There will be no standing against the enemy's accusations until we are firmly assured of, and settled on, the fact that our Father is at peace with us because of our living union with His Beloved Son.
It is a wonderful thing to have the consciousness that we are in living union with the Lord Jesus in heavenly glory, knowing our position in that risen sphere, participating in all that constitutes His life in the blessed circle of love and rest where He lives unto the Father.
We are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus and this verse can also be translated: it is through faith in Christ that all of you are sons in union with Christ. These believers knew about their heavenly heritage and their position in Christ, for in the next verse we read: for as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ.
Work of the Spirit
Like us, these believers were baptised by the Spirit into union with Christ.
He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. 1Corinthians 1:30 God in His grace chose us to be in union with Christ and in fellowship with Himself – not because of our own merit but by His amazing and eternal grace, and God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him – in love.
In our union with Christ in Hisdeath, we cease and He begins, and from the beginning He becomesthe all.
We have to take the position quite definitely and consciously that now, in accepting our union with Christ in His death, this is to work out in our having no more place at all, and that whenever we come into evidence we shall be smitten, we shall be put aside, we shall not be allowed to go on.
And by union with Christ, we partake of that spiritual life that He took possession of for us at His resurrection, and thereby we are enabled to bring forth the fruits of it; as the Scripture showeth us by the similitude of a marriage union.
Our Father has placed us in eternal and living union with His Son, that He, not we, may be. Moreover, He has placed His Holy Spirit eternally within us that He, not we, may “do.” Further, He has given us the necessary faith and Scripture that we may rest in this wonderful reality, trusting Him “to will and to do of His good pleasure.” This is a far cry from futile struggle and frustrating self-effort!
Union With Christ
As Christians, we are rightly related to the Lord Jesus – through believing in Him.
And we are in union with Christ – for we are saved by grace through faith in Him. We have entered a glorious state and are seated in heavenly places – in Christ, and the present work of the Spirit in us, is to conform us into the likeness of Christ.
A believer may backslide due to carnality or choose to place themselves back under the law, but union with Christ is eternal.
Fellowship with God may be blocked through sin, and scripture may be misinterpreted due to incorrect teaching or a misunderstanding of dispensations, but a believer’s union with Christ is eternally unbreakable.
A Reassuring Truth
When the word of God is read literally, grammatically, and contextually, the unfounded fears that result from wrong teaching, prove themselves to be “eternal poppycock” for our union with Christ is eternally secure.
Free Gift of Grace
God’s wrath and condemnation for the sin of the world was poured out on Christ. All that man has to do to receive this free gift of grace is to believe on Jesus Christ – simply believing puts us in union with Christ and places us into the family of God.
The union we have with Christ when we first believed is eternal and can’t be broken. When we trusted Jesus as Saviour all our sins – past, present and future were forgiven – and we were placed in everlasting, permanent and unbreakable union with Christ.
Union with Christ can never be severed but Communion with God can be broken. Every believer can enjoy fellowship with the Father – but it can be interrupted.
We were placed in permanent union with Christ the moment we were saved.
Huegel declares: “When a Christian’s prayer life springs from a right position (a thorough adjustment to Christ in His death and resurrection), a vast change in procedure follows: Much of our begging fails to register in heaven because it fails to spring from right relations with the Father in union with Christ in death and resurrection: in which position one simply appropriates what is already his.
We are to know and accept that we are complete in Christ and need nothing more. We are to recognise Christ as the full and final authority over all rule and principalities. We are to trust all that Scriptures tell us of the treasures that are contained in Christ – For you are complete through your union with Christ, Who is the head over every ruler and authority – principality and power. Colossians 2:10
This little, almost insignificant term cradles in its arms a most powerful meaning. 'In Christ' indicates a close, intimate, living union with our resurrected Saviour – Jesus. 'In Christ' is a positional truth that is found in Scripture, and applies to all Christians.
So then, to gather that up in one word, it means that for our lives and for our service, our ministry, our heavenly vocation, there are, in union with Christ, resources at our disposal which are heavenly, inexhaustible, and incorruptible.
With one object, God does different things at different times, and has a different emphasis from time to time, and those who are really in union with Christ have to be governed by that which Christ at that particular time is Himself undertaking, is giving Himself to: ...what things soever He doeth these the Son also doeth in like manner.
I think it is very sad that the highest thought which God has about us, and that which His heart is set on, is that which is least known by Christians; for I know no truth that is so little realized as union with Christ. -J.B.S.
