| Our Union With Christ |
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." (1 Cor. 6:17).
One of the most essential truths for the child of God to grasp and to hold on to by faith is the union of the believer to Christ. It is no longer me living the Christian life, but it is Christ in me, who is now living His life in me and through me.
One of the reasons that many of us are so frustrated in our Christian experience is that we are trying to live the Christian life in the power of the flesh. The flesh and the self life can never live up to the standard that the Word of God has set before us. It seems as if the standard has been set too high, and that it is impossible for us to live this life. The truth of the matter is that it is indeed impossible for us to live this life out of ourselves, but what is impossible with men is possible with God. Jesus Christ is the only one that has ever lived the Christian life in perfection, and this truth has not changed. Only Christ in us can live the Christian life. This means that the life of self must be removed so that Christ can live His life in me.
"I am crucified with Christ and it is no longer I that lives, but it is Christ that lives in me." (Gal.2:20). It is imperative that we see the truth of our identification with Christ in His death. When Christ went to the cross not only did He bear our sin, but the whole Adamic race died in Him. We were crucified with Christ. We were in Him and His death was our death. We cannot crucify ourselves. The flesh can never cast out the flesh. "Knowing this that our old man has been crucified with Him." (Romans 6:6). Deliverance from the self life only comes through death. We have been made one with Christ in His death.
Not only were we crucified and buried with Christ, but we were made alive in Him. "And you hath He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins." (Eph.2:1). The resurrection of Christ was our resurrection also. Not only have we been given a new life in Christ, but we have been raised up with Him and made to sit in heavenly places in Christ. "But God who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us. Even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ. And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph.2:5,6).
The great truths of our identification with Christ in His death and resurrection have not only put an end to the sin question, but have also put an end to the question of the self life. It is no longer I, but Christ. It is no longer I that is on the throne, but Christ now is in sovereign control of my life. The Christian life cannot be split up into me doing my own thing and giving a part of my life, part of my time, part of my attention to Christ. The Christian life is Christ. He is the head and we are the body. We have been made bone of His bone. It is Christ that is now on the throne of our hearts. He is the one that is in charge and is calling the shots. It is no longer two separate lives that are being lived, but it is one life, "His life."
"For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Eph. 5:31,32). Christ and the Church are one. The Church is the fullness of Christ.
"For as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ." (1 Cor.12:12).
We can no longer live the Christian life in independence from Christ, anymore than one member of our body is independent of the other members. Christ is our very life. It is in Him that we live, and move, and have our being.
"I am the vine and you are the branches. He that abides in me and I in Him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing." (John 15:5). We have been grafted into Christ, and our very life is dependent upon abiding in Christ and partaking of the continuous supply of life that is ours through our union with Christ.
God's purpose for every child of God is that we would be conformed into the image and likeness of His Son. This does not mean that we are to strive within ourselves to be more like Jesus. Remember, self has already been given the death blow, for "I have been crucified with Christ." The reason that we can be conformed to the very image and likeness of Jesus is because we have been made partakers of the divine nature. (1 Peter 1:4).
The prayer that Jesus prayed before He was crucified was not only for those men that were the disciples of Jesus, but for the Church was this prayer prayed.
"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also that shall believe in me through their word. That they all may be one, as thou Father are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory that thou has given me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, that the world may know that thou has sent me, and has loved them as thou has loved me." (John 17:20-23).
| 2010/7/16 7:46||Profile|
| Re: Our Union With Christ |
Our union with Christ is a living union;
HE is the True Vine, and we the branches.
Our union with Christ is a loving union;
borne of the Father's great love for us,
expressed in the sacrifice of His Son.
Our union with Christ is a lasting union,
He gives to us hope and eternal life
to share with HIM forever!
Martin G. Smith
| 2010/7/16 13:35||Profile|
| Re: |
One of the most outstanding works on union with Christ and maybe just plain an outstanding work in Christian writing is by Arthur W. Pink. His meditations on union and communion with Christ are deep and practical meaningful at the same time. Very well done and very Scripturally based and backed up. You can link to it here: http://www.eternallifeministries.org/awp_union.htm
| 2010/7/16 15:10||Profile|
| Jesus' Prayer for Our Perfect Union|
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete union to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:20-23)
1) Jesus' goal for us: complete union with one another, just the same as the Father being in Jesus, and Jesus being in the Father.
2) Additionally: We are also in them.
3) Christ's additional goal for us: Us being one the same as Jesus and the Father are one: Jesus in us and the Father in Christ.
4) The pattern for our union with one another and with God is the union within the Trinity. That perfect union is expressed through "mutual in-ness": Jesus in the Father, the Father in Jesus, we are in Christ, we are in Them.
5) And why is it so important to Jesus that we come to such union? Not for something in heaven, but for something here on earth.
"May they be brought to complete union to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
In large part the world's realization that Jesus really is from God depends on the reality of our union with one another.
The opposite is true. The greater the signs of disunity and division between Christians, the lower the chances are that the world will perceive God's love.
Jesus wants the world to perceive and understand God's love, and Christian unity is the greatest means Christ has to achieve that goal.
| 2010/7/26 2:07|
| Paul's Phrasing for Our Perfect Union|
I'm not usually a big fan of the KJV, but here is another example of its more literal, and theologically significant, translation.
"But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."
(I Corinthians 6:17).
Other translations add the words "with him" after "spirit." But the word "with" suggests a degree of separation not present in the original.
We aren't "one in the spirit," or "one spirit with him." I don't "share" the same spirit. Jesus and I are "one spirit."
For me, I take this perfect union with Christ, this "one spirit" existence, as my starting point, my assumption, not a goal to be attained. Just as I am a branch and he is the vine, so also I have "joined unto the Lord" and we are now one spirit.
I still shake my head, unable to grasp the mystery.
| 2010/7/26 16:50|
| Re: Paul's Phrasing for Our Perfect Union|
Taken from the spirit of darkness to light.
Satan spirit out, Christ Spirit in. New life in Christ.
Here we have both the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of Holiness, "Christ in you the hope of Glory and the Holy Spirit also, the sealer of that union. Plus the Spirit of God the Father.
Romans 8:9-11 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him (Holy Spirit) that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
All three, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. What a new Creature.
In Christ: Phillip
| 2010/7/31 12:29||Profile|