Monday, November 23, 2009
Thoughts of the Day on Union
A few quotes to contemplate this morning regarding the pecular biblical doctrine of union with Christ. This doctrine describes the nature of what it means to be "ἐν Χριστῷ" or "In Christ." Paul tells us the strange mystery that "For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col 3:3) I've expounded on the doctrine elsewhere (Part 1, Part 2)
This is merely an opportunity to reflect on some ways others have talked about this union with Christ. Warning: Though you may have heard "union" language before, the reality of the doctrine is much more fleshly than we may be comfortable with:
"Christianity is grounded in the living union of the believer with the person of Christ" -John Williamson Nevin
"The Church is in Christ as Eve was in Adam" -Richard Hooker
Heidelberg "Q20: Are all men, then, saved by Christ just as they perished through Adam?
A. No. Only those are saved who by a true faith are grafted into Christ and accept all His benefits."
in Q49: "we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that He, our Head, will also take us, His members, up to Himself."
It is "a carnal or flesh union. By his incarnation the Son of God became one with us, sharing our nature...He came truly to brother us...Our union with Christ is therefore based on Christ's union with us." -Sinclair Ferguson
Westminster Larger Catechism "Question 69: What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
Answer: The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification, adoption, sanctification, and: Whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him."
"We know, moreover, that [Christ] benefits only those whose Head he is, for whome He is 'the first born brethren' and who, finally, 'have put on him'. This union alone ensures that, as far as we are concerned he has not unprofitable come with the name of Savior." -John Calvin Inst. 3.1.3