The concept of being in Christ is one of the most powerful in all of Scripture. It will answer many questions about salvation, sanctification and unity. We will have a greater, more complete understanding of God’s plan of salvation if we understand what it means to be in Christ.
Jesus is God, Creator and possesses all authority (John 1:1-5,14; Matthew 28:18). His Word will judge us in the last day (John 12:48). Jesus is the reason for our salvation (John 3:16).
Humanity was awash in hopelessness prior to Christ going to the Cross. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, NKJV).
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Jesus’ blood allowed us to come back to God after our sins separated us from the Father (Isaiah 59:1-2; Hebrews 9:12-14). We are completely dependent on Christ for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).
“And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15). The blood of Jesus is the only possible avenue to salvation.
“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:9). Faith in Christ, as the Savior of humanity, is a requirement (Hebrews 11:6). “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Since our salvation depends on Christ, and we must approach him in our free will to be saved, entering Christ is the only way to enter his family (Ephesians 2:19).
In Acts 2, the gospel was preached in Jerusalem and 3,000 souls were immersed for the remission of their sins (2:38,41). When they were baptized, they were added to the Church (Acts 2:47), the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23), which was built by Jesus (Matthew 16:18).
Immersion is the only way we can get into Christ. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3). “For by One Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
Never do we find that we can get into Christ any way other than baptism for the remission of sins. Yet, most people believe that you can get into Christ by praying, despite the absence of Biblical evidence.
“‘And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord'” (Acts 22:16). We cannot get into Christ or have our sins washed away without baptism. Accordingly, if someone has not done this, they cannot be in Christ and cannot be in the Lord’s Church.