When Jesus saved me, I was amazed, grateful and relieved that he would forgive my sins. But I could never have fathomed the depths of the relationship he had brought me into.
Believers aren’t simply forgiven – they are in union with God – one with him. Paul says we are “IN God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. 1 Thessalonians 1:1
We are IN God the Father! When God saves us he joins us to himself. Makes us one with himself. What security! What joy! It’s not like we are here and God is way up there somewhere.The almighty Creator of the universe has joined himself to us who are but specks of dust.
Being IN God means that nothing can get to us unless it first goes through him. Satan can’t touch you unless he goes through God. Satan had to ask God for permission to afflict Job. Each time God would say, “Okay you can go this far but no further. You can do this but you can’t do that.”
No affliction, no wicked person, no sickness – nothing can attack us without God’s permission because we are IN God the Father.
When I was 14, my dad was transferred to Pennsylvania. As a new kid in school, a couple bullies targeted me for some of their harassment. One day, as I stood in line to shoot baskets in gym class, I felt a sudden sharp pain on the back of my neck. One of the Junior High’s finest happened to be in line right behind me. Apparently he got bored, for he began to give me hard karate chops in the back of the neck. Each chop sent electrifying pain to my head – after about three or four chops my head was pounding. Suddenly another kid, named John, who was built like a football player stepped between me and the bully. Suddenly no more karate chops. For the bully to get to me he had to go through John. I’m still grateful to this day that John interposed and rescued me. Remember, if you are “in God” nothing can get to you unless it first goes through him.
We are also “in the Lord Jesus Christ.” We are one with the Lord of the universe. Jesus has ascended to heaven where he is enthroned on high as King of Kings and Lord of lords and we are one with him.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places Ephesians 1:3
Every spiritual blessing there is is in Christ – and we who believe are in him, so we have every spiritual blessing in heavenly places! Not only that but because we are in Christ nothing will ever be able to remove us from him.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?… For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
We are in Jesus – joined to him – one with him. The church is his body – he’s the head and we’re his hands and feet. We’re joined to him organically.
Jesus said to Saul: “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” Saul didn’t think he had been persecuting Jesus. He’d been arresting Christians. Yet Jesus says Saul was doing it to him.
Every Christian will be persecuted at one time or another in some way. But don’t forget you’re in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever anyone does to you they do to Christ. Do you think he’ll take that lightly? Do you think he won’t protect you? How could God not take care of those who are one with him?
If you’ve trusted in Jesus, then you are IN God the Father and IN the Lord Jesus Christ! You can’t be any closer. Don’t forget you are in God. He’ll take care of you. He’ll protect you and provide for you.
IN God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Is there any better place to be?
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Mark Altrogge has been senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, since 1982. He has written hundreds of songs for worship, including “I Stand in Awe” and “I’m Forever Grateful.” Mark and his wife, Kristi, have four sons and one daughter.
Find out more on his blog, The Blazing Center.