Union with Christ is the heart or centre of all that has been revealed of God’s thought concerning man and of mans’ relationship to God. Union with Christ is like the hub of a mighty wheel. There are many spokes to that wheel election, creation, redemption, salvation, sanctification, glorification; and then, like a series of subsidiary spokes repentance, faith, justification, conversion, regeneration, and so on. These are the spokes of the wheel, but they all centre in Christ and radiate from Christ and reach the rim, which is God. They unite us in Christ with God.
To give all this its true and full value, it is necessary to contemplate or have revealed to us the meaning of Christ, to see what an immense thing has taken place by the Son of God becoming the Son of man, by God becoming incarnate. It is a question of our being taken, not into Godhead or Deity, but into God’s Son incarnate.
Now, the first preachers of the Christ evangel preached Christ. They did not, in the first place, preach salvation or sanctification or forgiveness, or judgment or heaven. That does not mean that they did not preach those things: they did; but not in the first place. They preached Christ, and all those things were included in the preaching of Christ; Christ as inclusive of all and as transcending all; for, after all, such things as salvation and sanctification, forgiveness, justification, are subsidiaries, they come afterward. Christ was before them all and Christ will be after them all. They are inside of Christ, but He vastly outstrips them all.
From: Union with Christ.
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