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Believer’s Vital Union with Christ

The relationship between Christ and the believer “is the nearest, dearest, closest, most intense, and most enduring relationship that can be imagined,” said Spurgeon. We live because Christ lives, and our lives are hid with Christ in God. It is closer than a husband and wife, or children and their parents.

One of the greatest mysteries in the Bible is the believer’s vital relationship to his Lord and Savior.

There are three great mystical unions in the Bible. The union of the three persons of the Godhead, being one God, called the doctrine of the Trinity. The Bible also teaches the union of the two natures of Jesus Christ in one person, and the vital union of the believer in Christ.

There is a close intimate union between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian. It is so intimate that it may be spoken of as one. “We are members of His body” (Ephesians 5:30). It is not a physical union, but an attachment of love. We are truly united with Him as truly as the parts of our bodies belong to the head. Charles Hodge said, “This might mean simply that we stand to Him in the same intimate and vital union that a man’s body sustains to the man himself.”

Figuratively, we are members of Christ, and together we form His body. This is the closest imaginable relationship. We are identified with Him. We are made an essential part of Him. He is the head of the body and we are the members of that body. It is the closest imaginable vital union possible. “We are members of His body.”

The apostle Paul has in mind that the believer’s standing is such a relationship with Christ that it is analogous to Eve’s relation to Adam. As Eve derived her life from the body of Adam (Genesis 2:18-25), so we derive our spiritual life from the body of Christ. We are partakers of the life of Christ. Our spiritual life proceeds from and is sustained by Christ. It is the source of our present spiritual life, and of our eternal life in glory with Christ.

“You are therefore, now made by His grace to participate in His moral and spiritual nature, and you will never be satisfied till you awake in His likeness,” wrote C. H. Spurgeon. “But you will awake in His likeness, so that when He sees you and you see Him, then shall be abundantly manifested to you that you are a member of His body.”

Being made a “member of His body” means we have entered into the most intimate relationship possible with Him. We are joined together with Christ in the most intimate communion. Adam could say of Eve, she is of the same bone and flesh, thus she is related to me.

 “We are members of His body,” means we are His loving possession. We belong to Christ. “You are not your own, you are bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20). He purchased us with His own precious blood. You are now altogether His, and you belong to no other.

“You are one with Him. You were ‘buried in Him in baptism unto death,’ wherein also you have risen with Him. You were crucified with Him upon the cross, you have gone up into heaven with Him, for He has raised us up together, and made us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. And surely you shall be actually in your very person with Him where He is, that you may behold His glory. You are one with Him” (Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon, vol. x, p. 22).

One of the greatest practical applications of this great doctrine of our vital union in Christ is that it secures the eternal safety of every one who is one with Christ. “Because I live you shall live also.” All of you who are in Him have eternal life. The idea of Jesus Christ losing members of His body who are grafted into Him is impossible to conceive. Will He lose His members? “I give unto My sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall any snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). There is strong reason to believe in the security of every one who is one with Christ. That is how much God loves you and cares about His relationship with you.

We are now being changed from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18) through this vital union with Christ. If we are one in Christ we shall enjoy His divine love. If we are one of His members He may chasten us and correct us when we need it, but He will never sever us from His body. “As My Father has loved Me, even so have I loved you.”

He nourishes us because we are members of His body. We draw our daily sustenance from His presence. He makes us lie down in His green pastures.

Since we are members of His body, He will one day present us to Himself without spot or wrinkle or blemish. We will be perfect even as He is perfect. We will enter into the eternal joy in the Lord. We are joint heirs with Christ; therefore whatever He has we shall share.

Because we are members of His body we shall be with Him where He is, and behold His glory. We shall be with Him always.  

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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