18 December 2011

Staying IN Christ

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is IN Christ…

One of the greatest understandings we can possess, is the supernatural power of staying IN Christ…

Being IN Christ is to stay in relationship with God, to stay immovable in Faith, to stay strong in Freedom. When you’re IN Christ your lost and dead to everything else.

The Bible is full of statements declaring that we are ‘IN Christ’. Everything Christ bought back for us was so we could fully experience relationship with Him and enjoy life. We must purposely position ourselves there through determination, commitment and sacrifice.

The enemy’s aim is to keep you out of your relationship IN Christ. The enemy can not stop you going to church, praying or reading revelation from the Word. But he can fill your heart with things that will keep you from wanting to.

Offence. Pride. Discouragement. Lust. Fear. In this state of heart, a Christian can be in church but far from God. They can still own their life, cling to the past, and live a defeated life.

As we end this year, we need to be reminded of the importance of staying IN Christ. I see too many Christians backslide and think that they will be happier if they do life their own way. This is nothing further from the Truth. The opposite of Freedom is bondage, which is to live life away from God, church and faith. You’re not free to sin - you’re bound to sin.

People who walk away from God lost being IN Christ. The Bible is full of warnings of the importance of us remaining IN Christ. This is to stay humble. To remain pure. To stay strong in the faith. Ultimately, if we don’t remain, God will remove.

1) In Christ: We Have Freedom

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Many people today are living in bondage to fear, pain, addictions and sin. This is far from God’s best and not where we should be living. God is an expert in setting people free. We must do everything to stay in this freedom, and look out for others to be set free. Check out these amazing definition of Freedom...

1. The condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without restraints
2. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, bondage or self; deliverance
3. The right to unrestricted use; full access; given complete freedom
4. The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or citizenship; the freedom of the city.

2) In Christ: Redemption

Ephesians 1:7 IN Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Redemption is to pay the required price to secure the release of a convicted criminal, or slave from bondage. As long as we remain ‘IN Christ’ we will be free from these prior penalties. If you have Christ on your heart, spirit and mind - you have peace. Liberation is the first purpose of redemption. Christ came to liberate us from sin and death.

Redemption is not just about the future, it's for right now: bad things can be turned around. Blessing can't come if a curse is still active. Jesus took the curse from you on the Cross. Once you are living in Him, everything is working together for good, even bad things! Because we have tough times in God doesn't mean we are not in the will of God.

3) In Christ: Seated with God

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places IN Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us IN Christ Jesus.

Being seated with God has a price. Those prepared to live a life of discipline with boundaries will reign seated with God in this life and the next. God is not waiting for us to do something to merit grace or favour. All the promises in the book of revelation are to the Overcomers. It is only by faith that we can rise above our circumstances and be seated with God.

4) In Christ: A New Creation

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is IN Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!

God’s purpose in conversion is to regenerate and then upgrade your life! Don't forget who you are. As long as your mindset is chained to the past you won't believe that you are a new creation.

In the parable of the lost son, the younger son knows what he has but forgets who he is. The older son knows who he is but doesn't understand what he has.

Take nothing of the old into the new. This is to have (1) NO shame, condemnation or guilt (2) NO sin and death and (3) NO devil - the dominion of the enemy is broken when we come to Christ (Romans 6:14; 8:1-2, Colossians 1:13).

5) In Christ: Chosen and Accepted

Ephesians 1:4 Just as He chose us IN Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved...

Being chosen lies in the fact that we're ‘IN Christ’. You were chosen, 'In Him' before the foundation of the world. Amazing! IN Christ you are without blame and without shame. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Your Spirit must be filled with the life of God. Your Spirit transforms your life, attitudes and actions. Remember: You are highly favoured in Him. God has chosen you and neither blames, nor judges you.

5 Keys to Staying IN Christ for 2012:
1) Stay in relationship with God – prayer, the Word, worship
2) Stay in relationship with strong believers
3) Stay in the House of God – planted, serving, giving
4) Stay disciplined away from areas that tempt you and cause you to sin, lose your focus
5) Cut off anything and everything from your life that hinders you from staying in Christ!!

Ephesians 3:12 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children… This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. IN Him and through Faith IN Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.