Sermon – Union with Christ (John 6:53 – 6:59) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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John 2021

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The Book of John was authored by one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, John, who features in the gospel. John makes his mission for writing the book plain in 20:31; “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He details the many words and claims of Jesus, as well as the various responses from those listening; in either faith, amazement, caution or rejection. Listen as Cornerstone preachers unpack the narrative and invite us to reflect on our own response to Jesus.

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Sermon 23 of 58

Union with Christ

Ben Read, John 6:53 - 6:59, 22 May 2022

In this part of our series in John’s gospel Ben preaches to us from John 6:53-59, as we take a pause to look closely at Jesus’ words - we see what it means to ‘remain in Him’ and be united to Him, and what it means for those who trust in Him today.

John 6:53 - 6:59

53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

So John chapter 6, verse 53. Jesus said to them, very truly, I tell you, Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them. Just as the living father sent me, and I live because of the father, So the 1 who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manor and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever. He said this while teaching in a synagogue in capernaum.

Welcome from me. My name is Ben. Welcome in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and 1 of the pastors here at the church. Really lovely to have you, if you're here in the building. I know it's quite warm, but you've come out.

Thank you. Good to sing together and encourage 1 another. And welcome as well if you're online. Good to have you as well. As as as Chris said, we're taking a slight detour this week, but we're not going far because last week, we saw the response from the crowd after Jesus had given them a word.

Jesus spoke to them for the first time, and They realized it was a stale word. Jesus spoke a word and it was stale to them. And if Jesus is the bread of life, then it's a stale bit of bread to them. That's what we saw, and they turn and they leave him. Although the disciples confess, so there's this moment where the disciples say to Jesus.

No. Jesus, your word isn't stale. You have the words of eternal life. And it's a really it's a beautiful moment and a sad moment as well. And as I said, what we're doing today is we're backtracking very, very slightly, back into what Jesus has just said to them.

And I wanna zoom in and focus on 1 line 1 verse that when you read, you can just read over it, like, just quite casually. And actually, we've been singing it all night. We've been singing it all the songs. It's quite casual. We can say it.

We can sing it. But when you stop on it and you pause, it is like, whoa. Okay. Cosmos altering. And that's that's in verse 57.

So if you look at chapter 6, John chapter 6 verse 57, Jesus says, whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. So if you're a Christian, you're in Christ and he's in you. And there's more than enough for us, I feel totally inadequate. We just sung when this poor stammering lisping tongue lies silent in the grave. I feel like I have such a whispering, stammering tongue tonight with this passage.

There's so much glory and wonderfulness in it. But we wanna we wanna take a look at it. And I've got a I've got a disclaimer. First of all, we there are a lot of verses that we're gonna look at. They'll be up on the screen.

You don't have to flick to them. And rather than look at every single 1 and spend loads of time. And if you take notes, I'm gonna say don't worry about looking at all of them super, super closely because they're going to be a lot. So what I'd rather do is you just feel the weight of them as we read them. And you see the collective picture that they build up.

In fact, the picture in my mind is a tapestry. When you look at a tapestry, you have to stand back and you see it. Don't you? Never go up and go, look at this little bit of cotton here or whatever tapestries are made out of. You just stand back and you look.

And that's what I wanna do tonight. So just bear that in mind. And actually, the application as well is to enjoy the tapestry. That's my application. That's what I want you to get from all of this.

And when you leave, I want you to have you know how kids in Sunday school make a little craft. And they love it and they enjoy it and they take it home. Well, that's what I want you to do with the tapestry. Okay? Take your tapestry home, enjoy it, being encouraged by it, and warmed by it.

Brilliant. Let's pray because we absolutely need the Lord's help to to look at this to look at this wonderful truth. Father, thank you for your word. We thank you that we can read about the lord Jesus Christ. We can hear his very words that he said in history.

That he still speaks today through your word. Thank you for this amazing truth that if we're Christians, we're in Christ. And he's in us and father show us something more about what that means tonight. I pray. In Jesus' name, amen.

Okay. Christian or or in Christ. I wonder whether you know there's the the word Christian is actually only 3 times in the entire bible. The word Christian appears only 3 times. In in all of the scriptures.

