I bet you wonder what in the world that is. Before I tell you, let me share something else that will seem very “off the wall” at first, but bear with me. A close friend of my dad’s once said, “Richard Reese (my dad) is so tight he can squeeze the sh** out of a buffalo nickel!” No joke, and I can verify that indeed he can.
Well, we all know “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I’m a bit tight myself. You gotta be these days! I buy off brands, I shop at off brands, I consume borderline spoiled food, and just this year I started throwing away underwear from high school that finally fell apart, no joke (I graduated high school in 1998). Anyway, you know how annoying it can be when you’re taking a shower, you reach for the soap, and your bar has shrunk to the size of a quarter? Well, I squeeze every penny out of that soap too. The picture above is the marriage between a piece of dwindled down Dove and some dinky sized Dial. It took a week or so of squeezing and rubbing, but wala, That’s how I roll.
One day recently I found myself in the shower trying to get a lather going out of this little guy. All of a sudden, as I looked down with soap in hand and considered my cheapness, I heard Jesus whisper, “You know, that soap is kinda like you and me.” I responded, “You mean we’re both clean?” “No dummy. I mean we are one!”
Of all the wonders of the Bible, of every divine work throughout all of history – from making manna to moving mountains, from splitting the sea in Exodus to splitting the sky in Revelation, from time created to time consummated – God’s preeminent work is His revelation of our union with Christ.
But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17).
With a little time and some applied heat from a strong hand, like that piece of soap, God has pressed you together and made you one with His Christ who created you! That is a staggering truth. What are the implications? Do we somehow become gods? What does this union really mean?
First, you must believe that God is Spirit, and we too are spirit. Our union with Christ is a union at the spirit level. Second, the New Testament never refers to the human spirit as divine. When Peter says, we become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), he meant exactly that – We share in/partake of God’s nature. I share a common life with my wife, but I am not my wife. It’s important to see our union with Christ as a union of distinction without separation.
Jesus illustrated the truth of distinctness yet oneness with some talk about a vine and a branch in John 15:1-6. Christ is the vine, and the branches are all who receive Christ for salvation. Then, we draw our life from Christ for the rest of our lives just as branches draw life from a vine. Yet as the branch remains a branch and the vine a vine, so we remain believers and Jesus remains Jesus.
It can be hard to know at what point the vine is a branch or the branch is a vine. Likewise, hard lines get blurry trying to distinguish between Christ and us, not in identity but in action. We can ALWAYS distinguish between the identity of Christ, the uncreated eternal Son, and ourselves as the created sons and daughters. It’s the source of actions between us and Christ that gets confusing. If you perform a good deed in dependence on Christ, was it you doing the deed or was it Christ? Both! We chose to act while depending upon Christ in us. In our choice, Christ manifests His Life through us. This shouldn’t be so hard to grasp. Scripture is replete with the truth of our union with Christ. It’s the foundation of the New Covenant!
God came to man the first time in the garden of Eden, inviting Adam into eternal union by offering the tree of Life. Adam rejected that offer, was separated from God and was thereby left to function in self-sufficiency. God came to man a second time in the person of Jesus Christ in the gospels, yet man rejected God again. He came unto his own, and his own received him not (John 1:11). Yet one of Jesus’ last promises while on earth was, I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.
Jesus fulfilled these words when He came to you and I a third time, when we heard the gospel and received Him as Savior. At that moment, God supernaturally grafted our lives together in a vital, eternal, and inseparable union whereby Christ became our very life (Colossians 3:4). Just like Jesus predicted, when we become in Christ, Christ equally becomes in us.
to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
Let us walk along side of you and help you discover the the depths of your union with Christ. Give us a call. One of our counselors would love the opportunity to talk with you.