Murray on our union with Christ
In his book, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, the late John Murray presents an excellent summary of what it means that believers live in union with Christ. He writes that “if we did not take account of [union with Christ], not only would our presentation of the application of redemption be defective but our view of the Christian life would be gravely distorted. Nothing is more central or basic than union and communion with Christ” (p. 161). On the following pages he goes on to enumerate what it means to be united with Christ:
The fountain of salvation itself in the eternal election of the Father is “in Christ.” . . . The Father elected from eternity, but he elected in Christ. . . .
It is also because the people of God were in Christ when he gave his life a ransom and redeemed by his blood that salvation has been secured for them; they are represented as united to Christ in his death, resurrection, and exaltation to heaven. . . .
It is in Christ that the people of God are created anew. “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10). . . .
But not only does the new life have its inception in Christ; it is also continued by virtue of the same relationship to him. It is in Christ that Christian life and behavior are conducted. . . .
It is in Christ that believers die. They have fallen asleep in Christ or through Christ and they are dead in Christ (1 Thess. 4:14, 16). . . .
Finally, it is in Christ that the people of God will be resurrected and glorified. It is in Christ they will be made alive when the last trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:22). It is with Christ they will be glorified (Rom. 8:17).