The first time is in acts chapter 11, and we're told that disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. So that's the first place in the world that a Christian is called a Christian at Antioch. And then later in acts chapter 25, king agrippa speaks to Paul, and Paul's just given him this amazing sermon, and the king agrippa says to him, do you think that in such a short time, you can persuade me to be a Christian? As that word again? So the word Christian seems to be the word that people have assigned to this body of believers, these these people who've started following this man Jesus, they they follow him, they believe in him, they call the people who follow him, Christians.

In the way that someone who's from Rome, who belongs to Rome is called a Roman, someone who belongs to Jesus, they call a Christian. Someone who belongs to Jesus. The third time Christian is used is in 1 Peter chapter 4, which we've been looking at recently in the mornings. And it says, however, if you suffer as a Christian If you suffer is this word that people call the body of believers, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. What name?

The name that the world has for followers of Jesus. Christian. So that's what people were calling us. But overwhelmingly in Scripture, the way that the apostles refer to us are those who are in Christ. When you read the scriptures again and again and again, it's to those in Christ.

Not simply belonging to or following, but in Christ. And if you do a a word search on bible gateway for the expression in Christ, you'll get almost a hundred results. Compared to just 3 for Christian. And I actually made them into a spreadsheet. So if anyone wants that, it's quite a nice thing to just go through and read them all and just feel the weight of of what it means.

But the concept of being in Christ, even though the apostles use this a lot, it's not something that they made up Jesus as we've just read uses it himself. He's the 1 who introduces it to us. So in verse 56, whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me. And I in them. There is a dynamic 2 way union that exists between the Christian and Christ.

Is what we're we're told. He is in them and they are in him. And I was thinking I was reflecting, I don't think we actually think like that very often, do we? When we think about we're Christians, we think about God being up there, don't we? And we're down here And there are days when he feels near.

There are days where we feel like we're walking close to him and there are days where we feel far away and we say, I've just To be honest, I feel like I'm I'm treading water. I don't really know where God is. I don't feel very close to him. We say these sorts of things, don't we? But actually, the bible teaches the reality is we are inseparably united to Christ.

Morning, afternoon, evening, Mornings afternoon, evening, Morning, afternoon, evening. We're inseparably united. Now, what on Earth does that mean? What does it mean that we're united to Christ? And what is the significance of it?

Those are the 2 quest largely the 2 questions I'm gonna deal with tonight. What does union with Christ mean? Maybe you've heard of that before, that doctrine, the doctrine of union with Christ. What does it actually mean? And what is the significance of it?

How does that actually affect us in our Christian lives? What does it mean? So those are the 2 things. And just to whet your appetite, Just listen to to to what John Piper has to say about this this doctrine. He's the former pastor of a of a church in in Minnesota.

He's an author and he has this to say about this. He says union with Christ is the center of our salvation and our sanctification. And central to all our deepest joys in this life. So in other words, it's because of our union that we're saved at all. It's because of our union that we're sanctified and washed and made holy.

It's because of our union that we can have our deepest joys. All of it is because we're in union, with Jesus. So I hope you can agree. This is worthwhile spending some time on, even though we're going back a little bit. It's worthwhile reflecting on it.

So I've got I've got 3 points about what Union with Christ is, with some diagrams. And then I've got a number of points, I think 5. For what the significance of that is, how that affects us. So here we go. We'll start making our tapestry.

First point, the lynchpin. This is the lynchpin. We're made in the image of God. Made in the image of God. So the reason that any union can exist at all between mankind, human creatures, and God, Christ, is because humanity is made in the image of God.

That's that's the middle ground of this union. That's where the 2 points connect and interlink. If you are an Apple user, you'll know the frustrations of trying to connect Apple products with non Apple products. Whether it's an iMac or an iphone or whatever, there was a guy I used to work with who'd have a laptop bag for his Mac. And he had a Mac and a charger in 1 bag.

And then he had a whole another bag that it had to take around, which sort of like unfolded. You know, And there's all of these different connectors for different things to make sure his Mac could plug into stuff, whether it was a projector or a computer or whatever a printer, whatever it was. They're not compatible. However, when God made man he made us compatible with him in preparation for this union to exist. So Genesis chapter 1, then God said, let us make mankind in our image.

