Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God

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.


Wilbourne does a fantastic job with a difficult subject. I greatly enjoyed my reading of Union With Christ and would recommend this book to others. Regardless of where you are in your journey of following Jesus this book will prove beneficial and helpful to you. Come plumb the depths of what it means to have union with Christ.

This book will require you to use your imagination because union with Christ is an enchanted reality. And we live in a disenchanted world. We must use our imaginations if we want to fully inhabit and experience the Christian life. We may know what God has saved us from, but have we lost sight of what God has saved us for? Union with Christ means the reality of knowing God and living in communion with him doesn’t begin when you die. Eternal life begins in this life when Christ joins his life to yours (John 17: 3).

Union With Christ reveals the transformational power of a difficult to fully grasp concept that you are in Christ and Christ is in you while addressing the basic questions of the human heart: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I headed? How will I get there?

“That you are ‘in Christ’ (to use the phrase the Apostle Paul uses some 160 times) and that Christ is ‘in you,’ changes how we approach every-day life and reframes our most basic human questions about identity, destiny and purpose,” says Wilbourne.

“If nothing is more central or basic than this union with Christ, then why is this neither central nor basic to many of us? Why do most Christians only have a vague sense of what it even might mean?” continues Wilbourne. “I want to help retrieve this biblical and historical theme because I am convinced that just as the loss of it has had great and grievous consequences, so will the recovery have profound and boundless benefits.”

Combining a rich knowledge and appreciation of historical theology with a penetrating analysis of how God brings about transformation, the book is set up in four parts:

  • Part I: Union With Christ: What Is It And Why Do We Need It?
  • Part II: Union With Christ: Where Did It Come From? Where Did It Go?
  • Part III: Union With Christ: What Problems Does It Solve?
  • Part IV: Union With Christ Day By Day

Perhaps one of my favorite parts in the book comes early in Chapter 3 as Wilbourne describes the gap and tension between two seemingly conflicting views we can easily fall into. This is a tension most followers of Jesus can feel in today’s culture and honestly one that I have felt as well. “There are two dominant voices on offer today— one we will call the way of extravagant grace, “just believe,” and the other we’ll call the way of radical discipleship, “just obey.” The true self is beloved by God and has done nothing to earn or deserve it. The false self draws its identity from past achievements and the adulation of others.”  But here was Jesus saying, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14: 15), and, “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (15: 14). Preachers of grace (as I hope to be) tell us it’s not what we do that makes us right with God— it’s what Jesus has done. At the same time, Jesus himself says to us, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father” (Matt. 7: 21). Which is it: come and rest or come and die?

The song of grace without union with Christ becomes impersonal, a cold calculus that can leave you cynical. The song of discipleship without union with Christ becomes joyless duty, a never-ending hill that can leave you exhausted.
Union with Christ connects you to a history far longer than you could ever trace on a family tree. It stretches from eternity past to eternity future and puts everything in between into a fresh perspective. It tells you that God’s love for you stretches back before creation. “He chose us in him”.

About Rankin Wilbourne:

Rankin Wilbourne is 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, and he’s concerned with drawing connections between what we believe and how we live. Growing up near New Orleans, training at Princeton Theological Seminary and spending time as the Minister of Teaching and Missions at First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, Rankin now resides with his wife, Morgen, and their three children in Los Angeles.

Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God


NOTE: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes by the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the thoughts expressed here are my own.