What does Union With Christ mean in the Bible?

Dictionary

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Union With Christ
According to the New Testament, the religious experience of the earliest Christians was derived from and dependent upon Christ. Christian experience is more than an imitation of the life and teaching of Jesus. It is the present experience of the risen Christ indwelling the believer's heart by the Spirit. Both Johannine and Pauline literature refer to this reality by emphasizing the inclusive and corporate personality of Christ.
Usage . Paul more often than any other New Testament author combines the preposition "in" (en ) with some designation for Christ. The phrase and its cognates occur some two hundred times in Pauline literature. The apostle uses the term in more than one sense, and scholars have attempted to interpret the concept in a variety of ways (e.g., mystical, existential, sacramental, local, eschatological, and ecclesiastical). In places, the words "in Christ" can be understood as just another way of designating a Christian (Ephesians 1:1 ; Philippians 1:1 ; Colossians 1:2 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ). The idea of instrumentality or causality is an alternate usage of the phrase (Galatians 3:26-29 ; 2 Corinthians 3:14 ; Galatians 2:17 ; Philippians 4:13 ). It is clear, however, that the words "in Christ" also have soteriological meaning for Paul (1 Corinthians 15:21-221 ; 2 Corinthians 5:19 ; Ephesians 1:20 ). Being "in Christ" is presented as the only basis for justification and glorification (Colossians 1:27 ). This is not a mysticism of absorption, the losing of human identity in the divine, but rather an intimate communion with God through Christ.
Paul expresses the personal appropriation of the work of Christ by the term "in Christ." It is the apostle's favorite term to describe the personal and dynamic relation of the believer to Christ, and appears in a variety of contexts. The phrase is found eight times in Galatians, thirty-four times in Ephesians, and eighteen times in Colossians. A number of these occurrences have nothing to do with the concept of incorporation, but rather, are instrumental. In Ephesians, for example, the phrase "in Christ" is predominantly used in the instrumental sense, signifying Christ as the channel through whom God works his will, elects, redeems, forgives, blesses, imparts new life, and builds up the church. The formula, however, is sometimes descriptive in character (Romans 9:1 ; 1 Corinthians 3:1 ). As such it has the meaning of "being a Christian" (Romans 16:11 ; 1 Corinthians 7:39 ; Ephesians 1:22-2346 ; Philippians 1:1 ; Philippians 16 ), and denotes certain identifiable characteristics that define a Christian. The formula is also applied to relations of those who are in the church (Romans 16:12 ; Galatians 3:28 ; Colossians 4:7 ; 1 Thessalonians 1:1 ). Thus, "in Christ" serves as the bond of unity within the fellowship of believers.
There are some occurrences, however, that use the formula "in Christ" in a locative sense, denoting the idea of incorporation (Romans 8:1 ; 16:7 ; 1 Corinthians 15:22 ; 2 Corinthians 5:17 ; Philippians 3:8-9 ). In this sense, Christ is depicted as the locus of the believer's life. If the preposition (en ) is interpreted in a local, spatial sense, and Christos [ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ). "In Christ" is an expression of intimate interrelatedness, analogous to the air that is breathed: it is in the person, yet at the same time, the person is in it. Thus, Paul's use of the phrase is similar to his concept of being baptized "into Christ" (Galatians 3:27 ), with connotations of intimate spiritual communion with Christ. Those who have been baptized into Christ are "in him." There are, however, eschatological dimensions of the phrase that indicate a dynamic influence of Christ on the Christian who is incorporated into him.
Union with Christ is the result of an act of divine grace, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Baptized into Christ, the believer is incorporated into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13 ). This new position, "in Christ, " is the fulfillment of Jesus' promise to his disciples: "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you" (John 14:20 ). The phrase "in Christ, " thus, has a corporate meaning as well: "those in the community of Christ." Communion with Christ necessarily involves a social dimension, experiencing the shared life of his body. This community is defined by its relation to its representative head. Being "in Christ" is thus new life shared in community with those who are related to Christ.
The heart of Pauline theology is union with Christ (Romans 8:1 ; 1 Corinthians 6:17 ; Galatians 2:20 ). Although often overlooked in favor of an emphasis on justification by faith, Paul's treatment of the spiritual life in Christ is central to the apostle's understanding of religious experience. Communion with Christ is presented as synonymous with salvation, achieved by faith and consummated in love. Christ "for us" must be kept together with Christ "in us." Union with Christ is organically related to both justification and sanctification (Romans 5:8-10 ), and as such, life "in Christ" is the essence of Paul's proclamation and experience. The concept, however, is also found in the teaching of Jesus: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20 ); "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me" (John 15:4 ). Thus, the concept is not unique to Paul, but is implicit in the Gospel sayings of Jesus that stress his solidarity with God's people (Matthew 18:20 ; Mark 8:38 ; John 15:1-11 ).
