving with an infinite Love. When we look about us evolutionary confused scientists try to make everything an accident, but the Bible tells us:

Psalm 19:1 (NKJV) The heavens declare the glory of God; And the {earth} shows His handiwork.

God made everything. He made you and He made me. He made us to worship and enjoy Him, to live in His Kingdom and under His power.

Revelation 4:11 (NKJV) You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.

God not only made us, but He keeps us in existence. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the Heavens! (Psalm 8:1 – ESV). We who are human were distinctly made different from animals. We were made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). This brings us to the second letter in Grace:

  • The “R” of Grace Stands For REBELLION. Man rebelled against God. We were created and called to follow God, not to be Gods. Yet Adam walked away from God. And we as humans have walked away from God and His directive ever since. The so called “Progressive Thought” of the 21st century is no more than the rebellious thoughts of Adam, inbred in each of us his children. The Bible declares:

Romans 5:12 (ESV) Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

Sin separated man from God. God is holy and cannot abide sin. But sin also causes man to walk far away from God.

Isaiah 59:2 (ESV) … your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

This is not a good place to be. Sin not only separates us from God, but our rebellion leads us down destructive pathways. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). As man became more and more sinful God reached out.

  • The “A” of Grace Stands For ATONEMENT. Mankind rebelled against God, but God in love reached out to our fallen selves. Where there was division between us and God, the Father sent His Son to bridge that gap. The first five letters of ATONEMENT are AT ONE. Christ came to make us AT ONE with God. Jesus Christ died for our sins. He took the penalty of our rebellion upon Himself.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (ESV) Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

When we believe “in Christ” and rest “in Christ” then salvation comes through God’s Administration “in Christ”. Jesus Christ – the miraculous Son of God – lived a life completely free of sin (1 Peter 2:22). The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Jesus Himself declared of Himself:

John 6:29 (ESV) This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom {God} has sent.

Jesus died as a substitute for sinners. He died, being punished in our place. Peter declares:

1 Peter 3:18 (ESV) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

and Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) For our sake {the Father} made {Jesus} to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

In Christ” we have salvation.
“In Christ” we are made AT ONE with God.

  • In Christ” There Is CONVERSION. The “C” of Grace Stands For CONVERSION. If you do not receive the atonement of Christ, believing His Blood was shed for you, you are not converted. It is by faith in Him that we are saved. As the Apostle preached the Gospel he said:

2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (KJV) For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: [16] To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

The Gospel has a different effect on different people.
It is like the Sun rising.
The same Sun that melts snow can harden concrete and clay.
The same Sun that causes plants to grow can wither others.

The Gospel is the Sun of Righteousness. God spoke in Malachi:

Malachi 4:2 (ESV) But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

The Gospel of Grace is to some a savor of DEATH unto DEATH. Some will hear the Gospel and reject the Grace that God has offered. Some are hardened in their sins by the preaching of the Gospel. The Apostle writes of …

Jude 4 (ESV) …. UNGODLY PEOPLE, WHO PERVERT THE GRACE of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

When Grace is received there is ALWAYS conversion. Christ saves us so that we can be AT ONE with God, not continue in the darkness. We who are saved are …

Colossians 1:13 (ESV) … DELIVERED … FROM THE DOMAIN OF DARKNESS and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

In Christ we are saved, and once saved, Christ comes into us. Sin and the way we perceive sin changes in us. The Christian is by no means perfect, but our attitude and motivation changes. The Apostle John describes it this way:

1 John 3:4-10 (ESV) Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that {Jesus} appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; NO ONE WHO KEEPS ON SINNING HAS EITHER SEEN HIM OR KNOWN HIM. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

For a person to SAY “I am a Christian” is one thing, but does that person glorify God in his or her activities? If you are a Child of God then God is in you. You have undergone CONVERSION. You are not the way you were before. Sin is no longer of trifle, but when you sin (and you will) you will not make a practice of it. Jesus came to this earth to die for us to bring us into a state of oneness with God, and God is Holy. When I sin now, conviction enters in. My conscience is hurt, and I return to my Father as soon as possible. I confess my sins before Him.

Proximity to Christ does not save.
What saves is being IN CHRIST,
trusting HIM, receiving HIM as Lord and Savior.

The Apostle JUDAS ISCARIOT had the title of righteousness – he was an APOSTLE. He walked with Christ. He saw the same miracles that all the other Apostles saw. And yet in the end he rejected Christ, committed suicide, and went to eternal death. He never experienced conversion because though he was WITH Christ he was never IN Christ.

