One of the most neglected as well as the most important topics for Christians to understand is their union with Christ. The Westminster Larger Catechism describes our entire salvation as union and communion with Christ in grace and glory. Bible scholar Dr. John Murray considered that “nothing is more central of basic than union and communion with Christ, for it is the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation.”[i] Moreover, in the words of Dr. Lane Tipton, “there are no benefits of the gospel apart from union with Christ.”[ii] While the majority of the books on union with Christ are academic, a new book called Life in Christ: Becoming And Being A Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ by Jeremy Walker has come out that aims to help the lay person better understand and apply this crucial doctrine.
Life in Christ has eight chapters and comes in at one hundred and forty-four pages. Walker begins this helpful book with explaining what it means to be born again and then precedes in the next eight chapters to define and describe how the Christian has been freed from the shackles of sin in order to have a new identity in Christ to know, enjoy, and proclaim.
Chapter five focuses on assurance and is arguably the most important chapter in the book. Assurance is one of the least understand doctrines in the Church today. Many Christians struggle with assurance because they do not understand their new identity in Christ and how it informs how they live their Christian lives. As a result of their new identity Christians presently have, they can now go into the presence of God and cry out to Him in prayer and grow in His grace. The believer’s assurance is because of who Christ is and what He has accomplished in His death, burial, and resurrection. As Walker rightly states, “Assurance grows out of the root of faith but is not identical with it. Faith belongs to the essence of salvation but assurance is part of the health of those who have been saved” (68). He further elaborates in this chapter an important point on assurance when he notes, “the good grounds of confidence in the life of a saved person produce, through the Spirit’s witness, their full effect in our minds and hearts. He is the One who validates those indications of genuine spiritual life. Faith, then, is the foundation, and assurance is the beautiful superstructure, both being the craftsmanship of God by His Spirit” (77).
To read Life in Christ is to come to understand the crown jewel of the Gospel, that of union with Christ. Union with Christ intimately relates to the lives of all believers because it helps them see the glory and magnificence of who Christ is, what He has accomplished, and the benefits they have received in and through Him. Furthermore, union with Christ also helps the Christian to understand the relationship between justification and sanctification. This in turn helps the Christian fully grasp how they are to be disciples grounded in the sufficient work of Christ and what it means to apply that new identity to all of life. Whether you are a new Christian or a mature saint, Life in Christ is theology as its finest, biblical, theological, and practical. I encourage you to pick up this book and I pray the Lord uses it to awaken His people to the precious truth of union with Christ.
Author: Jeremy Walker
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
I received this book for free from Reformation Heritage Books via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”