In our likeness. So god created mankind in his own image. In the image of god, he created them, male and female he created them. So could God ever have this union with animals? No.

Jerusalem is not shaking No. Because they're not made in his image. It's beautiful. A thing as a cat is. It's not made in the image of God.

For some people very clearly, not made in the image of God. Could God have a union with angels? As far as we know, humans are uniquely made in the image of God. We are uniquely made in his image. And so that's the groundwork for a human god union to exist at all.

And it was built into us right at the very start. So if you want an earlier sign that God had a plan to save us, in the beginning, go create the heavens and the earth, and he said, let's make mankind in our image. So that's the first thing, the linchpin of this whole thing is that God made us in his image. Secondly, Christ's union with us, the incarnation. So because humanity was made in the image of God, possible for god the son to become incarnate, which means and come in flesh.

It's from the Latin words, flesh. It's it's possible for God to become human. So actually, whatever a human is, whatever you are, it's possible for God the son to become like you. Which is amazing. Because if you turn to the person and look at the person next to you right now, they are they are a marvel of creation.

Sinking about getting you each to say that to each other, but I won't do that. I will just say to you. You're a marvel of creation. You are. Because God, the sun could come in your likeness.

Because you're made in his likeness. Isn't that amazing? I actually think Christians should have the highest view of humans that there is. So you get you get atheists who believe in evolution, and they they will blow you away with like their arguments and their their sort of statistics, and they might talk about what an incredible machine the human body is and you say yeah, but I got a higher view than you because I believe God could become 1 of you. We have a higher view than even humanists who raise humans up and say humans are the best thing in the universe.

We say no. Something better. It's God. And by the way, he can come in your likeness. Christian should have the highest view of humanity possible.

Humans are glorious. There's nothing else in all of creation like them, and so Christ comes into this world, and he unites himself to us by becoming like us. That's how Christ unites himself to humanity. He's born of the Virgin Mary. He joins the race of men.

He becomes 1 of us. He joins our team. Christmas is a miracle. In Seoul, we were doing miracles in Matthew, and we were looking at all the different miracles that Jesus performs, healings, raising people from the dead, you know, turning water into wine, all of these miracles, but we started with Christmas. And everyone was like, why are we starting there?

It's because God becoming man is a miracle, an unbelievable miracle. He becomes like us. He comes into flesh and blood. He's walking. He's talking.

He's breathing. His heart's pumping. He's a man of sorrows. He's acquainted with grief. He knows what it's like to be you and me.

He is tempted. He was tempted as every in every way just as we are. And the son of god, the favorite name, the son of god gives him self is the son of man. Isn't that amazing? The son of god calls himself the son of man.

That's how he loves to describe himself. But he doesn't just come oh, there you go. There's a diagram. Christ unites himself to us by becoming like 1 of us, but he doesn't just come as another man, this is 1 Corinthians 15, and it describes him as the second man and the last Adam. This is very significant for the union.

This is important. So what does that mean? Well, the second man in verse 47 there says the first man was of the dust of the earth. The second man is of heaven. That word man is anthropos.

It means humanity. So here is the second man The second humanity almost. The first is of the dust of the earth, and it fell. The second is of heaven. It's of God, and that humanity obeyed.

Now, that would be no good to us at all, because we're of the first humanity. All of us are born in Adam, except for the fact that Jesus is also called the last Adam. I really like these details. And you might be thinking, what's going on here? But Adam represents the head of humanity.

He is the head, we are described as being in Adam, because we all come from him. There's a fancy words which is he's the covenant head. We've got a union with Adam. He represents us. And we're in him.

So because he fell, we all fell as well. All of us who were in him, but here's the thing, Jesus isn't just the second man. This sort of new humanity that's over there. Jesus is also the last Adam. He's this last Adam, this covenant head of this second humanity, and he's lost because there are no more after him, he's the final 1.

And in the gospel, we move from being in Adam to in Christ. This is 1 Corinthians 15 22. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive. So Jesus not only unites himself to humanity by becoming like us, that's him connecting himself to us, But then by becoming the last Adam, he says, come and come and be in me. Come and I will represent you.

