Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Union with Christ: Our Glorious Privilege

1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

THEME OF THE DAY. UNION WITH CHRIST: OUR GLORIOUS PRIVILEGE. Before we dig into today’s nugget, pause and let these words of our Lord Jesus set the stage in our hearts – “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:20-23).

As we read these glorious words of Jesus, did we notice the main theme? It is the believer’s oneness or union with the Triune God. Jesus emphasizes this at least four times in this portion of His prayer. To the Lord, this is an extremely important issue. And it should be for us too. Is it? How often do we think about our union with Christ? How much influence does the truth “Christ in us, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27), have in our daily lives? Robert Letham states, “Union with Christ is crucial to, and at the heart of, the Biblical teaching about salvation.” Maurice Roberts adds, “Union with Christ has always been one of the most important themes of the Christian life.”

Understanding this union with Christ is what provides us joy in walking with Him. We truly do walk with a living God, not only outside of us, but dwelling in us. Our union in Christ is also the strength to live the Christian life. If Christ is in us, then Paul’s words are for us in a real and practical way – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). But there is something else our union with Christ will do in our daily spiritual walk. It will promote close fellowship with Him and the avoidance of sin. The Corinthian believers in today’s scripture had forgotten both of these. If we know anything about their church, it was a mess. Much division, strife, preference, abuse of gifts and the Lord’s table, loveless attitudes, and a host of other Christ-dishonoring attitudes and actions characterized them. Safe to say, “If one wanted to check out a good church in Corinth, take this one off the list.” In fact, avoid it. And what was the root cause of all their tolerated sins? Paul identified it . . . “What, do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?” Yes, Paul, they knew, but they forgot. It will be the same for us.

One of the most important things to do to live a life of close communion with the Lord and to fight off every sin is to remember our union with Christ. Jesus is not “way out there” in the heavenlies. He is “way down here” in our hearts by His Spirit. When we are tempted to sin, whatever the temptation is, stop and say to ourselves, “No way I am giving into this sin. Christ is in me. I am not defiling His temple. I am not breaking His heart by fulfilling this sin.” If we constantly remind ourselves of Christ in us, the battle against sin will be fought valiantly and with victory after victory over it. We will avoid committing the very things Jesus died to prevent us from doing.

Union with Christ. Think about it today and throughout the day. It will be our joy, strength and set us on the path to defeating all sin through the power of Him within us.

PRAYER: “Father, help me to remember You are always present not only around me, but in me.”

QUOTE: “Christ in you is the greatest motivation to fight sin, avoid sin, and pursue holiness.”