God wants Christ to be our life. But how did He begin to do this? God did not first put Christ’s life into us. Rather, He first put us into Christ. God first put us into Christ, and then put Christ into us. The first thing that God wants to do is build up our relationship with Christ. If we do not have a relationship with Christ, we cannot have Christ come into us to be our life. First we are in Christ, and then Christ can be in us. This is God’s order of work.
Why did God put us in Christ? He put us there because we are sinful; we have the Adamic life within us. We are sinful and have the Adamic life in us; therefore, we must first be dealt with, before God can give us a new life. God cannot carry out this dealing in us directly. If He carried it out in us directly, we would die; we would not be able to live. If God dealt with our sins directly, there could be no other way and no other result than eternal death.
On the one hand, God wants to deal with our sins and our Adamic life. On the other hand, He does not wish to see us die. What then did He do? He put us in Christ by the operation of the might of His power. As a result, whatever He has done to Christ becomes His dealing with us. We are all included in Christ. Whatever God has done in Christ becomes His work in us. When God dealt with Christ, the result was the same as if He had dealt with us. This is the basic biblical truth concerning the Lord Jesus being our Savior.
God told Adam in the garden of Eden that when he disobeyed God’s commandment and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would receive a judgment from God. What was the judgment? God declared to Adam, "For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). It is a sin to eat the fruit forbidden by God, and the day that one sins, he will die. Death is the punishment for sin. If a man sins, he will suffer punishment. "For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." This means that those who sin will surely die. If a man sins, he will surely die. It is better for man not to sin. Once he sins, death will be the sure result. Sin is a fact which cannot be overturned, and death is the inevitable result of sin; it is also something which cannot be overturned. What then should be done? On the one hand, God has to put us to death completely. On the other hand, He must cause us to live. This is the only way to salvation. Thank the Lord that He has established a salvation for us. This salvation involves sending a Savior to die on our behalf. This is why Christ had to be born. If Christ had not been born, He could not have died for us. Without the flesh, there could not have been the vicarious death. Christ became flesh, and therefore, He could die for us. Through His death, He bore our punishment and became our salvation. How could Christ die for us? He could die for us because God put us into Christ. God put us all into Christ; this is the most crucial teaching in the whole Bible. We cannot fathom and do not understand how God exercised His power and authority to put us into Christ. All we know is that 1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us clearly that "of Him you are in Christ Jesus." "Of Him [God]" means that this is something that God has done.
(Christ Becoming Our Wisdom, Chapter 1, by Watchman Nee)