I became a Christian while I was studying jazz saxophone at music school. One thing I had to think through as a new Christian was how I should think about my love of music. Up to that point, it’d been the most important thing in my life. Practice ate up six hours a day. I listened to and studied jazz recordings whenever I could find the time, and I made every major life-decision with only my music in mind. I’d steeped every part of my life in jazz. And naturally, my self-confidence and self-worth revolved around how well I played at any given moment.

But as a Christian, it became clear that the amount of time I dedicated to jazz would war with my new commitments to Jesus. The solution wasn’t simple, either. I couldn’t just say, “Jesus is number one, jazz isn’t,” because I’d structured my life’s calendar around jazz. I had to begin the slow process of disentangling my identity, social life, and schedule from music and reshaping it around Jesus. There would always be room in my life for music—but it could no longer shape every part of my identity. Without realizing it, I was wrestling with the reality of my new identity in Jesus, and the more I saw how my relationship with Jesus shaped my entire identity.

Let’s explore what the theological phrase “union with Christ” means and how it shapes our identity (chapter one). We’ll examine how it frees us from the grip of sin and death (chapter two), transfers us into the kingdom of Christ (chapter three), and binds us together with other believers as the body of Christ (chapter four).

While union with Christ can at times feel like an abstract topic and may require some extra thought and reflection, the day-to-day application can be life-changing. An understanding of union with Christ will transform the way you think about Jesus and what he did for us. It will affect your relationship with him. It will change the way you live, as well as your motivations for living differently. And union with Christ will fuel your worship of God in a meaningful way.

Our Daily Bread Ministries