Paul gives particular emphasis to the "in Christ" theme in his epistle to the Ephesians. This is especially evident in 1:3-14, where the phrase (or a variant) occurs some eleven times. The majority of references in Ephesians posit God as the one acting "in Christ." Those "in Christ" are in the thought and eternal purpose of God (1:3,4, 9,11; 2:6,10; 3:9-11). Saints are elect "in Christ" (1:3-14). Christ is not only the means of election (1:5), but is depicted as the first elect (1:9). Election is made "in Christ, " denoting the execution of God's purposes in and through his Son. Inclusion in Christ is to be united to his body. Those "in Christ" become part of God's family (1:5; 2:18). Given the corporate nature of Paul's "in Christ" formula, election "in Christ" entails God's gracious choice of a people, a corporate election relative to the election of the Son. The blessings of redemption are stored by God "in Christ" (1:3,6, 7,13). Ephesians also utilizes the phrase to depict the sphere of the Christian's daily life and experience (1:1,3), and to describe the focal point of God's plan to unite all things (1:10; 2:21)—a unification now in progress for those who are "in Christ" (2:13,15, 21; 3:6).
Elsewhere, Paul uses the phrase to describe a mode of existence in which the believer identifies with the death and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:11 ); shares in his wisdom and holiness (1 Corinthians 1:30 ); and receives a new life or existence (2 Corinthians 5:17 ). This is expressed in the epistle to the Colossians by relating the theme of Christ's "fullness" to the believer's position "in him" (2:8-15). In Christ, who is the "fullness of the Deity" (v. 9), believers "have been given fullness" (v. 10). They have been circumcised by the "circumcision done by Christ" (v. 11), "buried with him in baptism, " and "raised with him through faith" (v. 12). Faith-union with Christ, therefore, makes possible incorporation into a new sphere of existence marked by "fullness, " covenant relation, and resurrection life.
For the apostle, to be "in Christ" is the same as having "Christ in me" (Galatians 2:19-20 ). In fact, the message of "Christ in you" is the revelation of God's "mystery" and the "hope of glory" for believers (Colossians 1:27 ). Through faith and love the believer is united with his Lord. Present by his Spirit, Christ indwells believers and makes possible their adoption as sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:14-16 ; Galatians 4:6 ). The Spirit of Jesus is given the believer and conforms the individual to the image of Christ. Thus, the clue to understanding the concept of fellowship with Christ is found in the phrase "in the Spirit." The New Testament teaches that the Spirit mediates Christ's presence to the believer. Paul develops this connection and identifies being "in Christ" with being "in the Spirit" (Romans 8:9 ). The apostle perceives the Christian as existing in the Spirit and having the Spirit within. By making Christ real to the Christian, the Spirit provides the environment within which the believer lives "in Christ."
Union with Christ is the result of an act of divine grace, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27 ), the believer is incorporated into the body of Christ (Colossians 3:9-10 ). A variety of biblical metaphors describe this union: vine and branches (John 15:1-6 ); head and body (Ephesians 1:22-23 ; 4:15-16 ; 5:23 ); marital relation of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:23-32 ). The result of identification with Christ is organic union and spiritual life. Although Johannine literature depicts this incorporation as mutual and symmetrically reciprocal, Paul emphasizes the relationship of believers "in Christ" more than the indwelling of Christ in believers. The reverse, however, is the case with Paul's treatment of the Spirit. There is more emphasis on the Christian being indwelt by the Spirit than on the believer in the Spirit. Thus, for Paul, the major agent of indwelling is the Spirit.
Incorporation and the Second Adam . "In Christ" denotes a profound personal identification with Christ that serves as the basis of salvation and new life. This is closely associated with the notion of sharing in Christ's death and resurrection (Romans 6:1-11 ; 8:17 ; Galatians 2:20 ; Ephesians 2:20-22 ; 3:1 ). Underlying these meanings is the concept of corporate personality. By faith believers are incorporated into the representative head of the new humanity, the Second Adam. For Paul, union with Christ results in the personal appropriation of the effects of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and glorification. By sharing in these events, the believer experiences them as living realities. In this way, Christ comes to live in and through a person.
Rather than interpreting this phrase as an isolated mystical experience, it is more appropriate to view it as describing a spiritual reality that interpenetrates all of life and finds corporate expression in the body of Christ. Thus, "dying and rising with Christ" is to be understood objectively as a participation in the historical death and resurrection of Jesus. This reality is expressed by Paul in the parallel drawn between Adam and Christ (Romans 5:12-21 ; 1618647694_18 ). As representatives of old and new humanity, the actions and futures of these "corporate personalities" are paradigmatic for all those who belong to them.
Christ has accomplished his redemptive work "for us" through his suffering, death, and resurrection (Romans 5:6-8 ; Galatians 1:4 ; 3:13 ). What took place "in Christ" makes possible the relationship of being "in him" (2 Corinthians 5:17 ). The application of both past and future dimensions of his redemptive work to the believer is characterized by the phrase "with Christ." Christians are identified as those who have died and been resurrected with Christ (Romans 6:5 ; Colossians 2:12-13,20 ; 3:1,3 ), who sit with him in heaven (Ephesians 2:6 ), and who will appear with him in glory (Colossians 3:4 ). The relation of Christians to Christ is one of faith, not mystical absorption. When the apostles John and Paul speak of being "in Christ, " they are referring to solidarity with a corporate personality. Just as humankind is "in Adam, " and Israel is God's son (or the Servant of Yahweh), so the New Israel is "in Christ." Those who believe in Christ and are baptized into him are a part of the new humanity; they are incorporated into the corporate personality of Christ. The biblical doctrine of representative humanity is also the basis for understanding the expressions "Christ in you" (Romans 8:10 ; 2 Corinthians 13:5 ; Colossians 1:27 ), Christ dwelling in his disciples (Ephesians 3:17 ), and being in or abiding in them (John 14:20 ; 15:4,7 ; 17:23,26 ; 1 John 3:24 ).
