Incorporated into Christ

by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 1 - The All-Inclusive "In"

There is no phrase or formula which occurs with greater frequency in the New Testament than this "In Christ." It sometimes varies in translations when "by" and "through" and "with" are used, and sometimes in the original text it changes in form, e.g., "In Christ Jesus," "In Him," etc., but in all the two hundred times of its occurrence the principle is the same. In the whole range of Christian dogma there is nothing more expressive, yet none less understood and appreciated.

In one consummate declaration we are told that God has summed up all things "in Christ," and that outside of Him there is nothing which has any place in the Eternal purpose and intention of God. The plan, the method, the resources, the times, the eternities, are Christo-spheric.

The Creation is in Christ.
The Life is in Christ.
The Acceptance is in Christ.
The Redemption is in Christ.
The Righteousness is in Christ.
The Sanctification is in Christ.
The Hope is in Christ.
The Spiritual Blessings are in Christ.
The Consolation is in Christ.
The Peace is in Christ.
The Effectual Prayer is only in Christ.
The Strength and Riches are in Christ.
The Eternal Purpose is in Christ.
The New Creation is in Christ.
The Promises are in Christ.
The Escape from condemnation is in Christ.
The One Body is in Christ.
The Perseverance is in Christ.
The Gathering into One is in Christ.
The Bonds of suffering believers are in Christ.
The "No separation" is in Christ.
The Perfect Man is in Christ.
The Helpers together are in Christ.
There are the churches in Christ.
There are the dead in Christ.
There is the "One New" and "Perfect Man" in Christ.
We are complete in Christ.

The context of this formula ranges from Eternity, through the ages, to Eternity.

In Eternity past we were chosen and elected together in Christ. Ephes. 1:4; 1 Peter 5:13.

Through time, by the Cross, this eternal heavenly fact is wrought in literal and experimental form in different terms implying specific progressive spiritual truths, but always the same principle.

"Planted together in likeness of His death." Rom. 6:5.
"Quickened together" with (in) Him. Ephes. 2:6.
"Raised together with (in) Him." Ephes. 2:6.
"Seated together with (in) Him." Ephes. 2:6.
"Gathered together into One." Ephes. 1:10.
"Joined together." 1 Cor. 1:10.
"Framed together." Ephes. 2:21.
"Knit together." Col. 2:2.
"Builded together." Ephes. 2:20.
"Live together." 1 Thess. 5:10.
"Workers together with Him." 2 Cor. 6:1.
"With one mind striving together." Phil. 1:27.
"Met together into His name." Matt. 28:20.

Then comes a climax, at the end of this time, when all the foregoing is accomplished and we are - "Caught up together into Him." 1 Thess. 4:17.

Finally the Eternity to come looms into view and we see that we are - "Glorified together, in Him." Rom. 8:17.

Then finally for this chapter on the fact and in prospect of considering the method, we call to mind the Pauline couplet, which is not Pauline but of the Divine "Spirit of Truth" namely "In Adam." "In Christ." On the one side of our relation to Adam, the old creation, by nature we see one set of conditions; and on the other by our incorporation in Christ, a new and different set.


"Breathed the breath of lives." Gen. 2:7.
"The first Adam, a living soul." 1 Cor. 15:45.
"In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Gen. 2:17.
"As in Adam all die." 1 Cor. 15:22.
"The law of sin and death." Rom. 8:2.
"He has become flesh." Gen. 6:3.
"The flesh profiteth nothing." John 6:53.
"I" Failure. Romans 7.
"The old man which is corrupt." Eph. 4:22.
"The natural man... the carnal mind." Rom. 8:6.
"In my flesh... no good." Rom. 7:18.
"After the flesh... corruption." Gal. 6:8.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh." John 3:6.
"The end... corruption... death." Rom. 6:23.


"He breathed on them and said receive ye the Holy Spirit." John 20:22.
"The last Adam a quickening Spirit." 1 Cor. 15:45.
"Newness of life." Rom 6:4.
"In Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Cor. 15:22.
"The law of the Spirit of life." Rom. 8:2.
"Not after the flesh but after the Spirit." Rom. 8:1.
"Spirit" Victory. Romans 8.
"The new man created in righteousness and holiness." Ephes. 4:24.
"The new man." Col. 3:10.
"Newness of Spirit." Rom. 7:6.
"In likeness of His resurrection." Rom. 6:5.
"Have crucified the flesh." Gal. 5:24.
"Our old man was crucified." Col. 3:3.

All this which is nothing more than quoting scripture will serve to emphasise the Divine inclusiveness and exclusiveness, and help, we trust, to a recognition of the great fact, that no man can live the Christian life, there is only one who can live that life and that is Christ Himself. We must have such an experimental incorporation into Him that He lives His life through us as members of His one Body, so that "For me to live is Christ" and "It is no longer I, but Christ." As the blacksmith's iron is both in the fire and the fire in it, so first we must realise our position through the Cross ere Christ can manifest Himself through us.

PRAYER - "O Lord, may this truth be no mere mental apprehension, but wilt Thou for the sake of Thy eternal purpose in Christ, quicken it by Thy Holy Spirit in me and me to it."

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