“…and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.”  Colossians 2:10

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3



What does it mean to be a Christian? Is there such a thing as an unsaved Christian? It might sound like a funny question, but I think it’s important to ask. How does our culture use the term, and most importantly, how does scripture define a Christian? These questions have been a point of discussion in my home during the past week ever since my wife read a book called “Unsaved Christians.”  

For those of us who follow Christ, it’s a big deal how the name is used. Christians are being redefined in many ways by popular culture. The Bible only uses the word Christian three times, Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16, yet the term being “In Him” and “In Christ” is found 180 times in the New Testament, of which the Apostle Paul uses these terms 143 times in his Epistles to describe followers of Jesus. Christians in the New Testament are both followers of Christ, and more importantly, we are found to be “in Christ.”  Dr. Luke in Acts 17:28 defined it this way: “For in him we live and move and have our being.”

Let me paraphrase a quote I heard some time ago that sheds some perspective:

“The gospel is a message, yet it cannot be confined to a message. While the gospel is the truth, it cannot be captured by a series of propositional truths. Before the gospel is anything else, the gospel is Jesus. The good news is not just that God loves us. It is that God is love. The good news is not that Jesus provides us a way of salvation but it is that Jesus is himself salvation.”

The disciples of the first-century church were not just followers of Jesus and his teaching, but rather they saw themselves as being both in union and in communion with Him. All that was “of Christ” was also to be true of them. Paul said; I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

And to the young Christians in the cities of Philippi and Corinth, he expressed his life in Christ this way – “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

There may be many ways people define what it means to be Christian, but it’s clear that every definition must include being “in Christ.”

In Christ,