Your Union with Christ

Steve Viars May 1, 2013

Please Note: the full transcript is available in the Manuscript link above.

Romans 5:1-2 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

I. The Fact of Your Union

Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death…

A. Paul's opening salvo

Romans 6:1 - What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

B. You are united with Christ in His death

6:3 - baptized into His death

6:4 - buried with Him

6:5 - For if we have become united with Him in His death…

6:6 - our old self was crucified with Him…

6:6-7 - …so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

Romans 6:2 - How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

C. You are united with Christ in His resurrection

6:4 - so that as Christ was raised

6:4 - so we too might walk in the newness of life

6:5 - we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection

Romans 6:11-14 - Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:12-14 - Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

D. Paul's second hypothetical objection

Romans 6:15 - Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?

E. Everybody has a master

Romans 6:16 - Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

Proverbs 13:15 - …the way of the transgressor is hard.

Proverbs 28:13 - …He who covers his transgressions will not prosper

II. The Meaning of Your Union

A. Ultimately this is a mystery

Ephesians 5:32 - This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Colossians 1:27 - 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.

B. Key elements

1. Judicial

“When the Father evaluates or judges us before the law, He does not look upon us alone.  We are in His sight one with Christ.  We are in His sight one with Christ…Thus He does not say ‘Jesus is righteous but that human is unrighteous.’  He sees the two as one and in effect says, ‘They are righteous.’  That the believer is righteous is not a fiction or a misrepresentation.  It is the correct evaluation of a new legal entity, a corporation that has been formed as it were.  The believer has been incorporated into Christ and Christ into the believer…All of the assets of each are now mutually possessed.  From a legal perspective, the two are now one.” (Erickson, p. 952)

2. Spiritual

a. Effected by the Holy Spirit of God

Romans 8:9-11 - However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

b. A union of our spirit with His

"What the union produces is a new spiritual vitality with the human." (Erickson, p. 953)

3. Vital

"His life actually flows into ours, renewing our inner nature (Rom. 12:2, 2 Cor. 4:16) and imparting spiritual strength.  There is a literal truth in Jesus' metaphor of the vine and the branches.  Just as the branch cannot bear fruit if it does not receive life from the vine, so we cannot bear spiritual fruit if Christ's life does not flow into us (John 15:4).”

Romans 7:4 - So, my brothers, you also died to the law through Christ's body, so that you might become the wife of a different man.

III. The Results of Your Union

A. An antidote to fear

Ephesians 6:12-13 - For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Psalm 35:1, 10 - Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me…All my bones will say, “Lord, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, and the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?”

Psalm 121:1-2 - I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Joshua 1:8-9 - This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

B. A stimulus for growth

Romans 6:11 - Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

C. Encouragement to pray

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

D. Motivation for outreach

Matthew 28:19-20 - Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

2 Corinthians 5:20 - Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.


Additional Resources

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Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video