Imagine that I wanted to send a friend a book, then decided to write him a note on a small piece of paper as well. I wanted to be sure that he got them both so I put the note inside the book. Though they are separate items, I wouldn't have to mail them seperately. I would simply need to mail the book. Because the note is in the book, it goes where the book goes. Spiritially speaking, this is what it means to be "in Christ". When by faith, I surrender my life to Him, and trust Him for forgiveness, God places me "in Christ". I no longer have to strive for God's favor; I have it because Jesus has it. I no longer have to strive to be holy; I am holy because HE is holy. I simply remain in Him and all the benefits, blessings, resources, power and love that are His are now mine. This understanding explains why Jesus put such an emphasis on abiding in Him in John 15:
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15:4-11 NKJV)
When we abide in Him our Christian life lives itself. God no longer demands perfection from us because He has included us in His son who is perfect. Does this release me from living a holy life? Absolutley not. Rather, it enables Christ's holiness to surround, flow through and be reflected in my life. My focus then becomes abiding, not striving. He died to sin, therefore, because I am in Him, I am dead to sin as well. He lives in righteousness, therefore, because I am in Him, I live in righteousness as well. This truth motivated the Apostle Paul's revelatory proclaimation in Galations 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Are you abiding? I hope so. It's the only way to live.
"Lord, I abide in You today. I rest in Your favor, acceptance, and redemption. Because I am in You, I will live in Your life, love with Your love, and walk in Your power. Strengthen my faith and let my patterns, thoughts and actions reflect this truth today. Thank You for including me. In Jesus' name, Amen."