What I'm about to say isn't an official church doctrine. This is what I personally believe about the term or the theme "in Jesus" that the apostle Paul uses throughout his writings.
Because the first Adam, upon becoming a living soul, had all of humanity contained in him, so was humanity corporately included in Jesus, the second and last Adam, at Jesus' incarnation.
My claim that all human life is in both men is based on sin and death spreading to all through the first man, resulting in condemnation; and righteousness being spread through the second man, resulting in justification of life for all (Romans 5: 12, 18).
Since Jesus lived the perfect life that Adam should've lived, the history of humanity has been changed to reflect what Jesus has done. With humanity - past, present, and future corporately in Jesus, all were taken to the cross to die to sin and be resurrected into new life (1 Cor. 15:21, 22).
This wasn't a vicarious event in which Jesus died for our sins. We were actually in Jesus when it happened. This is why when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. This is why we are credited with Jesus' righteousness and declared innocent. It's because of the innocent life He lived on earth while we lived in Him.
Jesus accomplished the mission He was sent on. God's word, in John 3: 17, says that Jesus was sent to save the world. Jesus said as much in John 12: 47. And that's exactly what happened. God's word does not return to Him void. Jesus saved the world.
That means all. Even those who haven't as yet accepted Jesus have been saved objectively. Humanity as a whole past, present, future was raised with Him to heaven. As such, all of us, originally belonging to God, have been redeemed and reconciled to God. God got back what is His.
This, Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, is the "it is finished," objective, spiritual gift that God has prepared and presents to the world. I say He presents it because God isn't going to force anything on us. We still have free-will.
We have the choice of remaining in the first Adam or accepting God's gift and subjectively experiencing our new position in the second Adam. Our choice is between two humanities.
With this belief intact, my approach to an unbeliever isn't the "are you saved" question. It's a "do you know you've been saved" question. That gets their attention, and allows me to present the gospel in its fullness.
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