Being in Christ

“Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”

- Philippians 4:21–23

Having thanked the Philippians for their monetary gift, Paul finishes his letter to them in today’s passage. He closes his epistle with a short series of greetings, as is his custom, calling upon the Philippians to “greet every saint in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:21). This is fitting, for since all believers are in Christ Jesus, all believers deserve our love and deference (1 Cor. 12).

The significance of being in Christ is a key theme in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. We are in Christ whether we live or we die, which gives us hope that God will finish what He has begun in us (chap. 1). Since we are in Christ, who humbled Himself to meet our needs, we should humble ourselves to serve one another (chap. 2). Being in Christ, we are clothed in His righteousness and need not fear God’s throne of judgment. Consequently, we will grow in conformity to Jesus’ character, become discerning of His truth even when unbelievers speak it, and be enabled to express our gratitude and hope that God would bless others as they bless us (chaps. 3–4).

Being in Christ is also a theme that encapsulates the emphases of the other Prison Epistles. In Christ, the fullest revelation of our Creator, we have been reconciled to God Almighty (Col. 1). Thus, we are no longer in Adam and enslaved to sin and Satan, but we have been baptized into freedom and newness of life (chaps. 2–3). On account of this reality, we walk in the Lord’s ways, and all our relationships are transformed (chap. 4). This means we must be willing to forgive others in Christ who have wronged us when they repent (Philemon).

Ephesians tells us that believers have been chosen in Christ Jesus for salvation and that all of these elect ones will certainly put their faith in Him alone and be justified (chaps. 1–2). This gospel of true life in Christ, although preached from the beginning, is revealed in the new covenant most clearly as the Lord builds His church by knitting together all who are in Christ by faith (chaps. 3–4). In Christ Jesus we wear God’s armor to defeat the world, the flesh, and the Devil, living out the gospel’s implications in all our interpersonal relationships (chaps. 5–6).

In Christ we live not only now but forevermore. May we always realize the benefits of being in Him and live accordingly.

Coram Deo

Take some time today to meditate on all the great blessings that we enjoy by virtue of being in Christ—an imputed righteousness that secures our place in heaven; adoption as sons and daughters of the perfect loving Father; assurance of victory over all of His and our enemies; provision for all of our needs; and much more. Let us thank the Lord for choosing us in Christ, giving us faith in His promises so that we might live and die in the Savior.

Passages for Further Study

Philippians 1:20–21; 3:1–11; 4:4, 19

First published in Tabletalk Magazine, an outreach of Ligonier. For permissions, view our Copyright Policy.