This Sunday Pastor Joey will be teaching us about our union with Jesus as expressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:12.
There is a phrase the Bible uses to explain all that we have received because of our union with Jesus – that phrase is “in Him”.
Believe in Him
You will see “in Him” a lot in the Gospel of John and it is often linked with believing in Jesus. Here are just a few examples (emphasis added):
- This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. (John 2:11)
- that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:15-16)
- Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:18)
There are many more in John’s Gospel, but one that jumps out the most may be John 6:29. We are so performance-based in our thinking, that a question that often comes up in our minds is, “What is the work I need to be doing for God?” Jesus answered this exact question, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
What We Have Received “In Him”
Now let’s turn our attention to another use of “in Him,” namely what we have received because, as believers, we are now positioned “in Jesus”.
We have seen an example of this already in our reading of 1 Corinthians, “that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge.” (1:5)
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is full of these truths, let’s look at what is ours “in Jesus” (emphasis added):
Chosen – “…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Ephesians 1:4)
We know what it feels like to be left out – it’s terrible. In Jesus, you have not been left out, but you have been chosen! Before the world was even formed, God has chosen you!
Paul starts this letter by addressing it to “the saints” - some translations say, “holy ones.” This is an identity statement that Paul is making at the very beginning of the letter. In Jesus, we are “holy.” Therefore, we must understand that Paul stating we are to be “holy and blameless” is not a “to do” item, but is an “already done” item, in Jesus. It is part of our new identity in Jesus.
Redeemed – “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…” (Ephesians 1:7)
How do you know the value of something? It’s worth what someone is willing to pay for it. In Jesus, God has revealed your worth by revealing what He was willing to pay to buy you back (redeem you). He gave His life for you! Jesus redeemed you with His very life.
Why? Because of His grace. Grace is unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor. It is getting something we have not earned. There is nothing we have done to warrant Jesus’ willingness to save us from our sin, but in His love and grace He has chosen to redeem you.
Inheritance – “In him we have obtained an inheritance…” (Ephesians 1:11)
For the believer judgement day is nothing to be feared, because we are in Jesus. Pastor Alan Wright has compared judgment day for the believer to the reading of a Will to the beneficiary. The Will reveals what has been inherited. In Jesus, we have received all the promises of God, and on that day, all of what this means will be fully known to us – all that we have received (our inheritance), simply because we are in Jesus, will be revealed.
Note that Paul writes this in the past tense – this inheritance has already been “obtained” by Jesus on our behalf, and it is ours because we are in Him. How can we be sure of this? Let’s look at the next thing Paul says we have…
Sealed – “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
It doesn’t get much clearer than that! When we heard the gospel and believed in Jesus, we received the Holy Spirit who has sealed us and guarantees our inheritance. Boom!
Notice again the past tense – sealed - indicating this is a done deal.
Built together – “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22)
We have seen a lot of past tense words revealing what has already been done on our behalf as believers. Note here the present tense. This is a current on ongoing work of Jesus for us as the body of Christ (His church). We are being built together.
There’s a danger in our individualistically-minded culture to make our spiritual lives just about ourselves, but this notion is foreign to the Bible. Often, the word translated “you” in the Bible is in the plural form. We can easily miss this. The same is true in this verse – the “you” is plural, and we can see that by the rest of the verse. It’s obvious that Paul is talking about the church as a group. In other places it’s not so obvious, so we just need to remember that the Bible assumes we are living our lives in community with other believers.
While it is true that we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us individually, the real power of this truth is revealed when we come together as the church. Except for Jesus himself, no one person has all the spiritual gifts within them. It is when we come together that all the spiritual gifts become present and reveal the full nature and power of the Body of Jesus.
We Are ONE in Him
This is why Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “…all the members of the body, though many, are one body…”. In Jesus, we come together as the dwelling place of God, as saints sealed by the Holy Spirit guaranteeing the inheritance we have obtained because God has chosen to redeem us!
Order of Service
Glory to God Forever
May the Peoples Praise You
All I Have is Christ
Sermon- Unity Through Union (1 Corinthians 12:12) by Pastor Joey
Closing Song: May the Peoples Praise You