Union with Christ
He is taken out of the kingdom of darkness and placed into Christ’s kingdom of light. He is removed from His place of death and baptised into the body of the Lord Jesus. He is removed from being in Satan and is placed in permanent union with Christ.
By grace, the Spirit placed us in a position of union with Christ that will never be broken. By grace, we are identified with His righteousness because He identified with our sin.
Growing In Grace - STUDY
The Apostle John delights to remind us that as children of God, who have entered into eternal union with Christ Jesus, we also have the right to enjoy intimate fellowship with the Father on a daily basis.
Although we are forgiven sinners, and in unbreakable and eternal union with Christ, there are times when we fall into sin and every sin places a barrier between God and us.
The freedom is so entirely in Christ Jesus, and the maintenance of our living union with Him is so distinctly and entirely the work of divine power, that it is only as we see that the Spirit dwells within us for this very purpose, and know how to accept and yield to His working it, that we can really stand in the liberty with which Christ has made us free. -A.M.
Paul prayed that the church would be given spiritual wisdom and godly insight. He wanted all believers to be able to remain confident in the hope of their calling. He did not want them to be tossed hither and thither by every wind of doctrine – but to know the truth of their union with Christ – for that truth will set us free.
He is placed in union with Christ, receives the Spirit of God into his heart and is given eternal life.
Though there is no partiality in our positional status and union with Christ, we are responsible for our spiritual growth, for we can submit to, or resist the Holy Spirit’s leading, guiding, correcting and chastening work.
Justification and Sanctification
It is also vital also to rightly divide between justification and sanctification. 1) Justification – the salvation of the spirit : born into the family of God. 2) Sanctification – the salvation of the soul... living as a child of God. 1) Justification – born again once and in eternal union with Christ forever. 2) Sanctification – growing in grace throughout life.
It must be possible for us to say with perfect assurance and confidence before God: Lord, what I am as apart from Christ is one thing; what I am by faith's union with Christ is that I am righteous with Thine own righteousness; I cannot be destroyed, I cannot come under condemnation!
So Paul says: ...becoming conformed unto His death, which means: to have the ground of death continuously and progressively removed; and that, again, as we have said, is the fruit of living union with Him.
Life in Christ
We can be saved and be in union with Christ without accessing His life within ours. We can be positioned in Christ as a believer without our life being submitted to Him. But when our life is possessed of His, we live and move and have our being in Him, When Christ is given governance of our life, we take possession of what we have. We possess His very presence, His nature, and His life, within ours.
The marriage union is an important one... for we know that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, and Christian marriage should be a mirror-image of our intimate union with Christ.
They would soon discover the astonishing truth of our permanent union with Christ and that His resurrected life would be imputed to all believers so that instead of being influenced by the old Adamic nature, we would receive a new nature - the resurrected life of Christ.
Although we are eternally saved and in positional union with Christ forever, sin separates us from God, for sin interrupts our fellowship with God and until we confess our sin, we are separated from all that makes for life and health and peace in our hearts.
It was not his own, limited, and inadequate strength that Timothy was to draw upon, but the fathomless and immeasurable strength of God alone – which is poured out in rich abundance on those that, by faith, are in union with Christ and maintaining close fellowship with the Father.
This is a truth that should rejoice our heart every moment of the day. By virtue of our new birth and spiritual resurrection, we have been placed into an eternal, spiritual union with Christ and been made part of His spiritual Body, which is the Church.
The glory of Christ in His humanity is the glory that is given to those that have come into union with Christ as Saviour, for we are being conformed into His likeness day by day, as we submit to the leading and guiding of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and one day we will be exactly like Him, for we shall see Him as He is - in His glorified body, full of grace and truth.
But the rich and abundant mercy of God is not only poured out on His people Israel, but embraces all who are members of Christ’s Body, which is the Church, and because of the great love with which He loved us, He has drawn us into permanent union with Christ and seated us together with Him in heavenly places.
It is precious to discover that He was led like a lamb to the slaughter for us, and willingly and quietly took the punishment that you and I deserve so that our sins could be completely forgiven through His sacrificial death, and by faith in Him, the power of sin has been broken in our lives and we have been placed in union with Christ and identified with His life.
And here in this verse we discover another stunning reality - that because of our union with Christ, we not only have a wonderful inheritance reserved for us in heaven, but are also part of God's own inheritance.
The seal of God on each believer confirms our union with Christ and our identity as God's purchased possession, for we were bought with a price - the precious blood of Jesus Christ our God and Saviour.
