Now, imagine your parents are mean and critical, that you have always been a disappointment to them and they to you. But then, one day, you find a dusty trunk in the attic. You quietly pick the lock and open the trunk and discover papers that prove you had, in fact, been abducted as a baby. These aren’t your parents after all—why, they’re criminals!
You discover that your real mom was a painter at the Sorbonne in Paris and your real dad was a Nobel Prize–winning scientist and a professional baseball player. And you say to yourself, “Of course, this explains everything! I am extraordinary! I knew it all along.” You also read that they are fabulously wealthy and have a lavish inheritance waiting for you.
It’s a fantastic story, but you get it. Such a discovery would cause you to reinterpret everything about your life: where you came from, your true identity, your capacities and capabilities, the resources available to you, your future, and your destiny. After that day, your life would never be the same. You would come down from that attic with new eyes for everything and everyone. Your whole life would feel new, changed, and invigorated.
But here’s the thing—it had always been true. It was the truth underlying your life even before you discovered it. It was rooted in history, and you had the DNA to prove it. It was true while it was hidden from your sight. But it didn’t change your life until your eyes were opened to it.
This book is like opening that trunk.
Union with Christ tells you a new story about who you are. If you are “in Christ,” you too have been given a new identity. God has called you into a new life, rooted in a history that predates you, anchored in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. You discover who you are “in Christ,” and you are given the DNA to prove it, the Holy Spirit. You once were lost, but now you are “found in him” (Phil. 3:9).
This truth can change everything for you, but living in this new reality will require your imagination. The Christian message is simple enough for a child to understand. At the same time, the Bible says that because of the new life you have been given in Christ, “from now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view” (2 Cor. 5:16 NRSV). Coming to see your union with Christ is like finally putting on a pair of desperately needed glasses—Wow! Look at that! We see ourselves, and everything else, with new eyes.
Rankin Wilbourne and John Ortberg, Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2016).
We have just released a new Bible Study based on the book: Union with Christ, by Rankin Wilbourne
These lessons are available on Amazon, as we as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Union with Christ, Lesson #1
Living in the Gap
Union with Christ, Lesson #2
Union with Christ. What Is It?
Union with Christ, Lesson #3
Why We Need Two Songs Playing in Our Head
Union with Christ, Lesson #4
Chapters 4 – 6:
Union with Christ in the Bible
Union with Christ, Lesson #5
Chapters 7 – 8:
Who Am I? / Where Am I Headed?
Union with Christ, Lesson #6
Chapters 9 – 10
What Am I Hear For? / What Can I Hope For?
Union with Christ, Lesson #7
Chapters 11 – 15
Abiding in Christ
Each lesson consists of 20 or so ready-to-use questions that get groups talking. Answers are provided in the form of quotes from respected authors such as John Piper, Max Lucado and Beth Moore.
These lessons will save you time as well as provide deep insights from some of the great writers and thinkers from today and generations past. I also include quotes from the same commentaries that your pastor uses in sermon preparation.
Ultimately, the goal is to create conversations that change lives.