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1. Union with Christ & the Struggle to Connect

Recapturing our Union with Christ helps us better understand our relationship with Jesus, so that we can connect it with our everyday lives.

Romans 7:14-25 ; Ephesians 1:11-14

This gap is real for us all at some level.  The tension between what we believe and our everyday experience of life in the world.  The disconnect between our faith in Jesus and how that translates into our actual lives.
  

What do we do with this?

What Wilbourne (the author of the “Union with Christ” that this series was born out of) suggests is that rediscovering the rich Biblical truth of our Union with Christ is the key to helping us connect what we believe with our everyday lives.

Discussion

1.  Have you ever felt this tension?  Where have you seen this “disconnect” between faith and your experience of life?

2.  How do you respond when you do feel this tension?  Why do you think it exists?

3.  What do you think it means to have “Union with Christ”?

Union with Christ in the Bible

The phrase “Union with Christ” never appears in the bible.  But we actually see it expressed in many ways — “in Christ”, “through Christ”, “Christ in you, the hope of glory”, “hidden with Christ”, “crucified with Christ”, “raised with Christ”, “seated with him in the heavenly places”, “Christ who lives in me”, “the spirit of God in you”, “included in Christ”, “…Jesus Christ is in you.”

All of these gospel truths about the nature of our relationship with Jesus can be summed up as our “Union with Christ.”

It can be hard to get our heads around.  But in its simplest form, “Union with Christ” is the truth that for followers of Jesus, we are in Christ, and he is in us.  Let’s have a look at a few of the places we see this truth expressed in different ways:

WE ARE IN CHRIST

4.  What does it mean to be “in Christ?”  Have a look at these passages and discuss:

Rom 6:4-5;

Gal 2:20; Col 3:1-4;       

Eph 2:1-7;

Heb 10:19-22

Through faith, we are in Christ – he represents us before God and every part of his life and death has significance for us.  We share in everything he is, and everything he has done.

CHRIST IS IN US

5.  What does it mean for Christ to be “in us”?  See these passages for some help:

Matt 28:18-20;

John 14:16-20;

Rom 8:9-17;

1 Cor 3:16;

Eph 1:13-14

Through faith, Christ lives in us by his spirit, making us children of God, and giving us life, peace, hope, and the power and guidance we need to live out the truth of the gospel.

Our union with Christ has massive implications for our faith and life. It’s not just a fact to know, it’s a reality to be lived.  As we grasp this reality of our “oneness” with Jesus more and more, it will continue to help us navigate life in the here and now as his followers who have been joined to him.

6.  Are there areas in your life you feel like there’s a bigger gap than others?  Stuff you believe, but really struggle to let your life be shaped by it?

7.  How might understanding that you are IN CHRIST, let you rest in his grace this week?

8.  How might being reminded of Christ IN you by his Spirit help you live out and connect your faith with your everyday life this week?

9.  Do you think we focus on one of these things more than the other as a church?

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