On my short run today, I had the idea of depicting the difference between what scripture says about who we are “In Christ” versus who we may still be in our old nature, even though we may be saved. The above table depicts some key distinctions of what God’s Word says about our nature “before Christ” and after salvation, or “in Christ.”
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Some theologians report that the term “In Christ” is used 316 times in the Bible. Obviously, God inspired the authors of his Word to inform readers about the significance of belonging to Christ. The table above highlights just some aspects of who we are “In Christ.” The more we appreciate and value our relationship with Christ, the more we should be able to identify with what scripture says about our new identity. And, as we choose to surrender more and more to God, the power of his Spirit in us will enable us to live according to his ways, not our selfish and sinful ways.
But many believers – though they are saved and headed to heaven when they die – are not living out their life “In Christ.” What about you?
On my run, I specifically had the idea of depicting, with a table, a comparison of one’s health-related behaviors “Before Christ” versus what one’s behaviors might look like “In Christ.” The below table is sort of what I had in mind.
|Areas & Habits in Your Life||Before Christ||In Christ|
|Physical Activity Habits|
|Tobacco Use Habits|
|Stress & Life Coping Patterns|
|Prescription Drug Use Patterns|
|Illicit Sex Habits|
|Bitterness & Resentment Patterns|
|People Pleasing Tendencies|
|Excessive Television Viewing|
|Excessive Internet Browsing|
|Excessive Shopping Patterns|
|Excessive Work Habits|
|Bible Reading Habits|
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE: In the ‘Before Christ’ column, make a note of any key beliefs, values, attitudes or practices/habits, that were part of your life before you accepted Christ, that may have had an impact on your whole person health. In the ‘In Christ’ column, note changes that have been made and that are current and part of your life now. Then, in the ‘Before Christ’ column, circle any item that is still a part of your life now. In other words, what attitudes, beliefs, values and patterns of living in your life are not consistent with what the Word of God says about how He wants you to be “In Christ.”
Does your practice match your position? In other words, do your habits line up with the position you have ‘In Christ?’
After a believer accepts Christ into his/her heart, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within. It is the Spirit of God in us that enables us to become more Christ-like. We have a huge role to play in this, however. We must be willing to humble our self and become dependent on God by surrendering. Surrendering not just once, as when we initially surrendered our heart to Jesus, but surrendering to Him daily. As we do this, we are better able to live ‘In Christ’ and our patterns of living and habits will reflect this. In turn, these habits will favor better emotional, mental and physical health.
To gain an appreciation of the significance of how your beliefs, attitudes, values and thinking patterns impact your behavior, see the Life, Stress, Faith and Health Model.
The more you turn over your life to Christ, the more ‘In Christ’ you will actually be, and the more God will be glorified through your life.
Questions to Reflect On:
You may have accepted Jesus into your heart, but to what degree are you living ‘In Christ?’
What habits do you have that do not represent a life of living ‘In Christ?’
Which of the habits above are you prepared to surrender to Jesus?
Scriptures Containing the Phrase ‘in Christ’ at BibleGateway.com
The PathWay2Wholeness Bible Study facilitates a deeper walk with Jesus
A Nicely Formatted Article. Perfect for your church lobby or health center waiting room. – Surrender to God. Let Go.