Earlier this week I reviewed Jared Wilson’s new book, Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus (you can read the review here). Today, I wanted to share a two quotes from the book illustrating the beauty and confidence that comes from our union with Christ:
Why do some Christians think that to seek our identity in Christ, the way the Scriptures say we ought to, is thinking too much of ourselves? Why are they afraid to trust what God says about them? When God says to his people, “Whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye” (Zech. 2:8), am I to think he doesn’t mean it? In fact, to live in insecurity (or to insist upon it doctrinally) is to side with the accusations of the Devil, whose chief end is to convince us that our sin is greater than our God’s promise to forgive it.
Union with Christ is a beautiful, inseparable tangle. By God’s grace, through the gift of faith, we are bound up with him and he with us for all eternity. He has hemmed us in; he has us covered:
- Christ is in us. (John 14:20; 17:23; Rom. 8:10–11; 2 Cor. 13:5; Col. 1:27)
- Christ is over us. (Rom. 9:5; 1 Cor. 11:3; Col. 1:18, 3:1; Heb. 3:6)
- Christ is through us. (Rom. 15:18; 2 Cor. 2:14; 5:20)
- Christ is with us. (Matt. 18:20; 28:20; Eph. 2:5–6; 2 Tim. 4:17)
- Christ is under us. (Luke 6:47–48; 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Cor. 3:11)
- Christ is around us (that is to say, we are in and through him). (John 14:6; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 3:4, 14; 5:17; Gal. 3:27; Heb. 7:25)
Christ is also before us and for us. He intercedes for us and advocates for us (Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1). The gospel so engulfs us in Christ, we are mystically indistinguishable from him, at least in terms of our spiritual state. In Colossians 3:3, Paul describes union as being “hidden with Christ in God.” Because of our union with Christ, we are secured to God and secured from sin, death, and Satan, and all this for as long as Christ lives, which is forever.
Here, Wilson helps us see the wonder of what it means to be united with Christ—to see our identity in Christ as something more than a mere label, but something that really ought to shape and transform our lives. The implications are astounding.
If we truly believed that we are “the apple of [God’s] eye” (Zech. 2:8), how does that change how we live?
If we truly begin to grasp all the implications of being united with Christ as outlined in the bullets above, what new confidence does it bring to us? How can we do anything else but rejoice?