Thursday, 3 April 2014

Thursday April 3, 2014 Daily Scripture Society of Evangelical Arminians

“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Gal 2:19-21).


Union with Christ is the doctrine that gives coherence to Arminian theology, and makes it Christocentric. Salvation itself, that is, the whole of soteriology, is founded entirely "in Christ." Anyone "in Christ" experiences the full benefits of salvation, and anyone outside of Christ does not have even the least portion of salvation. 

Integral to the doctrine of union with Christ is that the person united with Christ shares Christ's new life. This passage (Gal 2:19-21), along with Rom 6, conveys that through union with Christ, a person shares both Christ's death as well as Christ's new life. Because of union with Christ, Paul is able to say that he lives, or that he experiences new life, by faith. 

All this goes counter to Calvinism which teaches that a person must first be raised to new life in order to believe. Ignoring the breadth and depth of the newness of life, Calvinists argue that regeneration precedes faith. Nonsense! No one experiences the new life of Christ apart from faith. If you want to be partakers in Christ's resurrection, you must believe. Only through union with Christ do you share Christ's death and resurrection, and only through faith is anyone united with Christ. For God so loved the world that ... whoever believes in him ... has eternal life.

All salvific benefits are wholly located "in Christ" and it is only by faith that we have gained access solely into this grace in which we now stand (Rom 5:2).