“There’s nothing worse than being alone.” Although we all like some alone time, we also understand the dangers of loneliness. Our society is hyper-connected through social media and the internet, but those connections are superficial at best and are often harmful. We don’t have to feel alone. Jesus promised his people “I will be with you always” (Matt. 28:20). This fellowship Christians enjoy with Christ is more than just presence. It is a spiritual union that we can only grasp by faith and never fully comprehend. So we understand that
so long as we are without Christ and separated from him, nothing which he suffered and did for the salvation of the human race is of the least benefit to us. To communicate to us the blessings which he received from the Father, he must become ours and dwell in us. Accordingly, he is called our Head, and the first-born among many brethren, while, on the other hand, we are said to be ingrafted into him and clothed with him, all which he possesses being, as I have said, nothing to us until we become one with him”(John Calvin and Henry Beveridge, Institutes of the Christian Religion, vol. 2 (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1845) 86).
Describing marriage, Jesus said, “what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6). We do not understand everything about the mystery of this union between husband and wife, but that union, perhaps, helps us to understand the union between Christ and Christians. Jesus united himself to us to bear our trials and sins and unites us to himself so that we share in his glory and blessings. All the Christians blessings are found “in Christ” (Eph. 1:10). Even though Christ has ascended to the Father, Christians yet enjoy this spiritual union with him.
The Bible teaches this union in passages like Romans 6:3 where Paul said that Christians are “baptized into Christ” and Galatians 3:27 where Paul taught that Christians have “put on Christ” when they, by faith, were baptized into Christ. Christians are, therefore, “in Christ” (Eph. 1:4, 11; 2 Tim. 1:9). Paul used this “in Christ” phrase to describe the Christian’s location “in Christ” rather than just what God accomplished “through Christ” although that would be grammatically possible. This union was also taught by Paul as he contrasted humanity’s union with Adam and the Christians’ union with Christ in Romans 5:12-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:21). This union is both spiritual or mystical in its relational effects. This same union is also legal in its benefits. There is also an “organic” side to this union since God grafts them into Christ, the true Vine, so that they may have life and live effectively (Jn. 15:5).
Loneliness is ultimately something that the Christian should never know because Christians are forever in this union with Christ. The infinite and eternal love of the Father poured out on the Son is experienced by those who are “in Christ” (2 Tim. 1:9). Christians can know no condemnation because they are “in Christ” (Rom. 8:1; Col. 1:28). Christians are sanctified because they are “in Christ” (1 Cor. 1:2). Christians are blessed with the fellowship of the church because they are “in Christ” (Rom. 12:5). Christians must have their “glorying in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 15:17; Phil. 3:3).
Soli Deo Gloria
D. L. D., M. Div.