David prayed, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1). Not according to my sorrow or my repentance or my will or my works, but according to “thy lovingkindness” alone. Every believer, as David, asks God to have mercy on them for Christ’s sake alone, to forgive them all their sins and to receive them in Christ and for His sake alone (Eph. 4:32; Philip 3:9). Without God’s eternal love in Christ, we cannot be saved. “What was there in us to merit esteem or give the Creator delight? Twas even so, Father, we ever must sing, because it seemed good in Thy sight.” There is nothing any can do to earn God’s favor or blessings. Only Christ can cleanse us from our sins. Only His obedience is acceptable to God. God’s favor and blessings are given us, not for anything found in us, but only for what He thinks of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and what He has done. This being the case, are you not amazed that God, the eternal God, the holy God, the unchanging, Almighty, just God of glory would love you in Christ?! If God loves everyone, if all men are 'entitled' to the love of God, or if God loves because of what He finds in me or what He expects to find in me, then I will have no appreciation for the love of God in Christ; I will be completely without a true sense of awe that God would love me, 'a sinner condemned unclean.'
Every believer has been “in Christ” from everlasting (Eph. 1:4). If you are “in Christ,” there was never a time when you were not “in Him.” If we are “in Christ,” when He obeyed, we obeyed; when He died, we died; when He rose, we rose; where He is now in glory, there are we with Him (Heb. 7:10; Rom. 5:19; 1 Cor. 15:22; Eph. 2:6; Rom. 6:3,6,11). “In Christ” we have all things. Apart from Christ, we have nothing. There is no blessing from God for any man apart from Christ. “In Christ,” we have all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Eph 1:3). All of the promises of God are “in Christ” (2 Cor. 1:20; Gal. 3:16,19; 2 Tim. 1:9). Salvation is “in Christ” alone (2 Tim. 2:10; Eph. 1:7). The fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily “in Christ,” and we are complete “in Him.” (Colossians 2:9-10). The love of God is found only “in Christ” (Romans 8:35,37,39). “In Christ,” are all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3; 1 Cor. 1:30). The will and purpose of God are “in Christ” (Eph. 3:11; 1 Thess. 5:18). We are accepted “in Christ” the Beloved (Eph. 1:6). God will give all things to those for whom He gave His Son, and there will be nothing left for any other. Therefore, there is no reward but to those “in Christ.” He is the Heir of all things; as Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac, the Father has given all that He has to Christ (Gen. 25:5; John 3:35; Heb. 1:2; Rom. 8:32). “In Christ” we have redemption (Rom. 3:24; 1 Cor. 1:30), righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30), no condemnation (Rom. 8:1), life (Rom. 8:2; 2 Tim. 1:1; 1 John 5:11), sanctification (1 Cor. 1:30), comfort (Philippians 2:1), grace, mercy and peace from God the Father (Ephesians 1:1-2; Philippians 1:1-2). The Church -- every saint -- is “in Christ” (Philippians 1:1; 4:21). What does it mean to be “in Christ?” It means that God receives from His Son for us, and receives us as His Son. This is what it means to be loved by God. It means that God the Father "has chosen us in Him that we should be holy, and without blame, before Him in love" (Eph. 1:4). "Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee" (Psalm 63:3).