Part I: Introduction to the “In Christ” Motif

My Personal History with the Doctrine

My introduction to the “Union with Christ” motif was during a brief conversation with my Pastor during my first summer as a pastoral intern in regards to gospel proclamation. The topic was very underdeveloped but, nevertheless, the “in Christ” concept still intrigued me.

Though in everyday Bible reading, the prepositional phrase “in Christ” constantly arises within the Pauline corpus, yet nothing of its value stood out to me until I was studying the Abrahamic covenant and its implications to New Testament theology.

So that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Gal 3.14

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. Gal 3.27–29

It is through our union with Christ that we receive the blessings of Abraham (Gal 3.14), more specifically the blessing of the nations because of Abraham (Gal 3.7, 25-29), and receiving the Holy Spirit (Gal 3.14).
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