Through identification with the crucified and resurrected Savior, the believer dies to the old humanity and is incorporated into the new humanity made possible by the Second Adam. "In Christ" there is a "new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17 ), the believer having entered an entirely new sphere of existence. Union with Christ thus means to be enlivened by the power of his resurrection, to live in the realm of the Spirit. Christ's presence is directly connected to the eschatological gift of the Spirit. In Christ, the Spirit is at work carrying out God's redemptive purposes. These purposes are summed up by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 . God has reconciled the world to himself through Christ. Not only through him, but "in him" there is redemption and reconciliation. It is through solidarity with Christ as the Second Adam that humanity has the possibility of a new course (Romans 5:14 ; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22,45 ; Colossians 1:18 ). Paul identifies this new mode of existence with being indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus. The glorified Christ lives in his followers by his Spirit (Romans 8:9-11 ; Galatians 4:6 ). In him, who is the Head of the new humanity, there is life eternal.
In close connection with the Adam-Christ parallel are Paul's references to the "old" and "new" nature (Romans 6:6 ; Ephesians 4:22-24 ; 1 Corinthians 12:13 ). These are terms that not only represent the status of an individual before and after conversion, but also signify the change that has already taken effect in Christ's death (Romans 6:6 "we know that our old self was crucified with him" ). On the cross, the old nature was judged, condemned, and put to death ( Romans 8:3 ). In identifying with this death, believers have died to the old nature (Romans 6:2 ; Colossians 3:3 ), and have been freed from the tyranny of sin. "In Christ, " they have been transferred to a new order of existence, that of the "new nature." Thus, "old" and "new" signify more than personal and ethical change, but are also to be understood as terms referring to old and new humanity in the scope of salvation history.
Incorporated into Christ's death, believers have "put off the old nature." Through identification with Christ's resurrection, they have likewise "put on the new nature." Being in solidarity with Christ makes possible the new creation, renewal in the image of the Creator (Colossians 3:10 ). "In Adam, " old humanity experiences solidarity with him in sin and death. "In Christ, " however, the creation of a new humanity is made possible, which experiences solidarity with him in righteousness and life (Romans 5:18-21 ). Thus, just as humankind bears the image of the first Adam by virtue of corporate identification, those who have become incorporated into Christ are recreated in the image of the Second Adam (Ephesians 2:10 ). The corporate nature of this identification is emphasized by Paul in his treatment of the new creation, referring to the whole body of Christ as "the one new man" (Ephesians 2:15 ).
Being "in Christ" is not only the basis of Christian individual and corporate identity, but also serves as the basis of transformed relationships (Romans 14:14 ). Those "in Christ" are not only Abraham's seed and heirs to the promise (v. 29), they also are meant to manifest a oneness that knows no barriers, whether racial, social, or sexual (v. 28). The concept of being "in Christ" refers not only to the believer's vertical relationships ("sons of God" who "put on Christ, " vv. 26-27), but also to the horizontal relationships of daily living ("neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, " v. 28). "All" who respond to Christ "through faith" (v. 26) and are "baptized into Christ" (v. 27) are "one" (v. 28). Incorporation into Christ by identification with his death and resurrection means to become part of a body. To be joined to the corporate Christ is to become part of an organic whole, under his headship (1 Corinthians 6:15 ; 12:12-13 ; Galatians 3:28 ; 1618647694_1 ; 2:14-16 ; 3:6 ; 4:4,12-16 ; 5:23,30 ; Colossians 1:18 ; 2:19 ; 3:15 ). The principle of incorporation is also highlighted in Paul's use of the temple metaphor. Christ is the foundation and cornerstone of the temple, while believers are the stones built together into a corporate whole and indwelt by God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17,19 ; 2 Corinthians 6:16 ; Colossians 2:12 ).
Thus, the nature of the Christian is described by Paul with the formula "in Christ." This meant for the apostle that those who put their faith in Christ identified with him as the head of a new humanity. The phrase is a social concept; to become incorporated into this new humanity is represented as belonging to the church as the true community of God. At the same time, however, Paul's understanding of being "in Christ" involved a personal and intimate relationship with Christ. Although the corporate meaning of the formula is important, this does not preclude the apostle's emphasis on personal faith-union and fellowship with Christ. The theme of incorporation is found outside the Pauline corpus, especially in the Johannine writings (John 14:10-11 ; 15:4-5,7 ; 17:21-23 ; 1 John 2:5-6,24 , 27 ; 3:6,24 ; 4:4,12-13,15 ; 5:20 ). These passages speak of a variety of relationships that are represented in terms of a reciprocal indwelling.
