â€œFor ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.â€ (Colossians 3:3)
There are three wonderful figures in the New Testament which depict the relationship of the individual believer to all other believers and to Christ Himself. Christians are like little branches in the great vine, which is Christ. They are stones in a great building of which He is the foundation and corner stone. They are all members of the great body of which He is the head. In each case, they have been placed â€œin Christ,â€ and they derive all life and meaning from Him.
As a stone lying alone on the ground is useless and ugly, so would be a professing Christian who is not truly in Christ. But we, â€œas lively stones, are built up a spiritual houseâ€ (1 Peter 2:5) as â€œthe household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spiritâ€ (Ephesians 2:19-22).
Similarly, a branch without its vine and roots is lifeless. Jesus said: â€œI am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothingâ€ (John 15:5).
The members of a body are functionless without the head to direct them. â€œBut now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased himâ€ (1 Corinthians 12:18), and it is intended that we â€œmay grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together . . . maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in loveâ€ (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Outside of Christ, we are useless, and lifeless, and without direction. In Him, we become a beautiful temple, a fruitful vine, and a strong body. HMM