Some refuse conversion because they love their sins and their selves. The Bible declares:

John 1:11-13 (ESV) {Jesus} came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Receiving Christ – being IN CHRIST – brings about conversion. God changes you from a sin loving sinner to a sin hating saint. God changes you from darkness to light, and from death to life. It is as simple as:

Acts 16:31 (ESV) … Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.

  • The “E” of Grace Stands For ETERNAL Life. In Christ we have Eternal Life.

2 Corinthians 2:16 (KJV) … to the other the savor of life unto life.

To those who reject Christ, who turn His Grace into lasciviousness or mock what He has done, conversion will not come. But to those who have been converted, to those Christ gives “life unto life” or eternal life. Jesus said:

John 5:24 (ESV) Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. HE DOES NOT COME INTO JUDGMENT, BUT HAS PASSED FROM DEATH TO LIFE.

Jesus gives eternal life to all who believe on Him. Now listen to me Beloved –

EVERYONE LIVES FOREVER
BUT THERE’S LIFE AND THERE’S LIFE

God made us in His image and in His likeness. And the Bible tells us that two things are ultimately true for every person on the face of this earth.

Hebrews 9:27-28 (NKJV) And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Every person will face death, and immediately following death the judgment. You will stand before a Holy and righteous God. Is He your Father by faith in Christ, or is He the nameless Judge of Revelation 20? If you are IN CHRIST then the Bible says:

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

If IN CHRIST you have been born into the Kingdom of God. You will – as Jesus declared – not come into judgment, but have been passed from death to life. Upon leaving this life you will enter the next life into the presence of God. Because of Christ – because you are IN CHRIST – you shall be IN HEAVEN.

2 Corinthians 2:16 (KJV) … And who is sufficient for these things?

The answer to the Apostle’s question is no one is sufficient. I cannot receive eternal life through my efforts. But IN CHRIST I have eternal life. It is IN CHRIST that I am God’s Child, and I cannot be separated from my Savior.

Romans 8:35, 37-39 (NKJV) … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, SHALL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.

If you are IN CHRIST you are immersed in the love of God. Your eternity is secure. You belong to God.

If I Am IN CHRIST His Light Shines Through Me

If we are IN CHRIST then our lives reflect it. If we have been CONVERTED – born again – our lives reflect it. Show me a hate filled people and I will show you the lost. Show me a forgiving and loving people and here we see a people IN CHRIST.

You cannot carry a grudge and be in Christ. You cannot live like the world and be in Christ. To be in Christ you must LOVE.

2 Corinthians 2:10-11 (KJV) To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; [11] Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Satan uses grudge bearing and other devices to hinder the Gospel of Grace. The world may never read the Book we cherish, but the world watches our lives. We are called to be loving and forgiving. If IN CHRIST we are to be not self serving, but Christ serving. The Apostle said:

Acts 20:35 (KJV) I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

If IN CHRIST we love as Jesus loved, forgive as Jesus forgave, and do as Jesus did. We support the weak. We reach out to our community in love, providing food for the hungry and alternatives to the horror of abortion to young women. We do good. We reach out and minister to young people, offering them charity and a safe place to be. But through all our giving we stay focused on the presentation of the Gospel of Grace. The Apostle said:

2 Corinthians 2:17 (KJV) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity…

As people of God’s Kingdom we start this New Year as we left the Old Year. We will not corrupt the Word of God. We will not re-write the Bible in order to become one with the darkness. Someone once told me:

The problem with the Bible is that it doesn’t change with the times.

Truth doesn’t change with the times, and the Bible is true.

Proverbs 30:5 (KJV) Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

We will not lower the Word of God into the mud so that the pigs will be happy. We will trust Him, and stand in Christ together. This is where victory will come. Not by compromise, but by His promise and His Word clearly spoken. Do not forget that, dear Ones. Never!

2 Corinthians 2:17 (KJV)  … in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

God watches us. Are we honoring His Gospel of Grace? We must, for no where else is there triumph but in Christ.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in 2 Corinthians, Blood of Atonement, Cross of Christ, Faithfulness of God, Following Jesus, gospel, grace, Sermons Preached and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to In Christ

  1. Pingback: In Christ — bibleteacher.org – EmbraceGodwithConnie

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