We have covered a lot of ground together so far this year in our journey to understand “to live is Christ.” We began in the beginning, looking at the big ideas of life in the earliest writings of the Bible, like Genesis and Exodus. Then we spent a lot of time in John’s gospel wrapping our minds around Jesus as the source of zoe life.
Moving forward, we will begin to explore many of the writings of the Apostle Paul in chronological order, starting with Galatians. Paul’s first missionary journey took him into the region of Galatia where he proclaimed the gospel. Paul’s writings will open our eyes to the truths of our union with Christ. We cannot overstate how important it is to understand his theology of union with Christ. To miss it is to miss much of our faith.
What Paul will show us is that the Jesus of the past is the Jesus of the present. Jesus doesn’t just influence our present by the “ripple effect” of his life. He enters into union with each one of us intimately and personally. We are “in Christ,” and Christ is “in us.” We are joined to the universe shaking events of Jesus’ historic life- we died with him, were buried with him, raised with him, seated with him, all while receiving his righteous life.
And here’s the thing, this isn’t supposed to be just some deep theology that only seminary students and pastors figure out. It is the normal Christian life, and even more so it is what all human existence is supposed to be. It is the foundation of eternal life, resurrection, meaning, and hope. It is the outworking of God’s redemptive plan to save the world. The incarnation is the central miracle of Christianity (C.S.Lewis). By the incarnation God rescued all of creation. Union with Christ is the continuation of incarnation. It is what allows God to continue to be our familiar, everyday God, who still bears our sorrows in OUR bodies.
Is your Christian experience void of union with Christ? are you just chasing behavior change? Is Jesus only an example to you? Well, we hope to change all that over the next months. Won’t you stay with me as we dive into Paul’s union with Christ theology, and discover how it can bring the greatest of all joys, peace, and love into your heart?
Song of Songs 2:16. My beloved is mine and I am his.