Christ-Mysticism and Union with God . Paul's teaching on union with Christ has often been labeled as Christian "mysticism." This is an appropriate term if understood in a qualified sense. Paul viewed communion with God as an act of divine grace, coming not by any spiritual exercises, but by God's self-revelation (Galatians 1:16 ). Thus, union with Christ is something to accept by faith, not something to achieve by human effort. Neither does being "in Christ" involve the loss of individuality, nor the absorption of the individual into the divine Spirit (Romans 8:14,16 ; Galatians 2:20 ), but the heightening of individual qualities and characteristics. In addition, being "in Christ" is more than mystical union; it involves a moral union that provides the ethical dynamic for Christian living. This is more than a gospel of ethical example (an impossible ideal), but the indwelling of Christ who provides the motive power to live in obedience to God.
For Paul to be "in Christ" was to be "in the Spirit." Paul distinguishes between Christ and the Spirit, but views the function of the latter as mediating the former to believers. As the operative agent of God in the Christian's life, the Spirit never Acts apart from Christ. Thus, although distinct entities, Christ and the Spirit are experienced together, and are the means by which persons come into relation with God. Pauline mysticism, however, is a communal or corporate mysticism. "In Christ" is used in a way that is similar to Paul's understanding of Christians being fellow members of the body of Christ. Incorporation into this body is by faith in Jesus Christ. Having identified with the death and resurrection of Christ, the body is empowered by his Spirit to manifest his presence to the world. The Christian lives in vital union with Christ, expressing corporately the love of Christ personally appropriated by faith.
Union with Christ is union with God. Although Christocentric, Paul's theology is grounded on the premise that "God was in Christ"(2 Corinthians 5:19 ). Fellowship with Christ is fellowship with God (Romans 8:11 ; cf. 1 John 1:3 ). Although union with God is dependent on God's gracious initiative, it also requires a human response (Ephesians 2:8 ). Central to Paul's notion of being "in Christ" is the fact of faith. It is the indispensable condition for salvation, a placing of one's trust in the God revealed in Jesus Christ. This faith is the basis for intimate union with Christ, since it is the self-abandonment of the redeemed to the Redeemer. Faith-union thus finds its focal point in the death and resurrection of Christ. At the same time, being "in Christ" also has eschatological implications. Union with him involves looking beyond the present to the future. Even though the believer experiences communion with Christ, there is a yearning for more intimate knowledge and relationship (Philippians 1:23 ; 3:10 ). Present union with Christ is still "absence from the Lord, " and hence seeks fulfillment in his future advent or "presence" (parousia [1]).
Conclusion . The notion of union with Christ is multidimensional in theological significance. "In Christ, " believers identify with his death (Romans 6:3,5-11 ), his burial (Romans 6:4 ), his resurrection (Colossians 3:1 ), his ascension (Ephesians 2:6 ), his lordship (2 Timothy 2:12 ), and his glory (Romans 8:17 ). As a result, certain characteristics of Christ's person and work are attributed to those in communion with him. The "in Christ" formula is thus a comprehensive term, tying together soteriological, pneumatological, and ecclesiological dimensions of Christian experience. At the same time, it is a mystical concept, in that union with Christ is experienced "in the Spirit." The phrase also has an ethical dimension, as reflected in the idea of a new humanity made possible in solidarity with the Second Adam. Last but not least, "in Christ" has eschatological significance, in describing the status of the believer, whose life has been transformed by the presence of the kingdom of God experienced in Christ.
R. David Rightmire
See also Church, the ; New Creation ; Salvation ; Sanctification ; Spirituality
Bibliography . M. Barth, Ephesians ; M. Bouttier, Christianity According to Paul ; E. Best, One Body in Christ ; F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free ; W. D. Davies, Paul and Rabbinic Judaism ; J. D. G. Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit ; A. Fitzmeyer, Paul and His Theology: A Brief Sketch ; W. Grossouw, In Christ ; A. M. Hunter, The Gospel According to St. Paul ; R. N. Longenecker, Galatians ; idem, The Ministry and Message of Paul ; C. F. D. Moule, The Origin of Christology ; P. O'Brien, Colossians, Philemon ; J. K. S. Reid, Theology Today 17 (1960): 353-65; A. Richardson, An Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament ; H. Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology ; A. Schweitzer, The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle ; J. S. Stewart, A Man in Christ ; V. Taylor, Forgiveness and Reconciliation .

Sentence search

in Christ - See Union With Christ ...
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Anoint - In Baptism it means the laying on of oil of catechumens, signifying a life of faith and good works, and oil of chrism, symbolizing Union With Christ
Natural - Man derives his spiritual life from Union With Christ (‘the last Adam’), but his present body is not adapted to the needs of this spiritual existence; hence the distinction made by St. The transference from the one to the other begins in this life, and the two beings are identical in so far as continuity creates an identity, but otherwise, owing to the operation of the Union With Christ, distinct
Glorious - But the church, considered from her Union With Christ as part of himself, is also spoken of as glorious in him. " (Exodus 15:11) So the church, in consequence of her Union With Christ, is said to be all-glorious within
Immortality - Christ "hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel," 2 Timothy 1:10 : the immortal blessedness of Christians, including the resurrection of the body, is by virtue of their Union With Christ, Joshua 14:15
Moseroth - "Blessed are the dead, said the voice from heaven, which die in the Lord"--in Union With Christ, and a part of Christ
Seed - (Jeremiah 31:27) And it is used in a spiritual sense when the faithful in Christ Jesus are called the seed of Abraham, (Galatians 3:29) And yet in a still more peculiar, personal, and eminent manner when considered in relation to our Union With Christ; "I will pour my Spirit (saith JEHOVAH to Christ) upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring
Cherubim - ...
