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Doctrines Under Threat 2: Union with Christ

Outline

(Reading from Romans 6)

Intro: Faith and Works

  1. Union with Christ in Philippians 3
    • Righteousness by law is rubbish (2-7)
    • Knowing Christ (8a)
    • Gaining Christ (8b)
    • Being in Christ (9a)
    • Righteousness through faith in Christ (9b)
    • Living in Christ (10-11)
  2. What is Union with Christ?
    • Fundamental
    • To be loved by God as Sons

      For strictly speaking, the love with which God loves us is none other than that with which he loved his Son from the beginning, so as to make us acceptable and lovable to him in Christ. . .

      we are (so far as we are concerned and apart from Christ), hated by God and he only begins to love us when we are united to the body of his beloved Son

      It is an inestimable privilege of faith that we know that Christ was loved by the Father for our sake, that we may be made partakers of the same love and that for ever. . .

      For as the Father cannot look upon his Son without at the same time having before his eyes his whole body, so, if we wish to be beheld in him, we must truly be his members

      Calvin, Commentary on John 17:26

    • To be righteous
    • To be a new creation
    • To have a sure hope of our bodies being raised
    • To be saved from judgment
  3. What Union with Christ isn’t
    • A mystical experience
    • A credit union
    • Imitation
  4. How does Union with Christ happen?
    • The Holy Spirit
    • The Word of the Gospel
    • Faith

      We embrace Christ, crucified for us and raised from the dead… I maintain that it is only after we obtain Christ himself that we come to share in the benefits of Christ. And I further maintain that he is obtained, not just when we believe that he was sacrificed for us, but when he dwells in us, when he is one with us, when we are members of his flesh, when, in short, we become united in one life and substance (if I may say so) with him. For Christ does not offer us only the benefit of his death and resurrection, but the self-same body in which he suffered and rose again.

      Calvin, True Partaking

  5. What does Union with Christ involve?
    • Repentance
    • Prayer
    • Hope
    • Joy
  6. Faith, works and union with Christ

    We do not, therefore, contemplate [Christ] outside ourselves from afar in order that his righteousness may be imputed to us but because we put on Christ are engrafted into his body—in short, because he deigns to make us one with him.

    Calvin, Institutes 3.11.7

  7. Are you in Christ?
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5 Comments

  1. Luke Isham

    I can understand why the doctrine of Justification is under threat, but why is ‘Union with Christ’ under threat? Although I haven’t listened to your talks yet so maybe you explain why these doctrines are under threat in the talk.

  2. Luke Isham

    Thanks Lionel, that context helps. It looks like an interesting series: “doctrines that are under threat” but you should have a little blurb with each explaining why they’ve been neglected or sidelined, as you’ve explained above.

    Just one other thing, I’m 8 minutes into the sermon and it seems to be about Romans 6, insightful and interesting but not about Phil 3 and Union with Christ.

    • Hi Luke, thanks. In the past I’ve just posted my sermons (with or without an outline) and assumed that if people are intrigued by the title they’ll listen. Your feedback about being clearer in my posts is helpful, especially for people who are just interested in reading the text of the posts and don’t have time to listen to the audio. So I’ll make a note to be clearer in the future re: the text of my posts.

      Also, thanks for pointing out the apparent discrepancy between the outline and the sermon – I missed out the introductory material in the outline, and have fixed it.

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