The expression “in Christ” (en Christo, en kyrio, en Christo Iesou, en auto etc.) appears 216 times in Paul’s letters and 26 times in John’s letters. I’ll be sharing with you today 5 facts about the believer’s union with Christ.
Its an organic union: This speaks of our intricate intimacy with Christ. We as blievers are members of Christ and enjoy a mutual, reciprocal dependence on Christ for life and He on us for expression on earth.
Ephesians 5:29-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
There are 3 words to note: hated, nourishes and cherishes.
Hate is miseo or misos in greek and it means: to detest, to persecute, to love less. So the scripture is saying just as you cannot detest, persecute or love less your own body so also as a body of Christ you won’t be.
Nourish is the second word, it is ektrepho in Greek and it means: to rear up to maturity. Your union with Christ guarantees that you will be patiently and lovingly reared into full maturity. He is responsible in ensuring your maturity just like you’re responsible in ensuring your own body is well maintained for proper growth.
The last word is Cherish, the Greek word is thalpo, it means: to brood, to foster. To love somebody so much and want to protect them, to keep a pleasant feeling in your heart for a long time. That means Christ Jesus loves you as his body so he is doing all to protect you and he constantly have you in his heart.
As members of Christ’s body enjoying an organic union with him implies that he cannot hate us, he is bound to nourish and cherish us now and always.
Its a vital union: Christ operates within us as our life and becomes the dominating principle within us (Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:3-4).
Galatians 2:20 King James Version (KJV)
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Paul here said his life is not his, but Christ’s life is what operates in him. This is the experience of all believers. See this scripture:
Colossians 3:3-4 New International Version (NIV)
3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Christ is now our life. His life is my life. I am vitally one with him. At salvation we died and resurrected with Christ’s life – ZOE.
Its a spiritual union: This is a divine union that originates from and is wholly sustained by the Holy Spirit in our spirit (Rom. 8:9-10; Eph 3:16-17).
Its an indissoluble union: This union is perfect, it is constant and eternal. By virtue of Christ’s eternal, divine, and incorruptible power and grace, this relationship can never be dissolved (Matt. 28:20; Rom. 8:39; Heb. 7:16). This relationship cannot be broken. You can sure trust this relationship. This gives us assurance.
Its an inscrutable union: Our oneness and intimacy with Christ is divine. Its a knowledge-surpassing intimacy, the human mind cannot fully express it (Eph. 3:19; 5:29-32; Col. 1:27).
Any believer in Christ enjoys this divine relationship with the Lord. We are not just creatures of God, we have a special relationship with him. A relationship that can never break. A relationship that ensures we share in all that Christ is and has. This is what makes the believer untouchable and a true ambassador on the earth.