“What a wondrous thing it is that even though Jesus Christ has been exalted to the throne of God, absent from us in the flesh, we may nevertheless only now be united to him in a manner far more intimate than the fellowship enjoyed by the disciples with Jesus during his earthly ministry. Having united himself to us in our flesh, in our sins, in our suffering and death, he now unites us to himself in his new-creation life by his Spirit.” (p.587)
Yes, what a wondrous concept! Our union with the risen and ascended Lord is “far more intimate” that the fellowship that Jesus had with the Twelve. That’s hard for me to imagine, yet that is what Scripture teaches. When Paul encouraged the Romans to know that “if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom. 6:5), he was most certainly encouraging them to look beyond themselves and see their union with the Lord of Lords. And this union is far more wondrous than a momentary experience. Horton goes on to write that,
“Union with Christ is not to be understood as a “moment” in the application of salvation to believers. Rather, it is a way of speaking about the way in which believers share in Christ in eternity (by election), in past history (by redemption), in the present (by effectual calling, justification, and sanctification), and in the future (by glorification). Nevertheless, our subjective inclusion in Christ occurs when the Spirit calls us effectually to Christ and gives us the faith to cling to him for all of his riches…” (ibid.)
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.