Union With Christ
Union With Christ that act of divine grace by which we are joined to Christ; and is considered, 1. As virtual, or that which was formed from all eternity (Eph 1:4); 2. Vital, or spiritual, formed in the moment of our regeneration (Joh 17:26; 1Jo 4:13). It is represented in the Scripture by the strongest expressions language can admit of, and even compared to the union between the Father and the Son (Joh 17:11,21, etc.). It is also compared to the union of a vine and its branches (Joh 15:4-5); to the union of our food with our bodies (Eph 6:24,24); to the union of the body with the head (Eph 4:15-16); to the conjugal union (Eph 5:23,30); to the union of, a king and his subjects (Mt 25:34,40); to a building (1Pe 2:4-5; Ephesians 2 21,22). It is also represented by an identity or Sameness of spirit (1Co 6:17); by identity of body (1Co 12:12,27); by an identity of interest (Mt 25:40; Joh 20:17). This union must be considered, not as a mere mental union only in comfort or notion; nor a physical union, as between the head and the members; nor as an essential union, or union with the divine nature; but as a mystical union (Ephesians 5, 32); an honorable union (1Jo 3:1-2); a supernatural union (1Co 1:30); holy (1Jo 3:24); necessary (Joh 15:4); inviolable (Ro 8:38-39). Some state it, thus: 1. A union of natures (Heb 2:11); 2. Of actions, Christ's obedience being imputed to us, and our sins reckoned to him (2Co 5:21); 3. Of life (Col 3:4), 4. Of sentiment (2Co 5:17); 5. Of interest (Mt 25:34, etc.); 6. Of affection (2Co 5:14); 7. Of residence (Joh 17:24). The advantages of it are knowledge (Eph 1:18), fellowship (1Co 1:9), security (John 15) felicity (1Pe 1:8), spirituality (Joh 15:8); and, indeed, all the rich communications of spiritual blessings here and hereafter (Col 1:22). The evidences of union with Christ are: light in the understanding (1 Peter 2, 9); affection to him (Joh 14:21); frequent communion with him (1Jo 1:3); delight in his word, ordinances, and people (Ps 27:4; Ps 119); submission to his will, and conformity to his image (1Jo 2; 1Jo 5). See Dickinson, Letters, let. 17; Flavel, Method of Grace, ser. 2; Polhill, On Union; Brown, Compend. 5, 1.