I will be your head. Connect yourself to me, and I'm a new man. I'm of heaven. I'm obedient. Come and be part of this humanity.

I wanna say, you wanna be in Christ, don't you? You have Adam? You've got Christ. In Adam will die. But in Christ, all will be made alive.

You wanna be in Christ. So Jesus becomes human. He unites himself with us. I got a yep. He unites himself with us, but he also unites us to himself.

Okay. So you get this. There's some connections going on. Yeah. There's a union here with Christ and humanity.

But here's a question. If we all start in Adam, If that's where we all start, we're all born in Adam, but we wanna be in Christ, then how do we move from being in Adam to being in Christ? How do we connect ourselves to him in that way? Well, how did we become in Adam? How was it that you'll hear right now?

You were born. You were born in Adam, and so to be in Christ, you have to be born again. And that's my third point, our union with Christ pentecost. So we've had we were made in the image of God, Christ becomes like us, and now our union with Christ, the sort of arrow the other way. How is it we're connected to him?

Pentecost. If you know what pentecost is, it's the historical event in acts chapter 2 where Jesus, who has risen from the grave. He's won. He's defeated death. He's been raised victorious.

He ascends into heaven, he sits down on the throne, and then he sends the Holy Spirit, which he promised to send. To indwell believers in his church. That's what he's doing. And this is this is the account of pentecost, acts chapter 2. When the day of Pentecos came, they were all together in 1 place.

Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. And began to speak in other tongues as the spirit enabled them. Okay.

Some major old testament spirit things going on here in this passage. The word spirit is the same word for wind. So here's the violent wind, the holy spirit coming from heaven. And in the Old Testament, the spirit of God would fill the temple. He would fill the tabernacle with his glory.

Here he comes in and he fills this house. It's not a special building, it's not a tabernacle, it's not a temple, but he fills the house, and he rests not on a building, but he rests on people. Amazing. And not just on some of them, like he did in the old testament, not just on special people who were anointed. They've laws is amazing.

The spirit comes and rests on him. But he comes and rests on the rest of you as well. It's not just the prophet. The prophet Dave laws. But it's all the believers.

The spirit comes. And he he he he fills and he indwells believers. When my when my younger sister no. Start this again. When I was younger, my little sister asked my mom 1 day.

She said, said, mommy, where is Jesus? Where is Jesus? And my mom answered, well, Katrina, he's inside you. And my little sister taking that very literally started to panic and was like, get them out, get them out, get them out, get them out, get them out, get them out, and she was panicking. And my mom was then like scrambling for things to say.

That's what I mean. I don't To mean there's like a little Jesus inside of you. That's not how this works. Physically inside. And try to calm her down.

But actually, my mom was absolutely right. Absolutely right. The holy spirit unites us to Jesus. Because Jesus dwells in us by the Holy Spirit. Just listen to what Jesus has to say.

Here we go. In John chapter 14, He says, if you love me, keep my commands, and I will ask the father, and he will give you another advocate to help you, and be with you forever, the spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him. It neither sees him nor knows him, but you know him for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans.

I will come to you. So here Jesus is saying, the spirit's gonna come. He will be with you and soon he will be in you. The spirit's gonna come and be in with you, and then in verse 18. In the next heartbeat, he says, I will come I will come to you.

The spirit's gonna come to you, and I will come to you. Now what does Jesus mean there? Is he getting confused? Is he forgetting actually, oh, who's gonna come at Pentecost? Is it me?

Is it the spirit I'm not really sure? But he goes further. In verse 23, he says this. Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching, my father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. So now it's not just Jesus who's gonna come.

It's the father and the son who are gonna come. Now how's that possible? What's through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? It isn't just the Holy Spirit who comes and indwells you. Paul says, do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you?

How, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is why 1 of the names of the spirit is the spirit of Christ. There's all sorts of reasons for that, but 1 of them, the spirit of Christ is in you. Christ dwells in you by the Holy Spirit. So there you go.

That's that's a that's a very brief overview of our union with Christ. Christ unites himself to us. Do I have a picture? Yep. Christ unites himself to us forever by becoming man.

