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“You are doing okay with Me in you. How are you doing with you in Me?” A question from Jesus several months ago which really caught me off guard. Since I had not given that particular inquiry serious thought (though it is a much used phrase in the New Testament), I remained silent. But the question sent me on a study of Scriptures (and myself). Since the Apostle Paul seemed especially fond of the two words, “In Christ” let’s look at one of his great epistles, Colossians. Paul is awestruck at Who Jesus Christ is and what He has done.

Jesus is the image of the invisible God (1:15). The Hebrew writer adds, He is “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:15, all emphasis mine). Jesus explained to Phillip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus is the firstborn over all creation. In Him all things exist. He is Head of the Body, the Church. He is the Reconciler of all things (in Heaven and on earth). In Him are hidden all the treasure of wisdom & knowledge. Finally, in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This is the One in Whom we dwell, in Whom we “abide” to use Jesus’ own word (John 15:4).

Paul’s statement, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (2:6), means that when we first accepted Jesus into our hearts, we were also placed “in Him”. How does being “in Him” change the way we feel, respond, experience life? Jesus as the first born over all creation, was the beginning of a new species of man, made in His image (3:10). Putting on Jesus is the same as putting on the new man, and Paul has a lot to say about that.

The new man is not another version of the cinema heroes, Superman or Spider Man. Quiet the opposite: “Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. Above all these things put on love and let the peace of God rule in your hearts. Be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father (from Colossians 3:12-17).

There is a downside to putting on Jesus. Being in Him involves dying to self. “Put to death your members” (3:5) does not refer to people in church whom you wish would go away. Paul gives us a list of “members” (distorted human appetites) which bring down the wrath of God. But it is also true that in Him we are recipients of EVERY spiritual blessing God has to offer. In Him we are chosen, adopted, holy, without blame, redeemed, forgiven, and sealed (Ephesians chapter 1). In Him Jesus said we can ask for anything (John 15:7). In Him, our lives are hidden with Christ in God (3:3). Wow! Enjoy your place!  In Jesus you have it all!  (TPSB rendering by Terri Ulrich)