Text Challenge

In the last few days, I’ve taken up the challenge of memorizing the letter to the Philippians.  Ideally, I’d like to have it done by Easter (which gives me a little over four weeks).  But if I don’t have it done by then, I want to complete it soon after.  Interested?  Keep me accountable and I’ll do the same for you.  Just let me know.

Today I want you to think about the phrase “in Christ Jesus.”  The phrase occurs numerous times in Philippians and throughout the New Testament.  And often times, we glance over it as a simple greeting from Paul. 

At a cursory glance, we might define those as having a relationship with Jesus.  But does it go deeper than that?  In other words, Paul already mentions the word “saints” which seems to indicate a relationship with Christ.  So why would he add the phrase “in Christ Jesus”?  In other words, are there saints not in Christ Jesus?  Is Paul just being repetitive (as he is so often prone to do)?  What’s the deal?

Read Philippians.  Chew on the text (especially that of “in Christ Jesus”).  And let me know your thoughts.

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7 Responses to “Text Challenge”

  1. Brother, to quote Paul, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”. To me this simply means to live our lives as Jesus lived his. To live by the Sprit of Jesus Christ, in prayer and deeds. To live unashamed and with courage and with joyous hearts in the name of Jesus Christ. Not only as followers, but as deciples, spreading the words of Jesus to all we meet! To live, share our nowledge and to live openly to serve our fellow man by the example set forth by Jesus himself!

  2. Hi Mike:
    I think that phrase does go deeper than that… Jesus was fully God and fully human and – we as followers of Christ – are now in union with Him – we carry in us the literal presence of God. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” – “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor)… and Col. 3:3 “Your life is now hidden with Christ in God”.

    So many times, just as you said, the Word of God speaks of “In Christ Jesus” and that should remind us of our unity with God. We are born again, members of Christ’s Body.

    • Great thoughts Maria…members of Christ Body. But don’t we know people who would claim the same? What would their claim be based on? In other words, what allows for a life to be hidden with Christ in God?

  3. What allows for a life to be hidden with Christ in God”…There are a lot of people who claim to be members of Christ Body – but like a sermon I heard today – do they believe what they claim? Do their actions portray their claim? We all fall short – no one can say they are free of sin – and that is what means to be hidden with Christ – through his death we are forgiven – however – the Bible is very clear about our responsibilities in our new identity; being “in Christ” – So, yes, there are those who stake the same claim but as members that we are – we cannot continually take this grace and ram it to the ground. We not only trample on the cross, we also subject God to our sin – The Word of God says we must not unite the members of Christ with a prostitute. The members of Christ were bought at a price – we are no longer our own. I believe that this is the reason why Paul says “saints” and proceeds that with “in Christ”. If we claim to be the saint – we must “act” “do” “be” – In Christ.

  4. Did that make any sense? I feel like I am trying to say a lot in a short paragraph. Sadly, I have fallen more often than not during my walk with God. He reminds me of what I wrote above – but only when I seek Him – through His Word He speaks to my heart and reminds me of who I am “in Him”.

    • Makes sense to me Maria. What we say is much less important than what we do. The Israelites were a great example of that. May God find us faithful!

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