Philippians is riddled with the phrase In Christ. It appears at least 10 times and frames the Christian’s’ life. As Philippians 1:1 says,

This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the elders and deacons.

The term Holy People emphasizes a special relationship with God, but it is not based on the individual’s performance. Rather, this relationship is formed from being in Christ Jesus and it is He who makes the people of God holy.

The Church Paul is writing to is made up of those who belong to Jesus. Alec Motyer makes the beautiful point that, “As a title, ‘saints’ points in one direction to what Christ has done for them, and in the other direction to the obligation which now falls upon us to live out the new position God has given to us.” It’s more than just being separate from something, but also belonging to. Instead of seeing Christian as a separation, in a negative way, it is seen as a positive in that the believer now gets God and is made Holy for God’s good pleasure.

All this to say that, that being in Christ is now our position as Saints or Holy People (Philippians 1:1, 4:21). We have been bought into a living relationship by Christ and now we are in Christ.

As the letter is unpacked, we learn that being In Christ means:

  • Philippians 1:26: In Christ we celebrate our relationship with other believers. Guarding from pride and fear and exaltation.
  • Philippians 1:13: We suffer in Christ.
  • Philippians 2:1: In Christ we have encouragement and comfort.
  • Philippians 2:5: In Christ we have a new way of looking at life.
  • Philippians 3:3: In Christ we worship and place our confidence in Him.
  • Philippians 3:9: In Christ we are righteous only In Christ
  • Philippians 3:14: In Christ we have new goals and ambitions and desires.
  • Philippians 4:7, 4:19: In Christ we are secure and have all that we need.


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Bible Study, Theology Philippians