Skip to main content

Union with Christ gives us hope - a reflection from Tyler Land

This past Lord’s day Charles preached a message of great comfort and joy to us. In this sermon he said something remarkable: “Part of what makes the gospel good news is that we don't have to choose between forgiveness of sins, freedom from bondage, eternal beauty, and eternal peace. All of these gifts are amazing and all of these gifts are ours because they flow out of us being united with Christ.” Every single aspect of our redemption is wrapped up in our indestructible union with Christ. Now THAT is great cause for comfort and joy and ought to move our hearts to worship! He has planned our union from eternity-past, he guarantees our union in eternity-future...Glory to God alone, we are united to Christ even in this life!

United To Christ In This Life

“In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
Ephesians 2:22

All the great themes of our salvation can all be summed up in those two beautiful words: “In him”. We have been predestined, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified “in him” (Rom 8:30). We have been crucified to our sin, have died, and have been raised to newness of life “in him” (Rom 6:4). We have eternal joy, abundant life, and are seated in the heavenly places “in him” (Eph 2:4-7). And nothing in all creation can ever separate our union with him (Rom 8:38-39). We are in him, and he is in us (Jn 17:20-26).

To me, this is a big shift in perspective. It seemed natural for me to think about faith as the thing all these themes revolved around and depended upon. I had my redemptive solar system mixed up. Our salvation does not draw its orbit around our faith, but around our union to Christ that God creates in us by the Spirit. Here is an analogy by Herman Bavinck that has been helpful to me: Imagine an ancient king that possessed a magical stone within a ring that heals anyone it touches. We might refer to it as a magical ring, but, actually it is the stone that is magical, not the ring itself. The same is true about our faith and our union with Christ. Our union with Christ is the thing that is actually “magical” and our faith is merely the ring it rests in.

Sometimes, though, it is difficult to feel the magic of it. I am writing this while quarantined in my 600sqft apartment. My wife and I have lost our jobs, and know many others who have as well. We are also keenly aware of my heightened risk as a congenital cardiac patient during this pandemic. We fight loneliness and depression as we’re forced to be away from all of our friends and family. I relate deeply to the Psalms of lament in this season... Even so, Union with Christ is a truth I cling to with all of my might! “Why?” You may ask. “In him you (me...we) also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Eph 2:22. Our only hope in this pilgrimage of a life is that God is with us. Praise God! He is much more than with us, he is in us! We can be sorrowful (and we will be) and yet always rejoice because, by God’s grace, “in him” we are being made into a dwelling place for God by his Spirit. Northside, the union we have with Christ in this life guarantees our union with Him in the next! Our union with Christ elicits great comfort and joy since through it and because of it, we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Ps 23:6).

Recommended sermon for further reflection:
https://www.mljtrust.org/sermons-online/ephesians-2-4-7/in-christ-jesus/



My name is Tyler Land. I've been attending Northside since December 2019 along with my lovely wife, Taylor. We hope to become members soon. We both have been impressed by the hospitality and friendship that occurred so quickly and we're excited to love and invest in the church!

Comments

  1. "Our union with Christ is the thing that is actually “magical” and our faith is merely the ring it rests in."
    That is probably the best way that I have ever heard that described. Thank you for that!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Our Souls Cry Out" by Tiffanie Chan

It is difficult to speak for the Asian American community. Our experience is so vast and varied—some of us have been here for generations, with grandparents forcibly removed to internment camps during World War II, some of us are those whose ancestors came to build the Transcontinental Railroad. The timeline of when we came directly correlates with racist immigration policies that allowed or denied us entry. For others, our families came because of war and conflict (often involving American military intervention). Some came as transracial adoptees, which makes our stories all the more complex. Others came for higher education and a chance at opportunity. We’ve grown up behind the counters at restaurants, markets, and dry cleaners, in suburbia as token minorities, in dense city centers of immigrant communities, and everywhere in between. But what we do share in America is the sense that we are unseen and we don’t belong. If we were born here, we don’t belong in our countries of origin

"Racism is sin. Let's treat it that way." by Sam Vaughn

Racism is sin . People are sinners. I am a person. I am a sinner. I am stained by the sin of racism. I commit the sin of racism. I omit the righteous deeds that undo and push back the sin of racism. I have stayed silent when it benefited me, rather than speaking when it would have benefited my brothers and sisters of color. I have defaulted to judgment rather than sorrow, when an unarmed Black person is shot to death. I remember when Michael Brown was shot and killed, watching the news coverage, the first thing I focused on was what he ‘must have done to cause it.’ I sought for a flaw in Michael Brown’s character as if that should be worthy of death. I engaged with other nationally covered events in a similar way. Embracing a narrative that made me comfortable was functionally more important to me than the God-given lives of image bearers like Eric Garner and Tamir Rice. I have been indifferent, and uncaring. Over the past year I have ignored the increase in violent hate crimes agains

A Response to “Our Souls Cry Out” by Lukeythia Bastardi

Dear Tiffanie, One thing I want you (and others reading) to be sure to understand, and to hear as you read this, is that "you" also equals "yours," as in the entire AAPI Diaspora. One, among many wonderful shared cultural mores between Black and Asian people, is that we are a collective people. We use singular and plural personal pronouns interchangeably. That is how it ought to be as followers of Jesus, together adopted into his family, together sharing in his inheritance, and together breaking bread. You bring the chop sticks, I'll bring the hot sauce. My soul is (again) groaning, all the while knowing, That a change is gonna come. It will be missed by some. That "already to the not yet" time will be done. (That simple promise has kept my people from coming undone.) Our Lord Jesus will see to it, That your enemies (who because they are yours are also my enemies) Will get what He sees fit. Sister Chan, please know that y