This list of quotes will be updated and expanded over time, but to reinforce the foundational, overarching importance of a Christian’s Union with Christ, here’s what teacher/preachers given by Jesus Christ to the Church (Ephesians 4:11-16) have said:
Anthony A. Hoekema: Once you have had your eyes opened to this concept of union with Christ, you will find it almost everywhere in the NT.
Martin Lloyd-Jones: Ephesians 2:4-7…Here we are undoubtedly face-to-face with one of the greatest and most marvelous of all the Christian doctrines, one of the most glorious beyond any question at all. It is the whole teaching of the Scripture with regard to our union with Christ. It is a teaching that you find in many places…You are not a Christian unless you are joined to Christ and “in Him.”
Martin Lloyd-Jones: We can therefore claim that what has happened to Christ has happened to us. He is is the marvel and mystery of our salvation, and it is the most glorious thing we can ever contemplate! The Son of God, the Second Person in the eternal Godhead, came down from heaven to earth; He took unto Him human nature, He joined human nature unto Himself, He shared human nature; and as the result of His work we human beings share His life and are in Him, and are participators in all the benefits that come from Him. Now I reminded you at the beginning, and I must repeat it: that, and nothing less than that, is Christianity.
John MacArthur / Dick Mayhue: …union encompasses every step of salvation – election in eternity past to glorification in eternity future
John Murray: Nothing is more central or basic than union and communion with Christ.… It is not simply a step in the application of redemption; when viewed, according to the teaching of Scripture, in its broader aspects it underlies every step of the application of redemption. Union with Christ is really the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation not only in its application but also in its once-for-all accomplishment in the finished work of Christ. Indeed the whole process of salvation has its origin in one phase of union with Christ and salvation has in view the realization of other phases of union with Christ. (John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955), 161.)
John Murray: There is no truth, therefore, more suited to impart confidence and strength, comfort and joy in the Lord than this one of union with Christ. It also promotes sanctification, no only because all sanctifying grace is derived from Christ as the crucified and exalted Redeemer, but also because the recognition of fellowship with Christ and of the high privilege it entails incites to gratitude, obedience, and devotion. Union means also communion and communion constrains a humble, reverent, loving walk with Him Who died and rose again that He might be our Lord.
John Murray: …the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation. [Redemption Accomplished and Applied, 161.]
John Owen: Union “is the cause of all other graces that we are made partakes of; they are all communicated unto us by virtue of our union with Christ. Hence is our adoption, our justification, our sanctification, our fruitfulness, our perseverance, our resurrection, our glory. [“An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews” vol 21 in “The Works of John Owen.,” 150.]
Arthur W. Pink: The present writer has not the least doubt in his mind that the subject of spiritual union is the most important, the most profound, and…the most blessed of any that is set forth in the sacred Scripture. Yes, sad to say, there is hardly any that is now more generally neglected. [Union with Christ, p.214]
Lewis Smedes: …it [union with Christ] was “at once the center and circumference of authentic human existence” (Union with Christ [Eerdmans, 1983], xii).
James S. Stewart: “union with Christ, rather than justification or election or eschatology, or indeed any of the other great apostolic themes, is the real clue to an understanding of Paul’s thought and experience” (A Man in Christ [Harper & Bros., 1955], vii).