The apostle Paul writes to the church in Galatia about being “crucified with Christ.” In his letter to the church in Corinth, he states, “You are in Christ.”
That is a hard concept for me to grasp, yet, the phrase “in Christ” occurs some 90 times in the Bible. It appears in about half of the New Testament books, from Acts to 1 Peter, encompassing the writings of Luke, Paul, and Peter.
What does it mean to be “crucified with Christ” and to be “in Christ?”
Watchman Nee, in his book Sit, Walk, Stand, offers a most helpful illustration. He says, “If I put a dollar bill between the pages of a magazine, and then burn the magazine, where is the dollar bill?”
It is turned to ashes, along with the magazine. What happens to the magazine also happens to the dollar. “Their history has become one.”
“Just as effectively,” he continues, “God has put us in Christ. What happened to him happened also to us. All the experiences he met, we too have met in him.”
“Our history,” he concludes, was “written in Christ before we were born.” We were crucified with him.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.