Salvation through Christ or in Christ?


We are considering the verse: “I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). 

Through Jesus the Door we get into Him—He is the door to Himself. That raises the question: Is salvation through Jesus or in Jesus? The usual answer is through Jesus. If the “through” doesn’t lead to the “in,” however, it stops this side of salvation, for salvation is in Jesus. The “through” opens the possibility of salvation, but the “in” gives the actuality of salvation.

This is the central weakness of organized Christianity—it preaches salvation through Christ, but not salvation in Christ. The churches are filled with people who believe they are saved through Christ. That salvation is looked for in heaven—they will be saved in heaven through Christ. The salvation is in the past—through the cross, and it will be realized in the future in heaven. The present is but faintly redeemed, or not at all. Salvation is not now in Christ. It is in the past as a potentiality, or it is in the future as an actuality. But salvation that is not present is not salvation—it is only a hope. If you ask the average church member if he is saved he will probably answer, “I hope so.” He is depending on salvation through Christ and not on salvation in Christ. 

The cross is the door through which we can enter into Christ. Surrender and faith are the responses through which we do actually enter and become in Christ. Only when we are actually in Christ are we saved. He saves those whom He has.


O Jesus, my Lord, if Thou dost save only those whom Thou hast, it is of supreme importance that Thou shouldst have me—the whole me, for if I leave anything outside Thee it is outside salvation. Thou hast me. Amen.


 Salvation through Christ is outside me, salvation in Christ is inside me.

Confused about last week’s entry? Read this article clarifying the matter of the destiny of the unevangelized.

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Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. “This is the central weakness of organized Christianity—it preaches salvation through Christ, but not salvation in Christ.”

    Organized Christianity,
    Like a closed retail store,
    Keeps people
    Stuck at the door.
    It doesn’t train them
    To enter in
    And to begin
    To actively adore
    And fully surrender
    To the risen Jesus

  2. I find “in Christ” creates an imagery too confusing for me to understand, while “through Christ” is much more easily understood – which makes it easier to process the words that proceed and/or follow that phrase. The phrase “in Christ” becomes a stumbling block for understanding the relationship between Christ and Christians to many potential and new Christians. I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years, and that phrase continues to “turn me off” from the message being preached. Stop the madness!

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