Guest Post: The Meaning of ‘In”

Sep 04
The meaning of in

It’s always amazing to me that the simplest of things can have profound meaning. Faith is the simplest and yet the most complex principle of the gospel. “In” is such a small word but I’ll never look at it again the same way.

This past week I got a wonderful insight from one of the Scripture Notes users. She agreed to let me post her letters to me but I’m leaving her anonymous at her request for obvious reasons below.

I am so glad to have Scripture Notes.  It has helped me immensely to see correlations between scriptures.  I can study the definitions of words more easily with Scripture Notes, and put the definition right in the note box with each scripture.

One of the most interesting things I just learned today:  we are supposed to have faith IN Christ, but what does “in” mean?  I looked it up in the 1828 dictionary, and the definition is this:

1828 Noah Webster dictionary:  IN

IN, preposition [Latin in ] in denotes present or inclosed, surrounded by limits; as in a house; in a fort; in a city.

It denotes a state of being mixed, as sugar in tea; or combined, as carbonic acid in coal, or latent heat in air.

It denotes present in any state; as in sickness or health.

It denotes present in time; as in that hour or day.

The uses of in, however, cannot, in all cases, be defined by equivalent words, except by explaining the phrase in which it is used; as in deed; in fact; in essence; in quality; in reason; in courage; in spirits, etc. A man in spirits or good courage, denotes one who possesses at the time spirits or courage; in reason is equivalent to with reason; one in ten denotes one of that number, and we say also one of ten, and one out of ten.

From <>

Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

The man could now walk because he was now in a “state of being mixed” or “present in any state,” with Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

To me, it is about faith.  18 months ago I had a nervous/mental breakdown due to overwhelming stress.  In the process of healing, I have worked to understand “faith.”  But I couldn’t wrap my brain around what faith really was, because it was something that I had to “find,” or “get,” or “build.”  I didn’t have the mental capacity or emotional capacity to figure it all out, and so I kept letting Satan tell me that I was not going to heal, that I was not enough, that I had to do more to be acceptable to God and myself, etc…

What I did not understand was that faith is IN Christ.  That means that to have faith, I have to learn how to BE in Christ.  No wonder we are told to “come” to Him – to “draw near to Him.”  I have to learn how to be like He is.  I have to become clean (which means I have to daily repent).  So to me, it took faith from being nebulous (how do I know when I have enough faith) to knowing that what I had to do was to come to Him, and be with Him.  That was something I could understand.  It also, incidentally, has healed the PTSD and overwhelming anxiety I have dealt with for so long.  That’s why people are healed in the name of Christ.  When I am one with Him, I realize “He is whole.”  If He is whole, and I am in him, I am also healed,, and it can literally be manifest.

FYI, Webster’s 1828 dictionary is just a click away in Scripture Notes. Highlight a word in a verse and you’ll see the 1828 button to open up that definition.

Websters 1828 Dictionary in the app

I have often wondered why at baptism the ordinance is proclaimed, “IN the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Now it becomes clear.

(Featured image by antonioguillem @


About the Author

Oak Norton - Just trying to share a love of the scriptures with others.