“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus – who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do – in that it was weak through the flesh – God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh (4) that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” [Ro.8:1-4]

Unto whom are the wonderful words of the first phrase of this section of holy scripture being addressed? The answer is: To everyone that is included in the group; to them which are in Christ Jesus”. This, in turn, begs an answer to two more questions: What exactly does it mean to be, in Christ Jesus”? And, just how exactly are we included in that group? The answer to all three of these questions is the very substance of the gospel of the glory, only, of the Lord Jesus Christ – the only sovereign, Savior, substitute that there ever was – is – or, ever will be!

The first phrase of 1Co.1:30 explicitly and descriptively declares: But, of Him (i.e. God) are ye in Christ Jesus”. Or, more literally it is saying: But, by His doingare ye in Christ Jesus”. Eph.1:3-4 echoes this reality in the way it describes God the Father. It says: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (4) according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the worldthat we should be holy and without blame before Himin love(which is a more graphic way of saying that we have no condemnation in Christ Jesus). This same Ephesian passage also tells how it is that we have been included among all those that are being referred to in the phrase: to them which are in Christ Jesus”. We were included in this group by our heavenly Father who blessed us – not only with the spiritual blessing of our being placed and eternally positioned in Christ, but also with our being blessed with ALL the other additional spiritual blessings that go along with being placed in Christ! Plus, this text even reveals to us — how and when — all this took place! It says: According as He hath chosen us in Himbefore the foundation of the world. Wow! Praise the Lord! So, therefore, according to God’s Word – He chose us in Christ – He placed us in Christ – and, furthermore, He graciously blessed us with – not just one or two of His spiritual blessings, but – All of His spiritual blessings in Christ, our Savior! (which include His: wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption”[the rest of 1Co.1:30])

Next, let’s focus on the last two words of vs.4in love”. The Word of God from Jer.31:3 reveals to us: The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee withan everlasting love. Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Hence, these two words at the end of Eph.1:4 must refer to this same eternal love — God’s eternal love! This is the personal, individual love that God has, first of all, for His beloved, darling, eternal Son – and, second of all, for each and everyone of His eternally loved, chosen and placed positionally inHis Son! Take heed to how Jesus prayed to His Father the night before He bore our sins to Calvary: Jn.17:23-26: I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (24) Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given mefor thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world. (25) O righteous Father… (26) I have declared unto them thy Nameand will declare itthat the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in themand I in them.” Grant us Lord, by thy grace, to receive this wonderful truth!

-For Christ’s Glory Only!

John Carpenter

 

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