This in itself would indicate that they represent redeemed human beings in Union With Christ, a union seen, figuratively, proceeding out of the mercy seat. Their faces were towards this mercy seat, suggesting a consciousness of the means whereby Union With Christ has been produced
Immortality - It is His very Being—The church hath it by gift, and enjoys it only from her Union With Christ
New Man - " ...
John McRay...
See also Church, the ; New Self ; Paul the Apostle ; Union With Christ ...
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Union With Christ - Thus, Paul's use of the phrase is similar to his concept of being baptized "into Christ" (Galatians 3:27 ), with connotations of intimate spiritual communion with Christ. ...
Union With Christ is the result of an act of divine grace, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. " Communion with Christ necessarily involves a social dimension, experiencing the shared life of his body. ...
The heart of Pauline theology is Union With Christ (Romans 8:1 ; 1 Corinthians 6:17 ; Galatians 2:20 ). Communion with Christ is presented as synonymous with salvation, achieved by faith and consummated in love. " Union With Christ is organically related to both justification and sanctification (Romans 5:8-10 ), and as such, life "in Christ" is the essence of Paul's proclamation and experience. Faith-union with Christ, therefore, makes possible incorporation into a new sphere of existence marked by "fullness, " covenant relation, and resurrection life. "...
Union With Christ is the result of an act of divine grace, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. For Paul, Union With Christ results in the personal appropriation of the effects of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and glorification. Union With Christ thus means to be enlivened by the power of his resurrection, to live in the realm of the Spirit. Paul's teaching on Union With Christ has often been labeled as Christian "mysticism. Thus, Union With Christ is something to accept by faith, not something to achieve by human effort. The Christian lives in vital Union With Christ, expressing corporately the love of Christ personally appropriated by faith. ...
Union With Christ is union with God. This faith is the basis for intimate Union With Christ, since it is the self-abandonment of the redeemed to the Redeemer. Even though the believer experiences communion with Christ, there is a yearning for more intimate knowledge and relationship (Philippians 1:23 ; 3:10 ). Present Union With Christ is still "absence from the Lord, " and hence seeks fulfillment in his future advent or "presence" (parousia [1]). The notion of Union With Christ is multidimensional in theological significance. At the same time, it is a mystical concept, in that Union With Christ is experienced "in the Spirit
Abide - The apostles, Paul and John, describe the indwelling residence of the Holy Ghost, and a vital Union With Christ, under this character of abiding
Cup - (Psalms 116:13) And Paul, when describing the blessedness of Union With Christ, and communion in consequence thereof with God, calls the ordinance which resembles it, a cup
Christian - We are made Christians in our Baptism, for we are thenbrought into Union With Christ and made members of His Body
Resurrection of the Dead - ...
Because of our federal and vital Union With Christ (1 Corinthians 15:21,22 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:14 )
Adulterer, Adulterous, Adultery - , Ezekiel 16:15 ff; 23:43 ), so believers who cultivate friendship with the world, thus breaking their spiritual Union With Christ, are spiritual "adulteresses," having been spiritually united to Him as wife to husband, Romans 7:4
Condemnation - In Romans 5:16; Romans 5:18 condemnation is the consequence of an original act of evil, and suggests the antithesis of a single act of righteousness, the effects of which overflow to the potential justification of all men; and the freedom from condemnation continues beyond the initial stage of forgiveness and ripens into all the assured experiences of Union With Christ (Romans 8:1). For Him as man death meant the crown of sinlessness, the closure of the last avenue through which temptation could approach Him; and in virtue of Union With Christ, the believer who is dead with Him is free from sin, though not immune from temptation
Sacrament - When Paul wrote of being “buried with Christ” in baptism, he certainly meant that this visible rite demonstrates our spiritual Union With Christ in His death and resurrection
Mortify - Paul’s doctrine of sanctification is ever on the positive issue of the believer’s vital Union With Christ-that ‘newness of life’ which by its native force expels and excludes the lustings of the lower nature (Romans 13:14, Galatians 5:18, Ephesians 5:18, 2 Timothy 2:22); yet necessarily the negative principle is also involved
Blessedness - Eternal life is personal Union With Christ, revealer of the Father, by trust and fellowship ( e
Adoption - This forms a most interesting word in Scripture, in the use that is made of it, in allusion to the state of adoption and grace, into which true believers are received by their Union With Christ
Adam - As all who are in physical union with Adam share the deathly consequences of Adam’s sin, so all who are in spiritual Union With Christ share the resurrection life that Christ has made possible (1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49; see also IMAGE)
Union - In the region of the conscience, Union With Christ gives peace (Romans 8:1); in that of the will, regeneration (Galatians 2:20); in regard to our activity, ‘we are labourers together with God’ (1 Corinthians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 6:1); and in regard to all events, we are sharers with Christ in suffering and in glory (Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:12; see also John 17:20-24). Thus in Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, it is assumed that heart-union with Christ and with one another went along with the outward expression of that union, in their partaking of the same significant bread. Union With Christ produces an attachment of loyalty to Him, and to everything that belongs to Him; besides also the fruits of Christ-like character, which are in their nature unifying: ‘The glory thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one’ (John 17:22)
Confidence - It comes from Union With Christ, and has God for its ultimate goal (2 Corinthians 3:4) Clement in 1 Corinthians (xxvi
Flesh - " (Romans 8:9) And hence this new life of God in the soul is called Union With Christ, in living upon Christ, and walking with Christ
New Self - ...
