I don’t recall ever hearing these words……’Vital Union’ but when I read them in a book I am currently reading, Justification by Faith Alone by Charles Hodge who said this: “This doctrine of the representative and vital union of Christ and believers pervades the New Testament. It is the source of the humility, the joy, the confidence which the sacred writers so often express”. Words have meaning and my heart was greatly stirred by these two words and the Truth of what makes this ‘vital union’ hasn’t left my thoughts the last two weeks, for it is the relationship between Christ and the believer, between the Vine and the branches, between the Head and the body, and will be known at the wedding feast when the Bridegroom comes for His Bride. So I have been looking into the scripture and find that this concept of being in union, phrased as ‘in Christ’ or ‘with Christ’ is stated in many different ways and is a deep abiding Truth. I already know that I won’t be able to express this as I would so love to, it is somewhat of a mystery, but if you are reading this and you are a believer you will instinctively understand because you too are in Vital Union with Christ.
Vital = ‘necessary to existence or continuance; essential to or supporting life
Union = ‘the act of uniting, that which is so formed. The harmony, agreement, or concord that results from such a combining or joining’, the state of being united.
The words, vital union are not found in scripture, however, first of all they point to our position ‘in Christ’ in the sight of God, and secondly they are a spiritual reality, a spiritual life that is ours and can’t be had apart from this vital union.
A truly wonderful place to start is with the Apostle Paul in the book of Ephesians, especially chapters 1 and 2. In these words we are told of how we are in union with Christ in varying ways. We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph 1:3), not just a few, no one has more than another, for we each have them all. We have been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4) and so have been in union with him eternally. To the praise of the glory of His grace He has made us accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:6), oh how rich this is, to be accepted in Him. Accepted in the Lord of Glory, the King of Kings!
We have an inheritance in Christ (Eph 1:11), so great an inheritance we have obtained in Him, all the blessings and promises, the eternal inheritance of glory in heaven. Paul expresses in chapter 1 his wish and his desire that God, the Father of glory, might give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, and that our eyes of understanding might be enlightened so that we may KNOW what is the hope of His calling, what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints is and the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe……His mighty power working in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.
This power that raised Christ from the dead is now the same power that is working in us because we are in Christ , in Vital Union!
to be continued.........