Lesson One – The In Christ Realm

The “in Christ” Realm

Lesson Aim:  To show how a new realm becomes a reality in time for those who have faith in the blessings offered by Jesus Christ and how the man-dimension of God’s kingdom functions in this spiritual sphere.


We learn from a study of the Old Testament God has always prepared a place for His people.  The first was the Garden of Eden.  After people became sinners God prepared other special environments for the faithful to protect them from harmful association with evil people.  These set-apart people were the man-dimension of God’s kingdom in each age.  The Ark and the Land of Canaan were two other “special places prepared for special people.”  Then, as now, there were always two main groups in two different abodes.  In this lesson we will investigate the “in Christ” realm as the opposite of the world realm.

God has seated Christians with Christ in heavenly places “in Christ.” Eph. 2:6.  This realm is being permeated with life principles and spiritual blessings from God (Eph. 1:3; Rom. 5:21; 8:2).  It is heavenly in that it is God’s household on earth (Eph. 2:19-22; Heb. 9:23).  Those who inhabit this realm are the church of God in Christ Jesus (I Thess. 2:14; Eph. 1:20-23).  Since the word church means the called out, it identifies those who were in the “world realm” but who have now made the transfer into Christ’s kingdom (Col. 1:13).  Christ’s kingdom “in Christ” is the man dimension of God’s eternal heavenly kingdom today (Heb. 12:28; Mark 9:1).  Jesus spoke of the keys of this kingdom in Matt. 16:16-19.  They were first used by the twelve apostles in Acts, chapter two.  The citizens of Christ’s kingdom are the saved whom God added to the church (Acts 2:47).  This became the first church of Christ built for God by Jesus.

The other realm, the world realm, has been here since Adam sinned.  We do not speak of the physical world but the way of life separate and apart from God.  Paul called it “this present evil age.”  Gal. 1:4.  We made a thorough study of this realm in Part Two.


There has been a new and exciting realm available to all people on earth ever since Jesus Christ returned to heaven.  “When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”  Heb. 1:3.  This realm is being identified as “in Christ” because those who inhabit it function spiritually as the body of Christ upon this earth.  “So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  Rom. 12:5.  See I Cor. 12:13ff.  According to the following scripture Christians are being seated in this heavenly realm.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.  Eph. 2:4-6

Those who inhabit this new realm are with Christ in heavenly places while we have physical life.  This place, which is available to all mankind in time, is being identified as the in Christrealm in God’s word.  This term, or its equivalent, can be found one dozen times in the first chapter of the Ephesian epistle.  A new realm has been available to the people of the world realm only after Jesus ascended back to heaven.  The Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples of Christ and they began to preach this good news, according to Acts, chapter two.  Because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross the mercy seat of Hebrews 9:5 became the propitiation of Romans 3:25.  Those of us “in Christ” live our lives on the mercy seat of God by faith.

Jesus spoke of two different abodes for man in time in John 16:33.  “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  The only realm available for mankind before Jesus demonstrated God’s love at the cross was the world.  Jesus told His disciples He chose them out of this world realm in John 15:19.  True, there are no geographical boundaries dividing the world from those of us in Christ; however, there are distinct boundaries.  For instance, it is necessary to be born again to make the transfer from the domain of Satan in the world to God’s kingdom “in Christ” where Jesus is king.  (John 3:3-6; Col. 1:12, 13).

Paul’s commission to preach to the Gentiles clearly identifies the reality of the two realms available to mankind.  His commission, as it is revealed in Acts 26:18, was “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”  To understand the way the word church is used in God’s word we must have a concept of two realms.

The word church has a root meaning of “called out.”  Without the two realms God would have no place to call people to or from.  In his letter to the church of God at Corinth, Paul made it very plain there are outsiders and those within the church (I Cor. 5:12).  The outsiders are the world and those “in Christ” are the called out, or church.  Church members have been transferred into Christ’s kingdom according to Col. 1:13.  Those who remain faithful are the citizens of God’s eternal kingdom (Heb. 12:28).  Satan rules the world but John said it is passing away (I John 2:17).  Many people stay with Satan in the world because they do not know about, or do not understand, the blessings from God made available in the “in Christ” realm.

Each of these realms has a distinct mental environment for their inhabitants.  This is because of the beings that rule, the blessings or curses of God therein and the nature of the inhabitants.  Of course, each person’s mental environment is being influenced by his or her own perception and the condition of their inner self.  Mentally, the world suffers from a pollution problem.  It is being polluted with sin, death and the wrath of God.  The mental environment develops people who “…walk, in the futility of their minds.”  Eph. 4:17.  Why did God develop a new realm on earth for mankind?  Paul gave us one reason.

For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  Eph. 2:10

God evidently wanted a workshop to finish what He started when He created man.  The “in Christ” realm had been planned before the world was made for God’s adopted sons.

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that, we should be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.  Eph. 1:4, 5

Since Jesus’ responsibility is to bring many sons to glory, He had need of a healthy mental environment in which to develop God’s family (Heb. 2:10-15).  The “in Christ” realm offers us the same healthy mental environment the Garden of Eden offered Adam and Eve before they sinned.  What made the Garden mentally healthy was the absence of fear and guilt.  Also, God was there as a part of their social circle.  God understands the man He created; therefore, the way God set up the Garden met both the physiological and spiritual needs of human beings (John 2:24, 25).  Much of this was smashed when Satan made his appearance but our needs remain.  They demand satisfaction.  Thanks to God who has given us a “no condemnation” realm, so He can fulfil His new covenant with us after we accept it in repentance (Heb. 8:10).

