Our Things: Understanding Your Rights & Privileges in Christ.

Philemon 1:6 (NKJV)

6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of EVERY GOOD THING which is in you in Christ Jesus.

In Christ, we have things. Here, Paul prays for Philemon that he would come to know those things. This is typical of the Pauline prayers. They are prayers for knowledge (see Eph 1:15-18, Phil 1:9-11, Col 1:9-11). Effectiveness in the Christian walk comes by knowing those things which are ours in Christ.

In Ephesians 1, Paul calls them spiritual blessings, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING in the heavenly places in Christ” (vs. 3). We have rights and privileges which are ours, simply because we are in Christ.

A college student (having paid tuition) is typically entitled to certain privileges. For instance, he is entitled to attend lectures. This is his right. He is also entitled to write exams. Furthermore, he is entitled to the school library, and all the books there.

Similarly, simply because you are in Christ, you have certain rights and blessings—they are yours to enjoy! Below is a list of such:


In Christ, righteousnesss is yours.

2 Corinthians 5:21(NKJV)

21 For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (Jesus).

He made Him sin” means that Jesus was treated like sin, at the Cross. What is done to sin? It is punished! So He is treated like our sin at Calvary. Now, God turns around and treats us as though we have never sinned! This is what is meant by the words, “We have become the RIGHTEOUSNESSS of God, in Him.” In Christ, we are righteous before God, and treated accordingly (cf. Rom 3:23-24, 4:5-8, 5:1).


In Christ, sanctification is yours.

1 Corinthians 1:30 (NKJV)

30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and SANCTIFICATION and redemption.

Hebrews 10:10 (NKJV)

10 By that will WE HAVE BEEN SANCTIFIED (past tense) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Sanctification is another word for holiness. Notice, holiness is not something we strife for. It’s ours already in Christ. We are not trying to be holy. We already are! The word “holy” simply means “set apart.” In Christ, we have been “set apart” (i.e. separated) from the world of sinners, unto God. This is our holiness.

In 1 Peter 2, the Apostle Peter says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS into His marvelous light, who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (vv. 9-10). Our “holiness” is our being “called out” or our set-apartness from this world (John 15:19, 17:15-16 cf. 1 Pt 2:11-12).

The Apostle Paul often called Christians “saints.” This marks the opening of his Epistles. For example, he says in Ephesians 1:1, “The saints at Ephesus…” In writing to the Philippians, he says, “To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi” (Phil 1:1). To the Church at Colosse, he writes, “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse.” The word “saint” means “holy one.” So, Paul addresses Christians as “holy.”

Now, these saints were not “perfect” (in terms of their conduct). For instance, Paul wrote two Epistles to arguably the most carnal/sinful Church in the New Testament (the Church at Corinth). In this local assembly, someone had taken his father’s wife (see 1 Corin 5). There were also divisions (1 Corin 3:1-4), unsubmissive wives (1 Corin 11:3, 5) and selfishness (1 Corin 11:17-22) in that Church. Yet, Paul calls them saints, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, CALLED to be SAINTS, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” (1 Corin 1:2). Note that the italicized “to be” was supplied by the translators and is not original to the text.

Their conduct did not change who they were. We are NOT sanctified by our good conduct. We are sanctified by the work of Christ. Hebrews 10:10 does not say “we have been sanctified (i.e. made holy) through our good conduct.” Rather, it is “through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hallelujah! So we don’t try to be holy, we already are!

But doesn’t Peter instruct Christians to “be holy” (in 1 Peter 1:15)?” Yes, he does. His statement must however be understood contextually.

1 Peter 1:14-16 (NKJV)

14 as obedient children, NOT CONFORMING YOURSELVES TO THE FORMER LUSTS, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also BE HOLY IN ALL YOUR CONDUCT, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

It is obvious that Peter is referring to holy conduct—how you live! There is no contradiction: in Christ, you are holy (set apart to God) already. Now, act like it, act holy. Behave like what you already are! You exist as set apart from this world, now, conduct your life accordingly. This is Peter’s point here. God works in the believer the desire to do what pleases Him (Phil 2:13).


In Christ, sonship is yours.

In Christ, we are sons of God. Paul says in Galatians 3:26, “For YOU ARE ALL SONS OF GOD through faith in Christ Jesus.” In the next chapter, he reiterates, “And because YOU ARE SONS, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Gal 4:6-7).

Similarly, he says in his Epistle to the Romans, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD.” (Rom 8:15-16). As children in the Father’s family, we enjoy rights that slaves do not enjoy.


In Christ, you are a citizen of Heaven, ALREADY.

Many Christians have been taught to persevere in the faith in hopes of one day “attaining Heaven.” A common Christian prayer in Nigeria where I pastor is “may you be rapturable.”

Some Christians have also been taught to “keep short accounts with God.” This refers to the act of incessantly confessing one’s sins. The common idea is that a Christian who dies with unconfessed sin is eternally lost (i.e. will be condemned to hell). Such false teachings keep God’s precious people in bondage to fear (for an understanding of the subject of confession of sins, click here: On Confessing Sins).

