"In Christ"          

 Ephesians 1:3


     Every blessing of grace is "in Christ". God only deals with sinners in mercy "in Christ". Everything that God himself can give to and everything he requires of sinners is "in Christ". And "in Christ" God has from eternity given every blessing of grace and glory to all his elect, according to his own purpose of grace in covenant election (Eph. 1:3-6; II Tim. 1:9). These blessings of grace, bestowed upon us "in Christ" before the world began, are unconditional, immutable, and irreversible. "For the gifts and callings of God are without repentance" (Rom. 11:29).

     ELECTION, PREDESTINATION, AND ADOPTION ARE IN CHRIST. Christ was first elected to be our Surety, Substitute, Mediator, and Representative as the Servant of Jehovah (Isa.42:1). Then we were chosen in him, pre- destinated to be like him,adopted to be sons of God, in the family of God, with him,and accepted by God in him.

     REDEMPTION, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, AND SAVING GRACE ARE IN CHRIST. Redemption is that which Christ obtained for God's elect by pouring out his life's blood unto death as our Substitute for the satisfaction of Divine justice (Heb. 9:12). The forgiveness of sins is the just and inevitable result of redemption. You cannot have forgiveness without redemption (Rom. 3:24-26). And you cannot have redemption without forgiveness (Eph. 1:6). The two always go together. And the certain result of redemption and forgiveness is salvation by the grace of God. Grace is both the cause and the effect of redemption.

     REGENERATION, FAITH, AND PRESERVATION ARE IN CHRIST. Eternal life is in Christ. Apart from Christ there is no life. In regeneration Christ comes to live in us and causes us to live in him by the power and grace of his Spirit. The immediate fruit of regeneration is faith in Christ, faith by which we receive all the benefits of his finished work. And we are sealed in grace, kept and preserved, by God the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us.

     EVEN OUR RESURRECTION, HEAVENLY INHERITANCE, AND ETERNAL GLORY ARE IN CHRIST. When we are raised from the dead, we shall eternally enjoy an inheritance which Christ has earned, purchased, and claimed for us, and we shall be partakers of his glory as our Mediator! That is grace!


Don Fortner