Firmly United to Christ
by James Smith, 1860
A young man was awakened to a knowledge of his lost state as a sinner, he sought a saving interest in the Lord Jesus Christ, he obtained peace through the blood of his cross. Filled with peace and joy, he consecrated himself and all he had unto the Lord. He began to prepare for public service in the Lord's cause, and prosecuted his studies with great success. His purpose was accepted — but his services on earth were not required. He walked with God on earth, and a message came, calling upon him to rest with God in Heaven. His friends thought the dispensation mysterious — but he acquiesced fully in the decision of his God. He sickened, and testified of Jesus to all who visited his sick chamber. Death was at hand, and now came his dying testimony. He was calm, peaceful, and filled with holy joy. A friend was leaving him, and he felt that he should see that friend no more. The moment was come to witness for his Savior in death, as he had done in life, and he said, "I know that I am dying — but, remember, I am firmly united to Christ." O what a blessed state to be in! How sweet the confidence experienced, the joy expressed!
United to Christ! What a privilege! One with Jesus, who is one with God. One with Christ, in whom all fullness dwells. Once without Christ. Once a stranger to Christ. But now united to Christ. As the graft grows into the tree, receives its sap and nourishment from the tree, and becomes one with the tree, a part of the tree; so we, engrafted into Christ by faith, do receive the Spirit from Christ, so that we become one with Christ, and bear foliage and fruit like Christ.
United to Christ, we constantly receive from Christ, are supported and preserved by Christ, and are looked upon and treated by God as part of Christ. Thus,
the blood of Christ avails for our pardon,
his righteousness for our justification,
his grace for our sanctification,
his power for our preservation, and
his pleading for our perfect salvation.
If we can say, "I am united to Christ," we can have no ground for fear, no cause for complaining, no reason to be dissatisfied with our lot, for if we are one with Christ, our fortune is made, our salvation is certain, our Heaven is secure!
"Remember, I am firmly united to Christ." Happy Christian! Yes, the bond that unites us to Christ is firm. It will never break. Once in Christ, we are in Christ forever.
If we are united to Christ in health — we shall be in sickness;
if we are one with Christ in life — we shall be in death;
if we are one with Christ in time — we shall be to all eternity.
The grace that made us one with Christ — will keep us one with Christ. "Firmly united to Christ."
Corruptions have been powerful,
temptations have been strong,
fears have been many,
doubts have been painful —
but notwithstanding all, "I am firmly united to Christ!"
Satan has done his worst.
The world has tried its utmost.
My weakness has been great.
My sins have been many.
My pains have been distressing.
But, "I am firmly united to Christ!"
With the blessed apostle, such a soul may ask, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" And with holy confidence may say, "I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!"
Reader, are you united to Christ? If so, it is by faith in Jesus, and love to Jesus. Baptism does not unite us to Christ — but it should be a profession that we are already in union with Christ, and wish the fact to be known. No ordinance can unite us to Christ.
The Holy Spirit is the grand agent
faith and love are the bonds of union;
and peace, joy, confidence, and a holy life, are the effects and proofs that we are one with Christ.
For the branch that is engrafted into the tree, and has become one with the tree — brings forth fruit in virtue of its being supplied with sap; so those who are united to Christ bring forth fruit in Christ, by virtue of the Spirit received from Christ. If there is no faith, there is no spiritual life; and if there is no spiritual life, there is no union with Christ. Lord Jesus, grant that I may realize my union with you, and daily receive supplies of grace from you. And may it be my privilege when I come to die, to enjoy this union, and to be able to say to dear friends and relatives, "I know that I am dying — but, remember, I am firmly united to Christ!"