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Union With Christ

September 9, 2010

In his book The Way of Life (written for youth!), Charles Hodge wrote the following about union with Christ:

A man may be brought, by reason and conscience, to change his conduct, but not to change his heart. A sense of duty may force him to give alms to a man he hates, but it cannot change hatred into love. The desire of happiness may induce him to engage externally in the service of God, but it cannot make that service a delight. The affections do not obey the dictates of reason, nor the commands of conscience. They may be measurably restrained in their manifestation, but cannot be changed in their nature. . . .

The Scriptures teach us a different doctrine. They teach that believers are so united to Christ, that they are not only partakers of the merit of his death, but also of his Holy Spirit, which dwells in them as a principle of life, bringing them more and more into conformity with the image of God. . . .

The doctrine of sanctification, therefore, as taught in the Bible is, that we are made holy not by the force of conscience, nor of moral motives, nor by acts of discipline, but by being united to Christ so as to become reconciled to God, and partakers of the Holy Ghost. Christ is made unto us sanctification as well as justification.

–The Way of LifeĀ (1869), 321-25

HT: Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology

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