John McRay...
See also New Creation ; New Man ; Sanctification ; Spirituality ; Union With Christ ...
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Saints - And with respect to the holiness of men or angels it is possible, yea more than possible, even highly probable, that when a sinner is washed from all his sins in Christ's blood, he is holier than an angel which never sinned; and eminently on this account—the holiness of the sinner in his renewed nature is the holiness of God our Saviour, from a life received from Jesus and union with Jesus: whereas the holiness of the angel is but the holiness of the creature, a created holiness, and not derived from any life-union with Christ
Preparation - And when the soul of a poor sinner hath been first prepared of the Lord, by regenerating, illuminating, convincing, and converting grace, and is thus brought into an Union With Christ, all the subsequent acts of grace, in the goings forth of the soul upon the person, blood and righteousness of Christ, sweet preparing and disposing work of God the Holy Ghost
Immortality - Similarly, 1618647694_62 asserts that through the believer's Union With Christ the future (immortal) life is a present possession. For believers this will be deathless and imperishable, marked by that glory and honor that come from Union With Christ
Baxterians - Grace eventually worketh in them true faith, repentance, conversion, and Union With Christ as his living members
Power - The believer's Union With Christ delivers him or her from the power of sin (cf
Beloved - There is somewhat in it so truly blessed, when we consider it in relation to Christ, as the Christ of God; and also, in relation to the church, considered from her Union With Christ, and interest in Christ, that the word beloved, when spoken of either, comes home to the affection peculiarly sweet and endeared
Body of Christ - ...
Union With Christ in Ephesians and Colossians Ephesians and Colossians reflect a further stage of development. The imagery shifts from horizontal unity among members (one out of many) to vertical Union With Christ (the many in the One)
Cross - Their Union With Christ means that they have, so to speak, died on the cross with Christ, been buried with Christ, and risen with Christ to new life (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:12-14; see BAPTISM)
Freedom - They must live as those who, through their Union With Christ, have died to sin and received a new life where righteousness dominates (Romans 6:16-19; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 4:1-2)
Death, Death-Stroke - were made dead," RV (for AV, "are become"), with reference to the change from bondage to the Law to Union With Christ; in Romans 8:13 , "mortify" (marg
Glory (2) - And this ‘glorifying’ of Christ is to be the ‘glorifying’ of the Father (John 17:1), for the completion of Christ’s work will reveal the Divine mind and purpose to the Church; and it is also the ‘glorifying’ of the believer and of the Church as a whole (John 17:22), for the Church will be the permanent witness of God to the world (John 17:23), and man in Union With Christ is on the way to attain the Divine ideal (John 17:26). The invisible ‘glory’ of the Christian Church through its Union With Christ by the Spirit is greater than the visible ‘glory’ of the Old Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:7-11)
Adam in the nt - The solidarity of mankind in their physical union with Adam, and in their spiritual Union With Christ, involves respectively universal death and life as a consequence of Adam’s sin and of Christ’s work
Call - To invite or draw into Union With Christ to bring to know, believe and obey the gospel
Ephesians, Letter to the - ...
Contents of the letter...
In an opening expression of praise to God, Paul reminds his readers of the great blessings that they have because of their Union With Christ
Concubine - " (1 Corinthians 7:2)...
I must not finish the subject without first desiring the reader to take with him that sweet thought, that in the marriage of the Lord Jesus with our nature (which the marriage-state in nature is a type of), both in the general purpose of it with his church at large, and with the person of every individual member of his mystical body in particular, there is no concubine to interrupt the present and everlasting happiness of our Union With Christ Jesus
Millennium - Through their Union With Christ in his death and resurrection, they have already been made alive and made to sit with him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:6)
Building - Images of nation, building, body, and temple converge but the central message is clear: Because Christ's death has established peace, Union With Christ dissolves all barriers between Jew and Gentile
Election - They are chosen only because of their Union With Christ, and they are to be changed into the likeness of Christ (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9; cf
Resurrection - God’s power worked in Christ in raising him to new life, and that same power can work in those who have come into Union With Christ
Baptism - ...