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.  Rom. 8:1, 2

Now let us consider the spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus that re-created the healthy mental environment of the Garden of Eden for Christians.  One, there is the presence of the Divine Persons.

According to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:  May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.  I Peter 1:2

This scripture reveals the specific role of the three persons of the Godhead as they relate to faithful brethren in Christ (Col. 1:2).  Personal identity is important for each of us.  Deity helps us identify as sons of God.  This is God’s purpose for our being created (Gal. 4:4-16; Rom. 8:16; 9:26).  God’s blessings “in Christ” meet both the basic and higher needs of mankind.  Man is social in nature.  The church, along with the Deity, satisfies our need for social acceptance as well other needs (I Cor. 12:20-27).

Another group of blessings contributing to the healthy mental environment “in Christ” are the grace doctrines.  The result of these doctrines prevents our weaknesses from overcoming us because they justify our relationship with God (Rom. 5:18).  A divine grace doctrine is a declaration from God that changes things.  For instance, Jesus said an old man can be born again and he or she can (John 3:3-6).  God said those in Christ are holy and blameless and we are (Eph. 1:4).  These doctrines cost Jesus a terrible death on the cross, but they are so very necessary for spiritual growth (I Pet. 2:24).

People with the knowledge of good and evil in a physical body are in trouble unless we accept help from God.  He had to change things for us before He could “write His laws on our hearts and minds.”  He had to “remember our sins and iniquities no more.”  Heb. 10:16, 17.  This has a great impact on our environment, mentally and it lets our “self” get in control, rather than the lust of our flesh (Eph. 4:20-25).  We need to have our inner man strengthened so we can put to death the deeds of our body (Eph. 3:16-19; Rom. 8:13).

Truth and worship are other blessings in Christ that influences our mental environment.  The Bible is divine truth about spiritual realities.  When these are being accepted by faith they have substance (Heb. 11:1).  The Bible guides us in life and reveals our future.  We can choose the right way the first time (II Tim. 3:16, 17).  Our worship of God aids our spiritual growth because it is mentally healthy.  People are either being attuned to the world realm or what is going on “in Christ.”  We sing and pray to our Creator (Eph. 5:18-21).  Also, Jesus has invited us to commune with Him each first day of the week to remember the price He paid so we can enjoy the blessings (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 11:23-30).

For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.  Phil. 3:3

The way God created us is consistent with His purpose for creating us.  God created us to enjoy the glorious position and life of children in His eternal kingdom.  It is not surprising that all people have a great need for glory.  Complete satisfaction for this desire cannot be found in this world because it is passing away (I John 2:15-17).  However, God offers a great hope for complete satisfaction of our need for glory, but only in Christ.  Christians are now adopted sons (Gal. 4:7).  Upon the return of Jesus Christ we hope to awake with a glorious, powerful and spiritual body (I Cor. 15:40-44).  As a son of God with our resurrected body we hope to inherit eternal life and the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:29; 25:34).  This hope is now a spiritual blessing “in Christ” and it motivates us toward our goal.  It gives us a proper view of time and created things.  Because Christians have this correct view, the world becomes our training ground for our role in God’s eternal spiritual kingdom (Eph. 5:1-5).  Instead of being overcome by the world, we become its salt and light.

The remaining lessons in Part Five will elaborate on the blessings “in Christ” mentioned in this lesson and some others.  We will see how all spiritual blessings in Christ work together to develop a healthy environment for faithful Christians.  Although, the “in Christ” realm is a reality for all who desire it, it is only real by our faith.

But just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’  I Cor. 2:9

The stronger our faith develops, the more clearly our blessings become.  The result is a better environment for us.  Lord please increase our faith (Luke 17:5).

Questions for Discussion 

  1. Name the event that had to happen before a new realm could become a reality.
  2. Explain the similarity between the mercy seat of Heb. 9:5 and the propitiation of Rom. 3:25.
  3. Name the two realms available to mankind in time and list a scripture that makes use of your terminology.
  4. How does a person enter either of the two realms?
  5. How does the concept of the two realms help us understand the Biblical usage of the word church?
  6. Name the two kingdoms existing simultaneously in time and identify their respective realms.
  7. What affects the quality of life in each of the two realms available to mankind in time?
  8. In what sense is the “in Christ” realm heavenly?
  9. Who are the saved and in which realm were they added, according to Acts 2:47?
  10. Give one reason why God established the “in Christ” realm.
  11. How long ago had God planned to make the blessings “in Christ” available to mankind?
  12. How was the Garden of Eden similar to the heavenly places “in Christ?”
  13. Why did God set up the Garden of Eden the way He did?
  14. List the persons who influence the environment “in Christ.”
  15. How do certain doctrines influence the “in Christ” realm?
  16. How does our worship of God serve us?
  17. Why should it not surprise us that all people have a need for glory?
  18. What is the value of the blessings and activities “in Christ?”


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply