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November 05, 2007

“WHAT WE HAVE IN CHRIST” Part II

by Professor Robert J. Barth

Part II

The Apostle Paul boldly stated, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).  Once we are “in Christ” by grace through faith we are “new creatures” (II Corinthians 5:17) because our spirit is reborn. Having been born of the Holy Spirit, we “work out” (Philippians 2:12) or live out our salvation and our soul (mind, will, and emotions) is renewed (Romans12:2) and conformed into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29).

In addition to who we are in Christ, we have available to us all of the New Covenant promises and blessings. Paul stated, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Accepting and acting in faith upon the truth of who we are, and what we have, in Christ is an important part of renewing our mind. We know that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

I pray that as you read, reread, and think on these Scriptures you will “hear” what the Holy Spirit is saying concerning what you have in Christ.

  1. Repentance unto life: “When they [the apostles] heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18).
  2. Forgiveness of sin: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name [Jesus] whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me [Jesus]” (Acts 26:18).
  3. Purified hearts and salvation by faith: “And put no difference between us and them, purifying their [Gentiles] hearts by faith. … But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Acts 15:9,11). See also Acts 16:31. “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:9). See also, II Timothy 2:10.
  4. An inheritance from God: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
  5. Glory, honor, and peace: “But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is not respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:10-11).
  6. The (imputed) righteousness of God: “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22-23). See also Romans 9:30; 5:17; Galatians 5:5; Philippians 3:7. 
  7. Access to grace: “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2).
  8. Free gift of grace: “But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift of grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many” (Romans 5:15). See also, I Corinthians 1:4.
  9. The love of God: “And hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).
  10. The atonement: “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:11).
  11. The Holy Spirit to help in our infirmities and to make intercession for us: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).
  12. The word of faith: “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach” (Romans 10:8).
  13. Different spiritual gifts according to the grace that is given to us: “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Romans 12:6).
  14. Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (I Corinthians 1:30).
  15. Revelation of what God hath prepared for them that love him: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Corinthians 2:9-10).
  16. The Spirit of God: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (I Corinthians 2:12).
  17. The mind of Christ: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16).
  18. Freedom from condemnation: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
  19. Victory over sin and death: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:55-57).
  20. Liberty to do what is right: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).
  21. A heavenly position with Christ: “And [God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).
  22. Partakers in the covenants of promise: “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13).
  23. Fruits of righteousness: “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11).
  24. Consolation and comfort: “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2).
  25. The peace of God: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
  26. The strength to do and to endure all things, and the provision of all needs: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” … “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:13,19).
  27. A holy calling: “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (II Timothy 1:9).
  28. Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).

As we have considered who we are, and what we have, in Christ, we certainly can see why the Apostle Paul stated that God has given us “all things” through Christ. We are forgiven and delivered from the bondage of sin against God, we are restored into fellowship with God, we are given a holy calling for God, and we blessed with many promises from God.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)

Praise the Lord Jesus, our Savior, Master, and King!

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About the Author

Professor Robert J. Barth
A graduate of the University of Illinois (B.S. 1976), Professor Robert J. Barth received his Juris Doctor from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1979. He received his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Regent University in 1986. From 1986 to 1995, Professor Barth was associated with Regent University School of Law in several capacities, including assistant dean for academic and student affairs, and editor of the Journal of Christian Jurisprudence. He has written several articles, and as the director for academic programs, he has authored Oak Brook College’s book, Renewing Your Mind as You Study Law.

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