You Have A Relationship With Christ?
Have you ever considered what you mean when you say that you have a relationship with Christ? It’s not something we often stop and think about. We all just “know” what the other person is referring to when they say it. Before you say it again, let’s take a moment to explore one large facet of it: your union with Christ. My hope is you will know what you mean and see the incredible implications of such a relationship.
What is union with Christ?
Union with Christ refers to the supernatural reality that all those who have placed their faith in Christ are united with Him and He with them. In other words, this union is not something you could accomplish but something that God has done for you. Jesus refers to this union when He says, “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (Jn 14:20). We see it again in John 17:21, “That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us.”
In Romans 6, Paul says that believers are united with Christ in His death and resurrection thereby putting to death sin and walking in life because they are united with Him (Rom 6:1-4). This union with Christ is a accomplished through faith in the finished work of Christ (Gal 3:23-27).
What are the implications of this?
There are many implications of your union with Christ, but three that will be given here. First, your union with Christ means that your identity has changed. Those who are united with Christ are new creations (2 Cor 5:17) and are seen by God as clothed in the perfect righteousness of their Savior (Rom 5:19). Your identity is not shaped by your past but is decided by God through Christ. This is a profound truth for those who struggle with repeated failure with sin or measuring up to others or their own expectations. They need to see that their relationship with Christ changes their identity and that they must seek to live in light of that identity. This truth brings such freedom to those who apply it. Those who are united with Christ can rest assured that they will never be more or less acceptable in God’s eyes than on the day they were converted (Jim Newheiser, I want to change, 21). They are not identified by their failures or successes but by the perfect life of Christ.
Second, your union with Christ also provides you with the strength you need to live for Christ. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit apart from the vine, so too believers will not have strength apart from Christ (Jn 15). Those who are battling sin will find comfort knowing that God has given them the ability to say no to sin. In Christ, there is strength to live for Him in all areas of life. This is a promise that believers must cling to.
Third, union with Christ changes the way that believers view one another (Gal 3:23-29). As those who are one in Christ, believers should not look at their distinctions from a human perspective but see each other as first being united with Christ. This changes the way people view others in different ethnic groups, social status, and even gender. As they see each other through the lens of Christ, there will be greater unity in the body of Christ.
The next time you tell someone you have a relationship with Christ, take great joy in all the implications of that relationship.