According to Paul’s teaching, baptism is an expression of Union With Christ in dying to sin and being raised with Christ to new life
Death - In the same paragraph that he announced our Union With Christ, he felt compelled to remind Christians that they should consider themselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ (Romans 6:11 )
Body - The Bible knows of a Union With Christ only as faith embodied in the realm of the church community and with the church in the realm of the world
Ministry, Minister - In Union With Christ, his body shares in his priestly, kingly, and prophetic work
Spirituality - Okholm...
See also Sanctification ; Union With Christ ...
Bibliography
Discipleship - ’ The third is the pledge that none shall ever be left to face the stress of life’s probation alone, but that for every disciple Union With Christ is a support which may be securely trusted, the Divine Incarnation working itself out for ever till the goal shall be reached, when ‘God shall be all, in all’ (1 Corinthians 15:28)
Union With God - And, inasmuch as this oneness with God does not de-personalize or de-humanize Christ Jesus, but is compatible with His being truly man-the Son of man par excellence (Matthew 12:8)-it becomes the incentive and inspiring motive-power whereby Christian believers, through faith-union with Christ and participation in His Spirit, may hope to reach an ethical and spiritual union with God similar to, if less complete and perfect than, that of Christ (John 17:21, 1 Corinthians 6:17). This Union With Christ, and thereby with God, realized in the life of Christian faith, is brought about by the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit in the minds and hearts of individuals, working through the means of grace, viz
Sin - All who die, die because of their union with Adam; all who are made alive, are made alive because of their Union With Christ (Romans 5:16; 1 Corinthians 15:22)
Church - ...
The faultless perfection and the glorious promises in Scripture assigned to the church (election, adoption, spiritual priesthood, sure guidance by the Spirit into all truth, eternal salvation) belong not to all of the visible church, but to those alone of it who are in living Union With Christ (Ephesians 5:23-27; Hebrews 12:22-23)
New Creation - Towner...
See also Age, Ages ; New Heavens and a New Earth ; Restore, Renew ; Union With Christ ...
Bibliography
Life - This doctrine of a mystical Union With Christ in which He imparts His Divine life to the believer, contains the central and characteristic thought of the Fourth Gospel. ...
The cardinal doctrine of Union With Christ assumes a new meaning in the light of this other aspect of St. There must be a real and personal communion with Christ, so that He may impart His very self to His disciple
Regeneration - There is now Union With Christ by faith, and, with that, entrance into the life the experience of the newborn child of God
Head - Paul’s doctrine of the believer’s mystical Union With Christ, so that his life is Christ’s
Free Will - This freedom comes from Union With Christ, for apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5)
Peace (2) - (b) Next, there is a subjective peace—the peace of conscious fellowship with God—which results from a living Union With Christ the Saviour
Head - Paul’s doctrine of the believer’s mystical Union With Christ, so that his life is Christ’s
Christians, Names of - " On the basis of the believer's Union With Christ, the church stands as its direct fulfillment
Man - Union With Christ, thus conceived (1 Corinthians 6:17), brought the Christian into a new realm of powers and possibilities. the absence of the idea of faith as involving mystical Union With Christ
Reward - From this point of view the idea of service appears, and with it the presence of an impulse, which is provided by the promised reward what is the reward? Simply closer Union With Christ
James, Theology of - James is teaching that once that relationship is established there must be works flowing from it that will be used by God at the last judgment as evidence of our genuine Union With Christ
Lord's Supper, the - It is also Holy Communion since it is Union With Christ
Adam - Similarly the solidarity of mankind in their spiritual Union With Christ involves universal life as a consequence of Christ’s perfect work
Adam - Similarly the solidarity of mankind in their spiritual Union With Christ involves universal life as a consequence of Christ’s perfect work
Children of God, Sons of God - (3) The Christian disciple by virtue of his Union With Christ becomes a son, or child, of God
Galatians, Theology of - It is Union With Christ by faith that makes us not merely children of Abraham, but also children of God
Adam (1) - As the animal souled body (1 Corinthians 15:44) is the fruit of our union with Adam, an animal souled man, so the spiritual body is the fruit of our Union With Christ, the life-giving Spirit
Judas - He had no Union With Christ, and consequently no communion with him in the ordinance
Christ in the Middle Ages - They were unable to find satisfaction in the Church doctrine of the transubstantiation of the bread and the wine into the body and the blood of Christ as the form in which Christ may be enjoyed, but yearned for a spiritual Union With Christ, the transubstantiation of the believer by an ecstatic exaltation into a mystical Union With Christ
Sanctification, Sanctify - , 1 John 5:20 , setting forth Union With Christ through the indwelling Spirit as the spring of a new, eternal life for the man, in the strength of which God’s commandments are kept in love, sin and fear are cast out, and the world is overcome
Baptism - In Colossians 2:11-12, baptism is represented as our Christian "circumcision made without hands," implying that not the minister, but God Himself, confers it; spiritual circumcision ("putting off the body of the sins of the flesh") is realized in Union With Christ, whose "circumcision" implies His having undertaken for us to keep the whole law (Luke 2:21)
Mediation Mediator - Paul, but a vital Union With Christ on the basis of His atoning death on the cross
Baptize, Baptism - The repentant faith that grasps salvation commits the believer, inescapably, to a faith-union with Christ in which he or she dies with Christ to sin and rises with Christ to sin-renouncing life
Trust - It is our part to make sure of our Union With Christ, and then to see that we receive not the grace of God in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1)
Romans, Book of - This Union With Christ reveals sin in all its ugliness
Witness (2) - Faith does come by hearing (Romans 10:17)—the fact of the vital Union With Christ is proof of the adequacy of the word of testimony
Eternal Life (2) - As ‘the death’ is a condition of moral and spiritual destitution in which one has no fellowship with God, so ‘the life’ is the blessed experience of fellowship and Union With Christ as vital as that of the branch and the vine
Paul as an Evangelical Mystic - "...
