THE RICHES OF RESURRECTION
The church is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The title Christ in 1 Thessalonians 1:1 denotes all the riches of resurrection. If the Lord were only Jesus and not Christ, we could not be in Him. But because He is the Lord Jesus Christ, we can be in Him and we are in Him right now. Where are we? We are in the Lord Jesus Christ. The name Jesus implies that everything we are in the old creation and in the fall has been terminated, and the title Christ implies that we are no longer in ourselves, in the old creation, in sin and death, in the world, and in Satan. Instead, we are in resurrection, in the Spirit, and in righteousness, holiness, power, strength, and might. Because we are in Christ, we are even on the throne with Him. Oh, how marvelous it is to be in Christ.
To be in the Lord Jesus Christ means on the one hand that we are terminated and are no longer in the old creation. On the other hand, it means that by being in Christ we are in resurrection. To be in Christ is to be in resurrection, in the Spirit, in power, in strength, and in authority. However, because of the influence of traditional Christianity, we may not realize the significance of being in Christ. As a result, there may be a shortage of the experience of resurrection, strength, and authority.
Do you realize that because you are in Christ you are on the throne? Not only are you in power, might, strength, and authority, but you are also on the throne. After His resurrection Christ went to the heavens to be enthroned, and in Him we also are on the throne. Sometimes we need to say to Satan, “Satan, don’t you see where I am? I am in Christ on the throne!”
Religion has deprived us, even robbed us, of the enjoyment of what we have in Christ. It has caused us in experience to be poor, pitiful. Therefore, we need to be impressed with the fact that to be in Christ is to be in resurrection, in the Spirit, in power, and on the throne. The church in Christ is the church in resurrection, in authority, and on the throne.
GROWING IN RESURRECTION LIFE
Before we go on to see that to be in Christ is also to be in the kingdom and glory, we need to emphasize the crucial matter of life. To be in Christ is to be in life, even in resurrection life. If we neglect life, we shall miss everything. Apart from life, there is no way to enter into the kingdom or the glory. The church today is in resurrection life, and this resurrection life is accomplishing many things for us.
I have learned much about life by observing how things grow in my garden at home. I am amazed how a tiny plant grows in life. This is a picture, an illustration, of how we are growing in resurrection life. Because we are in resurrection life, something within us is growing. The word growing implies a great deal. It includes transformation, blossoming, fruitfulness, and maturity. Some of the plants in my garden were rather uncomely before they had adequate growth. But by growing they have been transformed and have become beautiful. They have blossomed, they have borne fruit, and they have become mature. This matter of growth with all it implies is also included in the thought of the church being in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is indeed a tragedy that, under the influence of religion, so many Christians have been distracted from growing in resurrection life. Instead of paying attention to life and the growth of life, they pursue knowledge and try to improve themselves. There is no need for us to endeavor to improve ourselves, for we are in resurrection life. This resurrection life is the resurrected Christ, and this Christ in resurrection is the life-giving Spirit. The church today is in Christ, the One who in His resurrection has become the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)