The question is: Is Heaven a distant, future hope to one day be attained, or the present-day reality of believers in Christ? Paul provides an answer by his apt statement in Philippians 3:20, “For OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” This is clear: we are not trying to be “citizens” of Heaven, we already are!

Paul says in Ephesians 2, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and MADE US SIT TOGETHER IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES in Christ Jesus” (vv. 4-6).

The writer of Hebrews speaks of Heaven as a present reality of all who trust in Christ’s work. He says in Hebrews 12, “But YOU HAVE COME (present tense) to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (vv. 22-24). The idea of “dying and going to Heaven” has come about because Christians have not read their Bibles as they ought (for a better understanding of the subject of Heaven, listen to the audio sermon by Pastor Josh here: A Place On Earth).


In Christ, you enjoy the gift of no condemnation.

Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” It has been ascertained by the exertions of the field of textual criticism that the latter part of this verse (“who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit“) which seems to imply a condition to the gift of “no condemnation” is not original to the text. It was added much later after Paul had written, by an unknown scribe, in reproduction of the manuscript. What Paul wrote was, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” full stop! No conditions attached, except faith in Christ.

No condemnation” simply means you will not be punished for your sins anymore, because Jesus already bore that punishment, on your behalf. Vs. 3 says, “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: HE CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH.” Sin has been condemned already in the flesh (i.e. body) of Jesus (at the Cross).

Why then are people still being condemned?” some may ask. The answer is simple: because they reject Jesus, Who bore their condemnation. Our Lord Himself says it this way in John 3, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but HE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE IS CONDEMNED ALREADY, BECAUSE HE HAS NOT BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION, that the light (i.e. Jesus) has come into the world, and MEN LOVED DARKNESS (i.e. sin) RATHER THAN LIGHT, because their deeds were evil” (vv. 18-19). Men who reject Jesus in unbelief have chosen to bear, by themselves, what Jesus was supposed to bear for them (i.e. condemnation for sin).

But for those who accept Jesus (by believing), they will not be condemned or punished for sin! Vs. 18 says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned…” Jesus bears our sins and we go scot-free!


• In Christ, we enjoy the ministry of angels.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that angels are our ministers, “Are they not all MINISTERING SPIRITS sent forth TO MINISTER for those who will inherit salvation?” (Heb 1:14). The word “minister” simply means “to wait upon, look after, serve.” This is what angels do towards God’s children. They serve us.

Angels are not higher than believers in hierarchy. In Christ, we are seated above them. Recall that Ephesians 2 had said, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, MADE US ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST (by grace you have been saved), and RAISED US UP TOGETHER (i.e. we & Christ), and MADE US SIT TOGETHER (i.e. we & Christ) in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (vv. 4-6). We are seated together with Christ in the heavenlies.

Where exactly is Christ seated? Ephesians 1 tells us, ” Which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him AT HIS RIGHT HAND (“the right hand” in the Jewish thought is the place of all authority) in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE ALL PRINCIPALITY AND POWER (i.e. angels) and MIGHT and DOMINION, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (vv. 21-22). So, Christ is seated at the place of all authority, far above the angels—and we are seated there with Him! If we are seated where Christ is seated (and Christ is seated above angels), then WE are seated above angels, in Christ. We enjoy same authority, via our identification with Him. Thus, the Christian has dominion, even over angelic beings. He may enjoy their ministry, whenever he needs to (on the subject of angels, click here to get the sermon-series by Pastor Josh: The Ministry of Angels).


In Christ, you have God’s power working in you.

Paul tells us that the SAME power that raised Jesus from the dead is working in us, “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power TOWARD US (Grk. “eis” – “in us”) WHO BELIEVE, according to the working of His mighty power, which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph 1:19-20).

The Apostle minces no words in describing the magnitude of this power, which is at work in the believer. In fact, he uses seven different Greek words to describe it:

Exceeding (huperballo: what goes beyond the usual mark).

Greatness (megethos: vastness).

Power (dunamis: strength, often used for miracle-working strength).

Working (enérgeia: kinetic force, energy in motion, active power).

Mighty (kratos: displayed strength, dominion, vigor).

Power (ischus: force which overcomes immediate resistance; nothing can stand in its way).

Worked (energeó: displayed efficiently).

This same power is that which death, sin and the grave could not stop. Now, it resides in you! This came about when you received the Spirit. When you believed the Gospel, the Spirit of God was given to you. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Or do you not know that YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO IS IN YOU, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” The Spirit indwells you at salvation; He comes to live in you.

Now, the Spirit’s arrival is accompanied with power. Jesus spoke about this “power” in Luke 24, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you (i.e. the Promised Spirit); but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (vs. 49). Notice that with the Spirit would come “power from on high.” Acts 1 also gives a similar account, “But YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS COME UPON YOU; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (vs. 8). Clearly, to receive the Spirit of God is to receive His power.

This power is working in your entire being. It is working in your mouth. This means you can speak supernaturally. The moment you believed in Christ, you received the ability to speak inspiredly (see Mark 16:17, 1 Corin 12:10 cf. Acts 2:1-4). Theologically, this is referred to as utterance gifts (i.e. tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy). These gifts are a manifestation of the power of God in your speech faculties.

The power of God is also now working in your sight. This means you can see supernaturally. You can sense things. The Spirit gives you that ability. You can see into the spirit-world (i.e. visions of angels, demons and manifestations of God). You can know things supernaturally. These are called revelatory gifts. They include the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom and the discerning of spirits.

In addition to working in your mouth and eyes, God’s power is also at work in your hands. By virtue of the Spirit, you can wrought the power of God; you can heal the sick, you can work miracles, and you can also receive healing and miracles, passively (these are the power gifts).

Note that in Christ, no one has what another doesn’t have. We all have the SAME things. Paul wrote to the Corinthians saying, “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, EACH OF YOU HAS a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification” (1 Corinthians 14:26). The rights, privileges, gifts and blessings available to one are available to all.


Your Will Is Involved.

In Christ, God doesn’t just bless you with spiritual gifts, He also gives you the ability to use those gifts at will.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NKJV)

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT IS GIVEN TO EACH ONE for the profit of all:

The word “manifestation” comes from a Greek word which implies an unveiling or display; a making known, or apparent. The Christian doesn’t just have the gifts, he also has the right, to display them. Vs. 7 may be better read thus, “…the DISPLAY of the Spirit is given to EACH ONE for the profit of all.

You can exhibit what you’ve got, at will! You can use that power working in your mouth (i.e. utterance gifts), in your sight (i.e. revelatory gifts) and in your hands (i.e. power gifts), at will!

In simple terms: In Christ, God gave you power, then He gave you the ability to use that power, whenever you want, to bless others—you are in control! Paul captures the essence of this point by his statement in 1 Corinthians 14:15, “What is the conclusion then? I WILL pray with the spirit, and I WILL also pray with the understanding. I WILL sing with the spirit, and I WILL also sing with the understanding.

The phrase “I will” shows he’s in control! Otherwise he would have said “GOD WILL MAKE ME pray with the Spirit, and God will also MAKE ME pray with the understanding.” Although prevalent in the Old (see 1 Sam 10:9-13), it is not the case in the New Testament that the Spirit of God can so move upon a man, without his volition being involved. On the Day of Pentecost, the gathered disciples were not “coerced” to speak in tongues (by the Spirit). They spoke with tongues, while the Spirit simply gave utterance i.e. the words to say (see Acts 2:1-4).

It is interesting to note that from vv. 27-32 (in 1 Corinthians 14), Paul gives instructions on the public ministry of utterance gifts.

1 Corinthians 14:27-32 (NKJV)

27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, EACH IN TURN (i.e. the other two are to be quiet, while one is talking), and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, LET HIM KEEP SILENT in church (the speaker can keep quiet, if he wants to) and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, LET THE FIRST KEEP SILENT (he can choose when to talk, and when to be silent) 31 For you can all prophesy ONE BY ONE (that is, one after the other), that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are SUBJECT to the prophets.

Even in our expression of divine utterances, we can control themselves. Paul gives instructions because we are capable of restraint.

In conclusion, these are our “things” in Christ (Philem 1:6); the rights and privileges which accrue to us, by virtue of our identification with Him.


Say this:

In Christ,

I’ve been blessed,

With every spiritual blessing,

In the heavenlies.


I am righteous,

I am holy,

I am a son of God.


I enjoy the gift

Of no condemnation;

I won’t be punished for my sin,

Jesus already bore that punishment

On my behalf,

I go scot-free!


I’ve also got power!

Miracle-working power!


God gave me power,

To use that power,

Whenever I need to,

To bless others.


I can speak in tongues,

I can interpret,

I can prophesy,

(To bless others)


I have the word of knowledge;

I can know facts, SUPERNATURALLY,

About the past,

And about the present.


I have the word of wisdom;

I can know facts,


About the future.


I have the discerning of spirits;

I can tell

What is of God,

And what is not of God,

I can distinguish, ACCURATELY,

Between look-alikes,

I’m never deceived!


I heal the sick,

I raise the dead,

I cast out demons,

I work miracles,


The power of Christ

Is alive in me,

And it’s working!



© Josh Banks Ministries. 2023.



  1. I am blessed!!!
    This is an enlightening moment for me.
    Thank you Pastor Josh for sharing God’s word with us.
    God bless you sir.

  2. Judicious Musonda

    Lam blessed with Joshbanks.org, it contains the epignosis of truth.

  3. Bibian Kyrian

    Pastor Josh Banks ministries and message has instantly transformed my life and enlightened the eyes my understanding. May God continue to bless you Pastor Josh Banks in JESUS mighty name Amen

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