UNION WITH CHRIST

Scripture Reading:  Romans 6:1-11

“For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.”  (Romans 6:5)

Theologians speak of the “mystical union” that believers have in Jesus Christ.  Jesus said to His disciples, “You are in Me” (John 14:20).  Believers have Christ living in them — “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:10).  Believers have become united with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. John Murray in his book Redemption Accomplished and Applied says, “Union with Christ is really the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation.”

The union we have with Jesus Christ is a vital union in which the life of Christ becomes the dominating principle within us — “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).  Because we are in union with Christ, He is present with us everywhere we go.

This union we have with Christ is a spiritual union whose source and author is the Holy Spirit.  The bond of this union is the Holy Spirit — “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him” (Romans 8:9).

As a result of our union with Christ, we undergo a complete change in the dominant affections of our lives — “We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (v. 6).  We are now able to walk in newness of life — “We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (v. 4).

Because of our union with Christ, we have a new ability and power to resist sin — “For one who has died has been set free from sin” (v. 7).  We are no longer enslaved to the sin nature we were born with.  We can now live for the glory and honor of Christ and we can have a close, intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ because we have been united to Him.

Lord Jesus, I know that I am in You and that You are in me.  I cannot fully grasp the mystery of the union I have with You.  But it is so comforting to know that You live in me and that You give me the power and ability to resist sin in my life.

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