Justification and Union with Christ

In current discussions of justification it is becoming quite common, and I think rightly so, to also bring up in conjunction with it Union with Christ. Union with Christ is the ground of all the benefits of God’s grace we have by faith. Our faith is not in justification but in Christ. The New Testament constantly affirms Christians to be “in Christ.” Our union to Christ by grace through faith entitles us to all the benefits received and inherited through that relationship in and with Him (adoption, sanctification, justification, and glorification). It is from this aspect of union with Christ that Christians in turn find motivation for living the Christian life. There is no need to return to legalism when one is seen as united to Christ. It is when a doctrine such as justification is viewed as separate from union with Christ that trouble brews. Some will see then salvation as receiving justification, and yet the union with Christ, being found in Him, and having been made a new creation by this union (much like marriage) is not on the radar. Such a view will marginalize the relationship as if one got married only to receive the bank account of the now spouse. There is no love, no mutual sacrifice in marriage when one approaches it from only the aspect of what one gets out of it. As the illustration of a relationship goes, it has everything to do with what one puts into it, having received and become something new, the spouse returns love in gratitude understanding not what they are getting out of the relationship, but grasping the person by whom those things came to them in love, mercy and grace.

 

Justification and Union with Christ.

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