Union and Communion

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
(Galatians 3:27)

At salvation the believer is joined with Christ. The Christian is brought into union with Him. Union with Christ is not a worker’s organization that has Jesus as it’s head. Union with Christ is the Christian’s vital connection with Jesus that begins at salvation. Press two Legos together and they are in union. The believer is entirely and eternally joined with Jesus.

Union with Christ means the Christian is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Christian. (John 14:20) At salvation the Holy Spirit places the believer in the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:10) This baptism into Christ makes the Christian part of Jesus in a spiritual and absolutely real sense. The Christian becomes as much a part of him as the left elbow is a part of the person. At salvation Jesus takes up residence within the Christian through the Holy Spirit. (1 John 4:13) The visible presence and glory of God physically and actually took up residence in the Tabernacle in the midst of Israel. Today the presence and person of God spiritually and actually takes up residence in the heart of the Christian.

From union with Jesus flows communion with Him. The Christian can daily abide in Christ because the Christian is actually in Christ. Because he is already connected with His Savior the Christian can live each day the joy of that relationship. Communion with Christ is the regular enjoyment and experience of union with Christ.

In John 6 Jesus said some things that leave people scratching their heads in confusion. In verse 56 Jesus says that whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood abides in Him. What does it mean to eat and drink Christ? It means to believe Him. In verse 35 He says, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Eating and drinking Jesus is a metaphor for believing Him to be God the Son who gives eternal life to those who believe Him. Therefore, verse 56 says taht those who believe Jesus abide in Him.

This means faith produces abiding in Christ. The abiding in John 6 is union with Christ at salvation. The continuance of that abiding in daily communion with Jesus is also through faith. Galatians 3:2-3 teaches that salvation is completed by the same means that salvation was received. Faith brings the believer into union with Christ. Faith enjoys that union in constant communion with Jesus. The Christian abides in Christ by faith.

The faith that abides in Christ is the same kind of faith that brings salvation. Hebrews 11 is a vivid litany of illustration after illustration of faith. In every case the one who had faith received the Word of God, believed it to be true and obeyed it. Christian communion with Christ happens in the same way. Receive the Word, believe it to be true and then do what it says.

“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
John 15:14