But while Paul has many magnificent things to teach us about the mystical Headship of Christ over His Church, at the same time, it is the mystical union of Christ with each individual believer, and each individual believer's mystical Union With Christ,-it is this that completes and crowns Paul's evangelical doctrine and kindles his most rapturous adoration
Expediency - The latter can be neither lawful nor expedient to the Christian, since they are grossly inconsistent with his Union With Christ
Philippians, Epistle to - His Union With Christ fills him with love and contentment, and thrills the lonely prisoner with joy , which may be called the note of the Epistle, and he hopes by this letter to Impart some of this spirit to the Philippians also
Eucharist - John, that Union With Christ is found in that Living Bread which implies death because it is flesh and blood ( John 6:52-58 )
Sorrow, Man of Sorrows - Bacon’s aphorism that ‘prosperity is the blessing of the OT, adversity the blessing of the NT,’ is true only when it is understood that beneath the adversity, and the sorrow of heart which it brings, there is even here and now the peace which passeth understanding, the joy which comes of Union With Christ, of sympathy with man, and of work for God
David - in His Races - Faith, my brethren, is a passion; it is a strong and a commanding instinct of our hearts after Christ, and after mystical Union With Christ, so that we cannot be at peace and satisfied without Him
Transubstantiation - But we say that this is done in a spiritual manner; nor do we hereby substitute in place of the effect and truth an idle fancy and conceit of our own; but rather, because this mystery of our Union With Christ is so high a thing that it surmounteth all our senses, yea and the whole order of nature, and in short, because it is celestial, it cannot be comprehended but by faith
Faith - Swartz ...
See also Faithfulness ; Heal, Health ; Union With Christ ...
Bibliography
Eternal Life, Eternality, Everlasting Life - Enjoyment of "eternal glory" in the wake of suffering is explained elsewhere as one of the great privileges and assurances of Union With Christ: Christians are "heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory" (Romans 8:17 )
Christian Life - One of the results of the crisis, it is true, was to reveal to him what he calls τὸ ἀδύνατον τοῦ νόμου (Romans 8:3), and to bring about his rejection of the Jewish ideal of salvation; but his conception of Christianity was based on the positive conviction rooted in experience that newness of life consisted in a personal Union With Christ
Life And Death - The Christian’s Union With Christ in His redeeming Death is not only the ground of his justification but the secret source and spring of his sanctification
Justification (2) - It is still a receptivity and an obedience; but as that which it receives is different, it appears with new powers, as establishing a mystic Union With Christ in His death and resurrection, the outward symbol of which is baptism (Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:1-6, Colossians 2:11), from which union St
Baptism - Finally, it is generally acknowledged, that if infants die, (and a great part of the human race die in their infancy,) they are saved: if this be the case then why refuse them the sign of Union With Christ, if they be capable of enjoying the thing signified?...
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Judgment Damnation - More can be said for the hypothesis that his ardent longing for Union With Christ leads him to overleap intervening events and hasten to the goal
Mediator - The second is that inward, vital, and ethical Union With Christ, the ‘life-giving Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 15:45), involved in our baptism ‘into Christ
John, Theology of - Knowledge of God and Union With Christ impart to the believer a type of being which is not subject to the chances and changes of temporal existence, but is in itself unending, imperishable, so that in comparison with it no other kind of life deserves the name
Christianity - In their view a living religion has hardened into a technical theology, vital Union With Christ has passed into submission to the ordinances of a fast deteriorating Church, and the happy fellowship of believers in a common salvation and the enjoyment of a new life has almost disappeared under the heavy bondage of ceremonial observances and ecclesiastical absolutism. ...
The substitution of the worship of the Virgin Mary as an intercessor with her Divine Son for reverent intercourse with Christ Himself; the offering of the sacrifice of the Mass by an officiating priest for the benefit of the living and the dead, instead of a simple observance of communion with Christ and fellow-disciples at the Lord’s Table; the obtaining of absolution only after private confession to a priest Divinely appointed to dispense it, in place of free and direct forgiveness granted to the penitent believer in Christ,—changes like these made in a religion are not slight and superficial
Belief (2) - Then, too, he learns, as he trusts Christ, what life and conduct ought to be, and he learns that it is possible through Union With Christ to live that life and imitate that conduct
Pelagianism And Pelagius - Augustine was then deeply involved in the Donatist controversy, but learned that Pelagius and his friends had begun to advocate the opinion that infants were not baptized for the remission of sins, but for the sake of obtaining a higher sanctification through Union With Christ