Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Union with Christ by Rankin Wilbourne

About the Book:

Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God (David C. Cook, July 2016)

Nothing is more basic or central to knowing and enjoying God than Union with Christ.

Have you ever had difficulty connecting what you know to be true about God with how you feel or how you live each day? Have you ever longed to change but just felt stuck?

The Bible makes a stunning claim: God has provided a way for your life to be united to Christ’s. What does that mean? Is it really possible for me, now? What would it look like?

In Union with Christ, Rankin Wilbourne makes union with Christ accessible and beautiful, for you. Union with Christ is not an abstract idea. It is a powerful reality. And recovering a sense of your union with Christ can change everything for you, like finally putting on a pair of desperately needed glasses.
Discover how coming to see your life through the lens of union with Christ can help bridge that gap between your head and your heart, between your belief and your experience. Union with Christ is what we most need in order to know and enjoy God.

About the Author:

 Rankin Wilbourne grew up in Louisiana and was educated at the University of Mississippi and Princeton Theological Seminary. He is now the senior pastor of Pacific Crossroads Church in Los Angeles. As a former commercial banker, Rankin understands the "gap" between the gospel preached on Sunday and the world people face on Monday. Leading a thriving church in a city driven by stories, he's concerned with drawing connections between what we believe and how we live. Rankin and his wife, Morgen, reside in Los Angeles with their three children.

Margie’s Comments:

The simple title of this book, Union with Christ, reflects the simplicity of the truth that Jesus Christ came to earth “to seek and to save that which was lost.” But salvation in Jesus Christ alone involves our active participation. And the author, Rankin Wilbourne, does a masterful job of explaining and encouraging his readers to dig deeper into God’s Word to find the answers to the “gap” that exists as believers attempt to reconcile what they hear in church on Sunday and the pressures of the world the rest of the week (or as soon as they walk out the door of their churches into the “real” world).

This topic of learning to abide in Christ (John 15) or union with Christ has been one that I’ve pondered for most of my adult life. In reading this book for review (but also for my own study and growth), I realized how thankful I am for the church we have been a part of sixteen out of the last twenty years. If it hadn’t been for the teaching of the pastors and other staff members on justification and progressive sanctification, I probably wouldn’t have as good a grasp on this topic as I do. Oh, I’m far from perfect, but it has long been my prayer to realize the truth of Paul’s desire stated in Philippians 3:8–14. Even before we moved to Colorado twenty years ago, the Lord brought me through various circumstances, and yes, trials, in order to see how this union with Christ could be accomplished. And for those experiences I am grateful.

The author establishes the historical position of the church on this topic of union with Christ before showing us the need of individual believers to have a balance between God’s amazing grace (that doesn’t give license to do whatever we please) and obedience to God’s commands in His Word in order to achieve the joy and peace that is ours when we are in true union with Christ. This is a full-length book that (at least for me) takes time to read it thoroughly in order to understand and comprehend and apply the truths of Scripture, but it is well worth every minute spent in doing so. I highly recommend Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God by Rankin Wilbourne.

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