The Weekend Word
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:3–14 ESV)
Union With Christ: The Most Important Doctrine You’ve Never Heard Of
Verses three to fourteen are jam packed with news you can use…but we need to break it down into manageable chunks.
The first thing we want to see is how often Paul uses the phrase “in Christ”.
These verses are a prayer…a prayer of praise for what God has done for us through Christ, by placing us in Christ.
This is the doctrine of “union with Christ”.
What does it mean?
It’s one of the most radical concepts in all of Scripture.
N.T Wright says it well;
“When Paul speaks of us as being ‘in Christ’ (I have used ‘Christ’, ‘king’ and ‘Messiah’ almost interchangeably, to bring out his full meaning), the centre of what he means is that, as in some Jewish thought, the king represents his people, so that what happens to him happens to them, and what is true of him is true of them. Think of David fighting Goliath (1 Samuel 17). David was representing Israel; he had already been anointed as king, and it wasn’t long after his victory before people realized that he was the one who would lead Israel into God’s future. So with us: Jesus has won the decisive victory over the oldest and darkest enemy of all, and if we are ‘in him’, ‘in the king’, ‘in Christ’, we shall discover step by step what that means.”
Paul says in Romans;
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:3–6 ESV)
You have been baptized into Christ’s death with Him, therefore all the benefits won by His death are accredited to you.
You have been been assured of resurrection by the same baptism.
What’s true of Him, is true of you.
All He has…is yours in Him.
Now that…is unbelievable, astonishing, wonderful, good news.
Next week we’ll talk about election…