He's united himself to mankind, and he unites us to himself by becoming our last Adam, we become in him, he represents us, and he does this through sending the Holy Spirit, if in you, if you believe. Matthew Henry's a bible commentator, an old bible commentator. He he describes this us and him, him in us like He says, we dwell in Christ as you would dwell in a city or a stronghold. That's how we're in Christ. He's like a city and we're in him.

Christ dwells in us, as a master of the house. We're a house. Christ is in us. He rules. He provides.

That's how he is in us. We're in Christ like a city, he's in us like a master of the house, and both of those are only possible through the Holy Spirit in dwelling you. Now, Let's get to the good bit. Yeah. That was a bit like, but here we go.

What is the significance of this? It's it's absolutely amazing. That's how it's possible. It's incredible. Now what what difference is it gonna make?

How does this make a difference to me? Us in him, him at us. Well, actually, It's the basis, and we'll see this. It's the basis for absolutely everything to do with our Christian life. And our life.

If you look at verse 57 in John chapter 6, Jesus says this, just as the living father sent me, and I live because of the father, so the 1 who feeds on me will live because of me. Jesus is drawing a comparison here. He's saying just like I live because of the father, I'm in union with the father. I'm connected to the father. I'm 1 with the father.

Because I have that, I have life, because the father is the life giver. And in that way, You will have life if you're connected to me. So Jesus has life in himself because the father's granted it, and you will have life if you'll connect to me. So this is a matter of life and death. You you won't live unless you're connected to Jesus.

Unless you're united to Jesus. So here we go. Let me show you what I need. Through some points, and this is where we really start painting the tapestry. This is where we start throwing some color on this tapestry.

Justification. The reason we can be justified at all is because of our union. So we know, as Christians, don't we, that the penalty for sin is death. That's what we deserve. We've broken God's Holy law.

We've rebelled against him. If he's the life giver and we sin, We cut ourselves off from life. That's what sin is. And the only way sin can be dealt with is is if god who's the just god punishes my sin, and the punishment is death, So the only way my sin can be dealt with is if I die and I'm buried. But if I'm a Christian, I'm united to Christ.

Who has died and been buried. So as Paul says, here in Galatians, he says, I I have been crucified with Christ. I've died. And I've been buried with him in baptism. And so through union with Christ, my sin has personally be paid for because what happened to Christ in a way happened to me?

I'm united to Christ, and he died for sin. So all who were in Christ have died with him to sin. Roman chapter 8, and so he condemned sin in the flesh, in Christ's flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us. There's a connection. What happens to Jesus on the cross results in something for us.

It bears fruit for us because he's died upon the cross. And then Romans chapter 8 verse 1, we all know it. It's famous. It thunders. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

We've been justified. Sin can never again claim anything on any of you if you're in Christ because you're united to him and he died, the penalty for sin was paid in him, and so you have died in a sense. The penalty has been paid. And and this is why we sing song, don't we? When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within.

Upward I look and I see him there who made an end to all my sin. Yeah. When Satan comes around and says, look at that sin that you did. Look at you, you filthy sinner. You say, I've died with Christ.

Christ has paid my sin. He made an end to all of it. Justice. We've been justified because of our union with Christ. Were united to him in his death.

Scientificification. Not only are we declared innocent of our sin, but through our union with Christ, we're made holy. That's actually how we're made holy. Jesus doesn't just sort of sprinkle holy water on you from a distance and say, you're clean now. I've showered you with holiness.

Actually, because we're united to Christ, his holiness is applied to us, his holiness is our holiness, Jesus says, this in John chapter 17, for them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. Now why does Jesus sanctify himself? Was because he's gonna unite himself to us by the Holy Spirit. And if we united to him, and he's sanctified. We, too, will be truly sanctified.

1 Corinthians, chapter 1, to the church of God in corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy people. 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 30 is because of him that you were in Christ Jesus who has become for us wisdom from God. That is our righteousness, holiness, and our redemption. Our holiness and our redemption is not our own. It's because we're united to Christ, and his holiness is then applied to us.

In the book of leviticus, there's a grain offering and a sin offering. And these things are so holy that whatever they touch become holy. So you had to have like special sort of pieces of cloth to to keep them in. And if they if they fell on the floor and touched your shoe, your shoe would become holy. Not because the shoes holy, but because something most holy has touched it.