How we praise our heavenly Father for Calvary, that our sins are forgiven; that there is no more condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus; that we have been placed in union with Christ and accepted forever in the Beloved.
As God's blood-bought children we are called into union with Christ, identified with His righteousness, seated with Him in heavenly places, and exhorted to live and walk in a manner that is worthy of the divine calling with which we have all been called.
And because of this glorious spiritual union with Christ, Paul exhorts us to be heavenly-minded, by mortifying all earthly lusts and leanings and by putting on the new-man – knowing that we are now seated with Christ, in heavenly places.
Let us urgently seek to set our affections on things above and not on this earthly system, which lies in the realm of Satan.Let us make up our minds to really understand what Paul means in his oft-repeated references to being baptised into Christ, buried with Christ, risen with Christ, and in union with Christ.
When we trusted Jesus as Saviour we became children of God, entering into eternal union with Christ, a relationship that can never be broken.
Once we are in union with Christ, we can also commune with the Father and enjoy sweet fellowship with Him.
A vital aspect of the Christian life is recognising that we are all sinners and acknowledging that we fall short of the glory of God - that we all need forgiveness of our sin for the salvation of our soul and union with Christ, but we also need to ask for forgiveness when we fall short in our Christian life - for if we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Having outlined the frailty of man's flesh and the mysterious glory of Christ's cross, Paul reaches his climactic conclusion, that anyone, who is in union with Christ, by believing His finished work on Calvary paid the price for their sins, has been made a new creation.
In the same way, the new life of a believer, which is in union with Christ, is to live out this earthly life in Christ and for Christ - only saying and doing those things that we hear from HIM - daily delighting to do HIS will.
Before we were saved, we were estranged from God BUT when we were saved by grace through faith in Christ, our sin was forgiven and we came into a living union with Him - a spiritual union which joins all believers to Christ our Saviour Who is the Head of the Body.
Union with Christ is the most wonderful truth of our salvation that staggers the imagination... for the Holy Spirit baptises us into the Lord Jesus and then comes to live inside our bodies.
This spiritual baptism only happens once... at the point of salvation, but from that moment on, through time and into eternity, believers will never be out of union with Christ.
Our union with Christ which begins the moment that we were born again can never be lost - and Paul calls this being 'baptised into Christ'.
Our sin nature and the sins we commit have to be punished and Jesus took the full and final punishment that we deserve - but it is only and exclusively and unalterably by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus that we can be fully and forever forgiven of our sins and placed in eternal union with Christ - by which we are brought back into a right relationship with our heavenly Father.
Once we are placed in union with Christ by faith, the power of sin was broken, because from that moment forward we became identified with His death - which broke the power of sin in the lives of all who would believe.
Having detailed our unity in the Spirit, our union with Christ, and the unsearchable riches of God that have been freely bestowed on us by grace, Paul contrasts the corrupt lives of unregenerate man with the normal Christian walk, which should exhibit the tenderness, forgiveness, and grace that we see in the character of God and the life of Christ.
These are beautiful qualities that are exhibited in a life that is living in spirit and truth, under the guidance of the Spirit, in union with Christ, and in fellowship with the Father.
Because we are in union with Christ and identified with Him, we are exhorted to follow Him in our attitudes and actions, and even the motives of our hearts that are known only to God.
There is not even the slightest, tiny crumb of condemnation at all those who are in Christ Jesus - those in UNION with Christ - those that have been placed IN Christ at rebirth - those who have been born-again - those that have been sealed by the Spirit - those that have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
This is the crux of the matter: Whoever believes in Him, (whoever is in UNION with Christ - whoever has been placed IN Christ at rebirth - whoever has been born-again - whoever has been sealed by the Spirit - whoever has trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour) are NOT condemned.
He gave us an understanding of the difference between union and communion - between our permanent union with Christ, which can never be broken, and our fellowship with Him, which can be broken by sin and renewed through the confession of our faults.
Every believer is placed in union with Christ, (positionally sanctified) the moment they place their trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
We came into our positional union with Christ at salvation when we received His new life within, and we are to continue living for Him by reckoning God's Word to be true and by acting upon it in our individual lives.
By faith we have been brought into eternal union with Christ and there is nothing more important than to live our lives as unto the Lord so that in Him we will rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory - not only in this world but throughout eternity.
Through our union with Christ we lack nothing, for He has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Jesus Christ Who called us to His own glory and excellence.