EVEN AS HE CHOSE US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, THAT WE SHOULD BE HOLY AND BLAMELESS BEFORE HIM. IN LOVE, HE PREDESTINED US FOR ADOPTION AS SONS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSE OF HIS WILL, TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORIOUS GRACE, WITH WHICH HE HAS BLESSED US IN THE BELOVED. IN HIM WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF OUR TRESPASSES, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE, WHICH HE LAVISHED UPON US, IN ALL WISDOM AND INSIGHT MAKING KNOWN TO US THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL, ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE, WHICH HE SET FORTH IN CHRIST AS A PLAN FOR THE FULLNESS OF TIME, TO UNITE ALL THINGS IN HIM, THINGS IN HEAVEN AND THINGS ON EARTH. EPHESIANS 1:4-10
I AM THE TRUE VINE, AND MY FATHER IS THE VINEDRESSER. EVERY BRANCH IN ME THAT DOES NOT BEAR FRUIT HE TAKES AWAY, AND EVERY BRANCH THAT DOES BEAR FRUITS HE PRUNES, THAT IT MAY BEAR MORE FRUIT. ALREADY YOU ARE CLEAN BECAUSE OF THE WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU. ABIDE IN ME, AND I IN YOU. AS THE BRANCH CANNOT BEAR FRUIT BY ITSELF, UNLESS IT ABIDES IN THE VINE, NEITHER CAN YOU, UNLESS YOU ABIDE IN ME. I AM THE VINE; YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. WHOEVER ABIDES IN ME AND I IN THEM, THEY IT IS THAT BEARS MUCH FRUIT, FOR APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING. IF ANYONE DOES NOT ABIDE IN ME THEY ARE THROWN AWAY LIKE A BRANCH AND WITHERS; AND THE BRANCHES ARE GATHERED, THROWN INTO THE FIRE, AND BURNED. IF YOU ABIDE INME, AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, ASK WHATEVER YOU WISH, AND IT WILL BE DONE FOR YOU. BY THIS MY FATHER IS GLORIFIED, THAT YOU BEAR MUCH FRUIT AND SO PROVE TO BE MY DISCIPLES. AS THE FATHER HAS LOVED ME, SO HAVE I LOVED YOU. ABIDE IN MY LOVE. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YOU WILL ABIDE IN MY LOVE, JUST AS I HAVE KEPT MY FATHER’S COMMANDMENTS AND ABIDE IN HIS LOVE. THESE THINGS I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU, THAT MY JOY MAY BE IN YOU, AND THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL. THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT, THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. GREATER LOVE HAS NO ONE THAN THIS, THAT SOMEONE LAY DOWN THEIR LIFE FOR THEIR FRIENDS. YOU ARE MY FRIENDS IF YOU DO WHAT I COMMAND YOU. NO LONGER DO I CALL YOU SERVANTS, FOR A SERVANT DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THEIR MASTER IS DOING; BUT I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS, FOR ALL THAT I HAVE HEARD FROM MY FATHER I HAVE MADE KNOWN TO YOU. YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU AND APPOINTED YOU THAT YOU SHOULD GO AND BEAR FRUIT AND THAT YOUR FRUIT SHOULD ABIDE, SO THAT WHATEVER YOU ASK THE FATHER IN MY NAME, HE MAY GIVE IT TO YOU. THESE THINGS I COMMAND YOU, SO THAT YOU WILL LOVE ONE ANOTHER. JOHN 15:1-17
What is the nature of this union with Jesus Christ? It is different than the term in Jesus Christ. This union is Spiritual or that which is of the Holy Spirit. It is mystical or a mystery. It is no longer a secret. It can be thought of as the union of man and woman, the union of Jesus and the church and ultimately the union of the Trinity. It can even be compared to union of the stones of the building and the cornerstone. Two ways of expressing the same great truth- election to holiness and predestination to adoption. It is the humble communion with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.