It's the same thing with Christ. We're united to him, and so we're made holy because we're in union with the holy 1 of God. And another verse we can sing. Behold him there, the risen lamb, my perfect spotless righteousness. The lamb is my righteousness.

The lamb is my holiness. The great unchangeable I am, the king of glory and of grace. Justification, sanctification, glorification. Yeah. It just gets better and better and better this does.

If he truly is the king of glory and we're united to him, then my goodness. Okay. So when Jesus rose from the dead, he ascended into heaven, and there's this oh, yeah. Daniel There he is. Daniel chapter 7.

There's this sort of description of Jesus' victorious ascension into heaven. In my vision at night, I looked there before me was 1 like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the ancient of days and was led into his presence. He was given authority glory, and sovereign power. All nations and peoples of every language worshiped him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is 1 that will never be destroyed. Okay. Wow. That's Jesus coming in all his glory to sit on the throne. And to have a kingdom that will never pass away.

He rules over this heavenly throne. Now what does that mean if we united to him? Well, first of all, Romans chapter 6 verse 5 says if we have been united with him in a death like is. If that's true, if we united in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in a in a resurrection like this in his like his. So if you died with Christ when he died, it's true that your resurrection was guaranteed in him when he was raised.

This is why the bible talks about the resurrection of Jesus being the first fruits of the harvest. He's the firstborn from among the dead. Because his resurrection and our resurrection are 2 parts of the same event, the resurrection of the dead. So if we're in Christ, In Christ, the resurrection has already started. If you imagine an Olympic relay race, with the batons.

Is that what it's called? Relay race? Yeah. Jesus has left his position, and he's sprinting around the track with his baton. Now, we park the same race as him.

We're there. We're waiting to go. But the gun has gone. Jesus has has raised from the dead and is running, and we're just waiting for him to get to us, to come back to us, to raise us from the grave. But we're still part of the same race.

Jesus was raised as a man. We're humans too. The resurrection of the dead has already started in Christ Jesus. We're just waiting for that day when the harvest comes. When he arrives with us and gives us the baton, we can go.

Now, do you know that weird bit in Matthew's Gospel when Jesus is raised from the dead and and some other people come out of their tombs and start walking around? What the heck is that about? Not entirely sure, but I was thinking this week, maybe it's like a false start. Yeah? Our resurrection in Jesus is so closely tied.

In a way, his resurrection is the beginning of ours. So there's like, are you ready? Whoa. Yeah. Oh, nope.

Go back go back. Come back. It's like that homer Simpson thing, isn't it? When he just disappears behind the thing. But may I was thinking, maybe that's what's going on there.

Maybe our maybe I don't know if it's figurative, I don't know if it's literal, if it's literal, it's what an amazing picture that when Christ steps out of his tomb, so do other people? Because we're in him and what's he doing? He's leaving the grave. So what are we doing? We're leaving the grave.

We come out with him in a sense. It's like a false start on the track. They started running before they were meant to. But we haven't just been raised to glorious new life, but this this is where it gets even more amazing. If we're united with him, then we remain united to him when he sits down on his throne in heaven.

Ephesians chapter 2. I got that there. Yeah. God raised us up with Christ. And what does he do?

He seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. In order that in the coming ages, he might show the incomparable riches of his grace expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. The incomparable riches of God's grace are gonna be shown to us as we sit with Christ on the throne in glory forever. This is the fulfillment of mankind. You think in Genesis, God made humanity to rule and here we're gonna be ruling with Christ as a fulfillment of what we were meant to do.

With God is our king of kings. I was thinking, what riches are there in this world? A few of us here are going to Spain for holiday this this summer. And I was saying, and that's gonna be glorious. That's That that is gonna be riches, but I'm looking forward to that I'll look back and remember.

We've all got places that we love, don't we? We've all got things that we love doing. But these riches when we're seated with Christ and the heavenly realms are incomparable to anything we can enjoy in this world. And he's gonna show them to us again and again and again in the coming ages of heaven. Romans chapter 8, Now, if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God co heirs with Christ.

