What does it mean that we are in Christ? Does it simply mean that we now have a new perspective on life? Does it mean that we now inhabit a special place in God's 'heart'? Because we, for whatever reason, and however we did it, maintain a blessed relationship with our Heavenly Father; are we now embroiled in an epic battle of 'us versus them'?
Are we to believe that since we have entered into Covenant with our Creator, and He has entered into His Creation that we now possess something which no one else has? Unless one enters in the way & manner which we prescribe ( or the Westminster Divines ) they cannot be in Christ, nor He in them! Can one be a member of the Body of Christ without being a member of the Institutional Church? ( It's pretty clear that one can be a member of the Institutional Church without being a member of the Body of Christ! )
Scripture tells us in several different places that God's Anointed is His People! King David was known as His Anointed, and in fact, several of the kings of Israel enjoyed this distinction. As we read in Isaiah 45:1, our Heavenly Father refers to His servant Cyrus as His Anointed! Throughout the Psalms, the Covenant People of God are most often referred to as His Anointed!
The Greek 'Christos', which is translated from the Hebrew 'Māšîaḥ', and means 'anointed', was always and only ever used of Jesus, but since the Special People of Yahweh were revealed as anointed throughout Scripture, it is safe to say that We are in that sense the Christ, or Anointed! No, we are not the Promised Savior of Deuteronomy 18:15-18, nor are we the Creator Himself, but with the Power of God, through the Presence of God, we have all Power & Authority in Heaven & Earth! We have been restored to a greater position than Adam & Israel, that of being Priests to the Nations, in order that we might fulfill the Ministry of Reconciliation which Jesus began! ( John 14:12 )
To say that we are beloved is in keeping with Scripture ( Deuteronomy 33:12, Nehemiah 13:26 ( the Psalms, again, are full of examples ), but when Jesus was revealed as the Only Beloved Son of God ( God Himself, in fact ), we find that it is in & through Him that we find our stature as the Beloved Son of God!
The apostle Paul wrote numerous times ( I Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 4:12, Colossians 1:24 ) that we are the Body of Christ! Here we go again with the questions! What does it mean that we are the Body of Christ? Is that merely a metaphorical statement? Did Paul simply mean that we should now live our lives in a way as to honor our Heavenly Father? Or are we in fact the Anointed, set to the task of carrying on the Established Kingdom of our Heavenly Father?
As the Body of Christ, there can be no doubt that we have been anointed to carry out and to fulfill this Work of God ( Opus Dei ), but is it right & good to claim the status of Christ? Can we even hope to attain to that Stature?! The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, seems to have thought so ( Philippians 3:10-16 )! If, as Jesus said ( John 14:12 ), 'Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater [ works ] than these he will do, because I go to My Father', then we must understand that being in Christ, we are not simply His followers; we ARE Christ!
To carry on, to fulfill ( fill up ) the Finished Work of Christ is to share the Joy that we have been given! Too many Christians, for centuries, have kept this Joy ( selfishly ) behind their eyes and between their ears, 'fought the good fight of faith' in that epic battle of 'us versus them' and forgotten that we are bringers of Light & Joy, not Darkness & Death! We are no longer the Chosen Few; we are the Son of God, and we are Many!
Charles Haddon Shank