Category Archives: union with Christ

Your Wake-up Call

Ayear0701ecIn Romans 13:11-14 Paul calls you to wake up, to walk properly, as in the daytime, and to put on Christ.

“[I]n the Old Testament the bond between God and Is­rael, as his covenant people, is expressed in a variety of ways, but perhaps most evocatively in the descrip­tion of God himself as ‘the portion’ of his people (Pss. 73:26; 119:57; Jer. 10:16). Reciprocally, they are ‘the Lord’s portion’ (Deut. 32:9)…. The climactic real­ization of this covenant bond, this reciprocal posses­sion between the triune God and his people, the church, is centered for Paul in union with Christ.” (Richard B. Gaf­fin, Jr., By Faith, Not by Sight, pp. 40, 41).

This Friday evening the 101 Bible Study meets in Astoria to look at that passage of Scripture.

United to Christ

2Tim0401“Christ is not only the object of faith and his glorious appearing the pole star of hope but he is also united to believers now in the bonds of mystic union. And they are united to him. Because Christ is united to believers, he is in them in the life they now live upon earth — he is formed in them the hope of glory. And because believers are now united to Christ, they are in him in the glory of his exalted state — their life is hid with Christ in God. Christ is with them where they are; they are with him where he is. A great mystery, beyond doubt. But this is what is true of Christ and his church.” (John Murray, “Structural Strands in New Testament Eschatology.” Unpublished manuscript, Westminster Theological Seminary Library, Philadelphia).

(In preparation for the Sunday afternoon Bible study on 2 Timothy 4:1–5 at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC)



Rm0829a“With an eye to current ongoing discussions, where charges of ‘antinomianism’ and ‘legalism’ are often exchanged—sometimes warranted, sometimes not—it will help to keep clear that in its application salvation is neither justification-centered nor sanctification-centered, but is and has to be both because it is Christ-centered. Both justification and sanctification are central to the gospel, because union with Christ in all his benefits is its center.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., “The Work of Christ Applied,” in Christian Theology. Reformed Theology for the Catholic Church, M. Allen and S. Swain, eds., 2016).

Conformed to the image of the Son

Rm0829a“. . . no one can be an heir of heaven without being conformed to the image of the on­ly-begotten Son of God.” (John Calvin, Commentary on Romans, at 8:29).

“[C]hange by the Spirit for conformity to the Father’s expectations confirms adoption by the Father and manifests familial likeness to the glorified Son (cf. Rom. 8:29). The believer is not merely a slave in the presence of a new King; he is an adopted (resurrected) son in the household of the Father, empowered by the Spirit of the Son to please his Father. He is a son in the Son.” (David B. Gardner, Sons in the Son: The Riches and Reach of Adoption in Christ, p. 115).

(for this evening’s 101 Bible Study)