Our Magnificent Union with the Son of God

© Marcelo A. Tolopilo

Intimately Knit to Jesus Christ

What words can adequately describe a believer’s union to the Lord Jesus. As I began to write this
article, I asked myself that very question. I grasped and grasped for the appropriate adjectives. Words like “comforting,” “joyous,” “amazing” and others like them came to mind, each one accurate yet all falling short of illustrating the magnanimity of our connection to Jesus.

Quite honestly, the word “Magnificent” in the title of this article does not cut it either, yet it captures in part the breath taking wonder of how closely knit we are to our Savior. The short paragraphs that follow will likewise fail to unveil the striking beauty of this biblical verity, but I pray some of that “beauty” and “wonder” will strike you as you meditate upon and savor the great reality of your being “in Christ.”

Our union seen in three categories

We will consider our connection to the Lord from three biblical perspectives: our spiritual union with Christ, our legal union with Christ, and our organic union with Christ. Again, I encourage you to reflect on each of these, and may God’s Spirit alight these truths to your heart.

The Christian’s spiritual union with Christ

This first category has also been referred to as our “mystical” union with the Lord, but a more accurate term would be spiritual. All believers upon trusting Christ for salvation are spiritually immersed into Jesus (Romans 6:3-5, Galatians 3:27) and spiritually united to Him (1 Corinthians 6:17). That spiritual connection is just as real as anything tangible we experience on this earth! It exists at this very moment. It is alive, real, vibrant, unshakable!!

This is why you can call out to God at any time of the day or night, in any place, and for whatever reason that is on your heart. This is why as you hear the words of a hymn you feel a flush of joy, or when the words of scripture come alive in your memory, you experience conviction, or concern, or praise in your heart. This takes place because we have a permanent spiritual connection to our Messiah. You and I have ongoing, unbroken spiritual fellowship with the Lord Jesus (1 John 1:3).

The Christian’s legal union with Christ

Our bond with the Lord Jesus is also a legal one. Established through His blood (i.e., death, Matthew 26:28), we are bound indissolubly to God by divine covenant (Galatians 3:15 – 4:7). This immense privilege affords us a treasure trove of blessings that make us eternally rich beyond description.

For one, we are adopted as sons: “so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5). God has taken helpless, ungodly, sinful, sworn enemies of His, reconciled them (Romans 5:6, 8, 10) and through His binding covenant made them His sons and daughters!

This immediately results in unfettered access and intimacy with God. Speaking of the blessings of our legal union with Christ, Paul reminds us, “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! (Aramaic for “daddy”) Father!” (Galatians 4:6). We no longer fear God as a powerful, unknown entity or as a judge, instead we cry out to Him as our trusted, caring parent. Please note that the closeness Paul speaks of here is a shared, two-way intimacy. It not only describes our access and approach to God, but also how God Himself receives us. He looks on us as His beloved little ones.

Secondly, because of our legal union with Christ, we are also heirs of heaven. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16 17, Galatians 4:7). We inherit God Himself (all the holy pleasures of His presence), and we are fellow heirs with Jesus. In other words, what belongs to Him (eternal glory, ruling & reigning, infinite joy, everlasting health and strength to serve, and so much more) is ours by legal covenant signed and sealed by the blood of Jesus.

The Christian’s organic union with Christ

Lastly, believers have an organic union with the Savior. Having saved us, His life is our life. It flows through us and expresses itself as we live in Him. The Lord Jesus spoke of this organic

union between Him and His people in John 15. Drawing upon the imagery of a vineyard—a vine and its branches—Jesus said,

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). There is so much to draw from in this passage and metaphor, but I simply want to point your attention to a couple of straightforward and yet amazing truths.

First, the very life of Jesus Christ is in us. We see this clearly in the metaphor. The vine and the branches are vitally connected. They are fused together naturally. Because of this connection, the life flowing in the vine flows in the branches. This of course is analogous of our organic union with Christ. We are organically connected to the Lord. We are in Him and His life flows in and through us (2 Peter 1:4).

As a result of this union with the Lord Jesus, His life in us inexorably produces genuine spiritual fruit. Think about that for a moment. This is such a marvelous reality. When spiritual fruit is produced through you, that fruit is literally the life of Jesus Christ expressing itself through you, the branch. When we employ our spiritual gifts and bless others, when we share the gospel, when we live like Jesus in this world and it impacts someone around us, when you so much as share a cup of water with a thirsty stranger in His name, that is quite literally the life and power of Christ expressing itself through you. Christ is alive in you touching others, producing spiritual fruit! Isn’t that amazing? You and I have an organic union to Jesus Christ.

What a bond we have with our Savior!

No matter what is taking place in your life, no matter how you may feel at the moment, the reality is this, God has supernaturally and lovingly joined you to His Son and that God-ordained spiritual, legal, organic union cannot be dissolved by life circumstances, man or spirit. It is your ever present reality. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39).

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