Our Everlasting Union With Christ††††

Ephesians 1:6

††††††††††† Our everlasting union with the Son of God is the basis of our safety and security. Godís elect are as safe and secure as Christ himself, for we are ďaccepted in the beloved.Ē When a sinner believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, he begins to enjoy a personal, manifest union with Christ. But our union with Christ began long before we believed on him. Our faith in Christ is not the cause of our union with him, but the manifestation of it (II Tim. 1:9-10). The subject of Ephesians 1:6 is not our manifest union with Christ in time, but our everlasting union with him from eternity. This everlasting union with Christ is a fivefold union.

††††††††††† 1. Our everlasting union with Christ is an election union. We were chosen in him before the foundation of the world. This election union is the basis of all Godís gracious operations toward and in his people (Eph. 1:4-6). Salvation must begin with someoneís choice. Religion says it begins with your choice. But the Bible declares that it begins with Godís choice. Godís choice of sinners unto salvation is what the Bible calls ďthe election of grace.Ē (Rom. 11:5). Election is the basis and first part of Godís salvation. Without election no one would ever be saved. Though election is personal and distinguishing, we were chosen in Christ. There is no election of grace apart from Christ. And there is no union with Christ apart from the election of grace. Christ was chosen to be the Redeemer (Isa. 42:1-4). We were chosen to be the redeemed (II Thess. 2:13-14). Election guarantees our eternal security. Our election and our Saviorís election stand or fall together. The Lambís Book of Life, that begins with the inscription of his name, holds our names. Until the pen of hell can scratch out his name, it cannot scratch out ours!

††††††††††† 2. Our everlasting union with Christ is also a legal, suretyship union. As the surety and the debtor represented by him are one before the law, so the Lord Jesus Christ and his people are one before God in a legal sense. He became our Surety in the covenant of grace before the world was made (Heb. 7:22). As the Surety of the covenant, he drew near to the Father in the name of his elect, made himself our Substitute, laid himself under obligation to God to pay our debts, satisfy all the demands of Godís law, justice, and righteousness for us, and procure on the grounds of strict justice all the blessings of grace and glory for us, to the praise of the glory of his grace. When Christ became our Surety, our Sponsor before God, he became totally responsible to God for us, to pay our debts, fulfill our obligations, and bring us to glory (John 10:15-16). Thus, even from eternity, God ceased to look for satisfaction from us. He sought satisfaction from our Surety, and found it (Job 33:24). When Christ became our Surety, our salvation was finished, in so far as the Lord our God is concerned (Rom. 8:28-30; II Tim. 1:9; Rev. 13:8). When Christ became our Surety, our everlasting salvation and security became matters of absolute certainty.

††††††††††† 3. Our everlasting union with Christ is a federal, or representative union. As Adam was the federal head of all men, so Christ is the federal head of all the elect (Rom. 5:12-19; I Cor. 15:21-22). Everything that Adam did in the Garden he did as the federal representative of all the human race. All his acts were representative acts. Had Adam been obedient to God, all the descendants of that original man would have been partakers of all the benefits of obedience to God. But Adam was not obedient. He sinned. He fell. He died. And we all sinned, fell, and died in him representatively. In exactly the same way, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Federal Head and Representative of Godís elect. He was our Federal Head from eternity. He is our Federal Head now. And he shall be our Federal Head forever. Christ was our Federal Head and Representative in the covenant of grace before the world began. He was given for a covenant to the people. He is the Mediator, Messenger, and Surety of that covenant. It was made with him, not as a single or private Person, but as the Head and Representative of Godís elect, who were given to him as a people to save. What he promised in the covenant, he promised for us. What he received in the covenant, he received for us. Thus, we were blessed in him and saved in him before the world was made (Eph. 1:3; II Tim. 1:9). When the Lord Jesus Christ obeyed the law of God and made it honorable, we were in him, obeying the law and making it honorable. When he suffered and died under the wrath of God, we suffered and died in him. ďCrucified with Christ.Ē C. H. Spurgeon said, ďJustice looks upon the chosen as though they themselves had suffered all that Christ suffered, as though they had drunk the wormwood and the gall and had descended into the lowest depths.ď When Christ was buried in the earth, we were buried with him. When the Son of God arose from the dead, we arose with him, triumphant and victorious. When he ascended into heaven and took his place at the right hand of the Majesty on high, we ascended with him, and sat down with him in his Fatherís throne, as the rightful possessors of heaven and glory with him, our Federal Head and Representative.

††††††††††† 4. Our everlasting union with Christ is a mystical union. I do not know a better way to express this aspect of our union with our Savior than by using the word ďmystical.Ē We are one with him in the sense that we are members of his body, not in a physical way, but in a spiritual sense (Eph. 4:30; Heb. 2:11-14). Godís elect have a greater union with Christ than the members of our physical bodies have with our heads. We are one with Christ as the head is one with the body, as the Father and the Son are one in the holy trinity (John 17:21), in his glory as the God-man (John 17:22), and as the objects of the Fatherís love from eternity (John 17:23-24).

††††††††††† 5. Our everlasting union with Christ is a vital union. Our union with the Lord Jesus Christ is so essential and vital that without it we could never be saved and Christ could never be complete as our Mediator and Head (John 15:5-6; Eph. 1:23). Godís elect are the fullness and completion of him who is the fullness and completion of all things!

Don Fortner