“Union with Christ is really the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation…” —John Murray
The discussion about whether we have one or two natures—whether we are half good and half bad—really does matter. What we believe about our nature determines what we believe about the nature of our relationship with God. Scripture is so clear that our old, sinful self was killed when Christ was killed, and that Christ now lives in us (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our belief doesn’t change that reality; but what we believe
changes how we experience that reality. Consider this:
But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. —1 Corinthians 6:17
The original Greek sentence doesn’t even have the phrase “with Him” in it. That’s added for clarification. It literally says:
He that is joined to the Lord, one spirit is.
I love that. If you are in Christ, one spirit with Him you are. But until we understand that this union with Christ is closely tied to the fact that our old sinful self is dead, we will constantly be confronted with the deception of separation. I use that word very carefully, deception. I’m convinced it is a deception of the evil one to convince you, as a believer in Jesus Christ, that you are separated from God, that He is out there somewhere and you are down here somewhere.
Now, if you’re a non-believer, you are separated from our holy God by your sin. But once you trust in Christ, you are in Christ. Your old self died with Him so that your new self now lives with Him in unity:
- You are never separated from Him again… ever.
- You are in perfect union with Christ in your spirit forevermore.
- You don’t have to figure out how to get closer to God.
- You’re already as close as you can get.
- You don’t have to draw near to Him. You don’t have to hope He draws near to you.
- You don’t have to come up with a plan to get more intimate.
It just doesn’t get any more intimate than complete union with Him. You can’t get closer than “in”!
God of Truth, expose the “deception of separation” that keeps me from experiencing the unity of spirit between us. I reject the lie that my old sinful self is alive and separated from You. I rejoice in the fact that because my old self died with Christ, I am living in Him now and forever! Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com
A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World
It’s a challenge for most followers of Jesus Christ to live in a culture driven by values and views that run counter to our faith and to the truth of Scripture. And we wonder how best to relate.
Should we isolate ourselves from such a world, trying to keep ourselves “unstained”? Should we be intimidated by what our secular counterparts believe because we feel “out of step”? Then again, maybe we should identify more closely with the values of our world in order to win more people to Christ.
Stuart Briscoe takes you on a journey to discover how to live as a Christ follower in our fallen culture in his new small book, A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World. By looking at the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), Stuart shows you an excellent model for how we should indeed live in our world!
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