If indeed, we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. We're children alongside the sun, we're co heirs with Christ, we share in his glory because we're united to him. We've united to the glorious 1, and he's united to us. Okay. Just a couple more.

Participation. This is where things get insane. K? Insane. If we're united to Christ who participates in the divine godhead, Then somehow, mysteriously, we also somehow participate in the divine nature through Jesus.

To Peter chapter 1. Through these, he has given us his very great and precious promises so that through them, you may participate in the divine nature. Having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. And then in John chapter 17, Jesus says Jesus is praying to the father. He says, my prayer is not for them alone.

I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be 1 father, just as you are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be 1 as we are 1 I in them and you and me so that they may be brought to complete unity. So do you see the connections that we have here? With the Godhead through Christ.

I was thinking this is where Russian dolls come in handy. There's a lot of I in you, them in me, Right. Jesus says to the father, you were in me, the father and son. And then Jesus says, I am in them. Talking about you.

The father is in Jesus, who's in you. Russian does. Help me. By the Holy Spirit. And then Jesus says, may they be in us?

God is in you, the Godhead is in you by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus says, may they be in us? There's nothing else like this in all of creation. Who else can join in? The Godhead in this way, where the Godhead says, may they be in us and us and them? It's amazing.

This is how open Yahweh is by the way. This is how unclosed off, God is. I don't know. Other gods, they stand at a distance, and they say, you do your thing over there. I'm gonna be God over here.

Bring me tributes. But yahweh says, I wanna be in them. I want them to be in me. Our God is amazing. Our God is amazing.

He wants us to be in him, to know him, to be caught up with him, and this is where adoption comes into things as well. This blew my mind as well. Thinking about this. Jesus is the only begotten son. There's only 1 son.

It's Jesus. And there's only 1 person in all of creation that can rightly, therefore, call Godfather. There's 1 son, nothing else is the son, And so there's only 1 person who can call God father. And yet what are we invited to call God through Jesus Christ? He united in him.

We almost stand in the same little spot as him and look up, and he says, look at God. He's he's not just my father. He's now your father because you're in me, the son. You're connected to me, the son. And he's now your father.

Jesus says something amazing to Mary Magdalen. At the tomb after he's after his risen. He says I'm ascending to my father and your father. Wow. We get to stand where the sun stands and call God father because we're united in him.

He's in us. We're in him. What have I got here? A couple more verses. Praise B, to God and Father, to the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

The father loves the son, the father has given the son all things, and we're united to the son. So we have every spiritual blessing in Christ. Earlier today, I was at church. I was talking to lots of people. I was quite tired, but I wanted to, like, encourage the langmans as they were walking past me as they as they were leaving.

And you haven't got time to talk to everyone over your But you wanna encourage people, but I was so tired. I talked to so many people, they were leaving. I just wanted to be able to bless them physically. I was like, this would be a time where being a Catholic priest would actually be good because I could just do this to you and then part impute some kind of grace to you or sprinkle some water on you as you were leaving. I said, again, actually, that would be good.

Although it's nonsense. And I had to remind myself as they were walking away and I I was doing this to them. And then later they drove past me and I did this to their car as they went I was imputing some grace tea. I was not doing that. I had to I reminded myself at that moment.

I have said, the father has blessed the langments in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing already. What on earth can I give them that they don't already have in Christ? Non sense. They have every spiritual blessing because they're in Christ. For the lord god is a sun and shield, the lord bestows favor and honor no good fingers he withhold from those whose walk is blameless, justification, sanctification, glorification, participation, add another 1 peace, but I haven't got loads to say there.

We have peace because Christ is in us. And he's the he's the prince of peace, and he's in us. He sends the comforter, the Holy Spirit, he's in us. So Rapping up. It becomes pretty clear, doesn't it?

The greatest gift actually aren't the spiritual blessings in and of themselves, justification, sanctification. As amazing as those things are, the greatest gift that God gives us is Christ himself, isn't it? God doesn't unite us to salvation. He unites us to Christ. He doesn't unite us to sanctification.

