Into Christ

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes


Dear Christ Church,

Your story is full of hope and beauty, power and grace. How do I know that? While I might not know every individual in our parish personally, I do know that if you are a follower of Jesus, my opening words above are true. I know it’s true because of a theme Paul addresses in Romans 6, union with Christ, and the prevalence of this theme throughout the whole New Testament.

Paul writes to the church in Rome, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Baptized into Jesus, buried and raised with him, His story becomes our story.

Sarah Lebhar Hall recently wrote about this neglected doctrine in a recent Christianity Today article: “The possibility is staggering: that I, a creature, might have my life linked–actually, organically, eternally linked–to the Son of God himself. Like a freight car coupled with an engine, where Jesus goes, I go. What happens to him, happens to me. I follow him and share his life, his character, his suffering, his future, his inheritance, even his reign with the Father.

While this reality, known as the doctrine of ‘union with Christ,’ has received a lot of attention throughout Christian history, it is often ignored in the modern church. But it is incredibly good news for those of us who wrestle with the uncertainty and disappointment of life on earth. Because we are ‘in Christ,’ because his life is ours, our fundamental life story has already been written.”

This Sunday we continue our series through the heart of Romans with a further look at Romans 6. May you know and live the truth that “his life is ours” this Lenten season.