I IN HIM
Galatians 2:20 is another precious verse: "I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."
I did not kill myself; I was crucified with Him. When He died on the cross, I died also, because I am in Him.
ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS GIVEN IN HIM
Ephesians 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ." All spiritual blessings are given to us in Christ. For this reason everything that follows is received in Him.
Verses 4-7: "Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He graced us in the Beloved; in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses, according to the riches of His grace."
Again read Colossians 1:14: "In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Redemption and forgiveness of sins are in the Beloved.
Colossians 3:1-3: "If therefore you were raised together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Again, only by Christ can we receive a resurrected life. The relationship God has with us is based upon the relationship He has with Christ.
ALL TEACHINGS AND DOCTRINES ARE TIED TO CHRIST
From the book of Romans on, we have discovered a fact: not one doctrine and teaching concerning our faith is related to our work. Rather, every one of them is tied to the person Christ. Whether it is forgiveness of sins, regeneration, holiness, or freedom, etc., there is no doctrine that is disassociated from Christ. Without Christ we have no faith. Without Christ we have nothing to preach. This is the difference between our faith and all the other religions. Without passing through Christ, we can do nothing. Without being related to Him, we cannot have any doctrine. Everything depends on Him.
Some may ask: are not there some exhortations in the Bible? Is Christianity not concerned with right and wrong? Yes, the Bible does have exhortations; it also tells people how to behave and walk. For example, the book of Romans contains some words of exhortation and teaching. But they appear after chapter twelve. Before chapter twelve, however, are all the doctrines that are related to Christ and how we can be joined to Him. Only afterwards are there exhortations for our conduct.
THE EMPHASIS IS ON
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST
Ephesians settles the relationship between us, God, and Christ in chapters one through three. Then chapters four through six deal with some teachings on behavior. Even when speaking of our walk, the basis is our relationship with Christ. The same principle can be found in all other books.
Hence, genuine Christianity does not first exhort us to do something. Rather, it tells us to establish a relationship with Christ. After a relationship is established, then the practice comes.
(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 6, by Watchman Nee)