He unites us to Christ. And it's because of Christ that we have all those things. FEas in chapter 2, my goal is that they may be encouraged in heart united in love, so they may have the full riches of complete understanding in order that they may know the mystery of God. Namely Christ. In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Christ is the great treasure of God. We aren't united simply to salvation or his blessings, but to him. How were we united? The answer is pretty clear in the scriptures. We united through faith, which comes from hearing the word of God.

You were included in Christ. If you want this, if this sounds good to you, then you were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth. The gospel of your salvation. It is by grace you have been saved through faith, not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. We're united To Christ, he becomes our adam.

We're in him. He's in us. When by faith, we hear the word and we accept it. And that brings us back to John chapter 6 because what has just happened here? Jesus has just spoken his word, Some people have believed.

Some people have left him. But he's just said this to them. Whoever eats my flesh, drinks my blood, remains in me, and I in them. In other words, whoever has faith in me because of my word, remains in me, and I in them. Very quickly just because it's I enjoyed it too much to drop.

The ordinances, baptism, The lord's supper, these are 2 great pictures to remind ourselves that we're in Christ, he's in us. When you're baptized, you're baptized into Christ. You're baptized into Christ's death, you're baptized into Christ's resurrection as well. You're baptized into him, the lord the lord's supper, We take and we eat the bread and the wine. We take and eat Christ, not literally, but we take the bread of life, and it's Christ in us.

What a picture? We're baptized into Christ, and we take Christ in us. So just amazing picture. Christ in us, we're in Christ. Jesus is the bread of life.

We need him to nourish us, and we have to be united to him in death and resurrection. So let's just hold this tapestry up then. Okay? You've been working hard. It's a hot night.

And you've all been at your sewing machines working hard. Now what have you got here? Hold hold them up. Everyone who wants to come up and tell us what you've been learning today. What's this tapestry look like?

Let's just ask a few questions there, looking at this tapestry as the backdrop. Do you wanna be united to the last Adam? Do you wanna be in him? Do you want him to be your covenant head? Do you want to be justified by Jesus' death on the cross?

So that when Satan accuses you tonight or tomorrow, you've sinned again. You've done it again. Do you wanna be united to the 1 who's already died? So you can say that it's already been paid for. Do you wanna be united to the 1 who is holy So you're sanctified by his holiness, so you can be found in him, not having a righteousness of your own.

Do you want to be glorified with Jesus? On the throne forever, do you wanna be shown the incomparable riches of God's grace with Jesus Christ? Do you wanna participate somehow in the divine nature? Do you wanna be in the Godhead, the father and the son, the son in you, and you in in in the Godhead through the Holy Spirit. Do you want Christ?

My big question. Hold that tapestry up. Do you want it? Well, if you do, you were included in Christ when you heard the message. Of the truth, the gospel of your salvation.

And you responded in faith. So with all of that in mind, I just wanna finish with reading this. Thinking about us in Christ, him and us, and our unity. This is almost a prayer, and I'll I'll pray afterwards. But whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my lord. For whose sake I've lost all things, I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him. Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ Yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow attaining to the resurrection of the dead. Let's pray till we finish.

Father, we thank you for this amazing doctrine that if we eat the flesh and drink the blood, If we have faith in the words, we are in Christ Jesus and he's in us. Thank you about what that means about our salvation that we've died, and we've been risen to a new life in Christ. We thank you for that picture of a false start where people came out of their tombs as Christ came out of his, and we will come out of our tombs because Christ came out of his. Finally, we thank you that we're sanctified. We're made holy because of Christ, the holy 1, who we're united with.

We thank you that we will 1 day enjoying comparable riches forever and ever as we sit with him on the throne and co rule creation with him. Father, these are amazing things. We can barely glimpse them here, but I pray that we'd be warmed by these things. We'd remember them tomorrow when when we sin and we fall, we remember that we're in Christ, he's in us. Father I pray that we would even be able to tell other people about this and invite them to the 1 who can save them.

Father, thank you for the Lord Jesus, the greatest gift of all. Thank you for him. We can know him. He can know us. Thank you that he dwells in us by the Holy Spirit.

In Jesus' name, amen.

Preached by Ben Read
Ben Read photo

Ben is a Trainee Pastor at Cornerstone and lives with his wife Ceri who is a youth leader and helps run the women’s ministry in the church.

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