The New Testament uses the phrase “in Christ” hundreds of times. In fact, Wikipedia has this fascinating sentence in regards to the statistics of this phrase that’s eye opening:
“The expression “in Christ” (en Christo, en kyrio, en Christo Iesou, en auto etc.) occurs 216 times in the Pauline letters and 26 times in the Johannine literature.”
So what does it mean? (Hint more than I can write here.) Let’s look at it from a standpoint of grace to get some direction though.
GRACE is primarily God’s presence; Jesus himself embodies that presence through the Holy Spirit for all those who will accept Him; and, it’s transformative power to make you into something you otherwise wouldn’t be if your life was not in reference to Jesus is what it means to be “in Christ.”
The Gospel and the Kingdom intersect and become one when one is established and at peace with the reality of grace on and in their lives. That is because true grace is an established epiphany of ultimate reality for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see this revelation in every aspect of their lives:
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.” Rom 11:36
The Bible sees the adopted people of God, the good news of God, and the effective range of God’s power in our decisions, being realized most in Christ through grace by faith in Jesus. And any good Trinitarian knows that wherever trust in one person of the Trinity is, there all of God is, one.
SO, let Jesus be the reference and watch grace make you a reference point for God too. It’s not circular it’s coherence, goodness, and complete, just as life should be.
Hope again my friend.
“the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus”