Although this verse is a rather standard greeting of Paul’s, it would be wrong to simply dismiss it. When Paul refers to the church, he makes a very important theological statement: the church itself is “in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul reminds them of their position in God and in Christ, not just as individuals but collectively as the church. We are in God and in Christ because God has chosen us. John the Apostle would later write, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). This message emphasizes that the church exists for God, not the other way around.
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