Living Union

When I realize that I am in living union with the Lord Jesus Christ I am so identified with His interests that they become paramount to me. Few know it. Every distinct truth has its own characteristics. Christians in general are characterized by the knowledge of Jesus as their Savior; they praise God for the blessings of salvation. But the leading characteristic of union is, that your individuality is combined with the Lord Jesus; you belong entirely to another. The bride is merged with the Bridegroom.

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” (1 Pet 3:18). The man (old man, e.g. sinful nature—NC) under judgement has been removed* in the condemnation of the Cross, and you are brought to God as a new creation*. All that stood against you has been cleared away to God’s infinite satisfaction, and like the prodigal son, you are at home in the Father’s house. The Son of God has fully accomplished this infinite work, and here you must begin.

There is a grievous leaven in the church today, a great defect in the preaching of the Gospel. The Savior’s death is presented to the soul after the manner of the Law, where the pious Jew found relief for his immediate sins, but he still retained himself, the man which is at enmity to God. The illustration of a man pressed for the army, and finding a substitute to stand in his stead is not the Gospel.

The Gospel is that you are under the judgment of death, and that the Lord Jesus Christ has borne the judgment, not that you should keep the man who was under judgement, but that you should be completely severed from him (it—NC) in your death with Christ. “Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” The being who sinned* must go in judgement - not forgiven, but crucified (Rom 6:6—NC). It is not renouncing your bad works; every Christian would be ready for that; but are you ready to see all that is nice and amiable in you under the judgement of God?

The man who was under the judgement of God has been judicially terminated in the Cross, and the Man Christ Jesus so glorified the Father in the most distant spot, that He was “raised from the dead by the glory of the Father.” He is glorified, and now the Father is free to go out to the most distant spot, to a Saul of Tarsus, and receive him to Himself. He who measured my distance is the One who is the measure of my nearness!

The present issue is, “Is the man who was under the judgement of God, and who is removed from God’s eye in the Cross of His Son, gone from your side*? It is not only that you believe that God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead, but that you are now on the field of battle as clear as He is. “As He is, so are we in this world” (1 Jhn 4:17).

How are you free from the dominion of sin? You have died (the old man is only crucified but not dead—NC) with Christ unto sin (Col 3:3). You have changed your man; you have passed in death from Adam to Christ. You have died with Him who died unto sin* and you are one with Him in His resurrection and ascension* (presently positioned with Him in both, they being inevitable to occur—NC). Hence you are told to believe—“Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:11). The Spirit progressively makes your reckoning a reality. “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” (Rom 8:2; Gal 5:1) – (also, God—through “the Spirit Himself”—will always confirm to us that we are His children – Rom 8:16—NC).

- J B Stoney

Poster’s Opinion:

* “removed”: restrained but not eradicated.

* “new creation”: new nature added.

* “the being who sinned”: you in your old nature – Rom 7:17, 20.

* “all that is nice and amiable in you”: everything we might ignorantly consider to be good but actually isn’t.

* “gone from your side”: e.g. no longer dominating you, of which all reborn will eventually learn.

* “have died with Him who died unto sin”: only the Lord Jesus can “die unto sin.” This makes the believer “dead unto sin,” and how could one die unto that which he is already dead?

Will one born again ever have the desire to sin?—impossibly no! (Phil 2:13). This means those who profess faith and live (whether now are eventually) “after the sinful nature” have yet to undergo God’s “work” in them. This would be the result of never having been born again because He “conforms” all who are redeemed (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18).

Excerpt from MJS devotional for Oct. 13:

“Our Father is ‘a very present help in trouble.’ We may be sure that He who permits the suffering is with us in it. He was even in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). It may be that we shall see Him only when the trial is past; but we must dare to believe that He never leaves the crucible.”