Sunday, September 23, 2007

10 thoughts on being "in Christ"

If you're thinking that I've been borrowing a lot of content from other people recently you'll be right. It's just that there's plenty of excellent stuff out there! So why torture you with my inane ramblings? So here I am again, highlighting the insights of another, in this case, a Puritan via J. Stephen Yuille.

Union with Christ is sometimes neglected in our thinking about the Christian life, which it shouldn't be, since being "in Christ" is so fundamental to our identity as followers of Jesus. So I appreciated these ten characteristics of union with Christ that were seen to be at the forefront of John Flavel's thinking. John Flavel was an English Presbyterian preacher in the 17th century, who lived about the same time as John Bunyan, he of Pilgrim's Progress fame. He is perhaps best known for his devotional work Keeping the Heart.
Here are words for you (and me) to linger on:

  1. It is intimate: "Husband and wife are not so near, soul and body are not so near, as Christ and the believing soul are near to each other."
  2. It is supernatural: "We can no more unite ourselves to Christ, than a branch can incorporate itself into another stock."
  3. It is immediate: "Every member, the smallest as well as the greatest, hath an immediate condition with Christ."
  4. It is fundamental: "Destroy this union, and with it you destroy all our fruits, privileges, and eternal hopes."
  5. It is efficacious: "Through this union the divine power flows into our souls, both to quicken us with the life of Christ, and to conserve and secure that life in us after it is so infused."
  6. It is indissoluble: "Death dissolves the dear union betwixt the husband and wife, friend and friend, yea, betwixt soul and body, but not betwixt Christ and the soul, the bands of this union rot not in the grave."
  7. It is honorable: "To be a servant of Christ is a dignity transcendent to the highest advancement among men; but to be a member of Christ, how matchless and singular is the glory thereof."
  8. It is comfortable: "Whatever troubles, wants, or distresses befall such, in this is abundant relief and support, Christ is mine, and I am his; what may not a good soul make out of that!"
  9. It is fruitful: "Christ is a fruitful root, and makes all the branches that live in him so too."
  10. It is enriching: "All that Christ hath becomes ours, either by communication to us, or improvement for us."

(HT: Already Not Yet)

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