Thoughts about Discipleship from Union With Christ by Rankin Wilbourne, Pub – David C. Cook, 2016

“Perhaps one of the greatest barriers to faith is not the things we don’t know but the things we think we know yet we are wrong about.  We think of heaven as the pleasure factory rather than life with God.  We think of salvation as being able to avoid pain rather than being made right.  We think of the gospel as the minimal entrance requirements for getting into heaven rather than the announcement that life with God is now possible on earth through Jesus.  We think of faith as what we’re supposed to believe rather than the mental map about how things are that we carry with us and inevitably live from.  We think of Christians as people who have got the heaven job done, while we think of discipleship as optional extra-credit work for spiritual overachievers. ….Since man is made to be alive spiritually, Christ is the transcendent connection through which the inner unseen person – mind and will – can be nourished and sustained.   Union with Christ (our salvation) is not mostly a matter of relocation but a matter of transformation.  With this correct understanding of union with Christ, discipleship suddenly takes its proper place not as extra-credit work to earn something but as the means by which we experience union with Christ more fully and deeply.  If we want Christ, we will want to be His disciples.  If we don’t want discipleship, then we might desire to avoid pain, but that’s not the same object as desiring God.”  pp. 13-15 , Preface by John Ortberg.

“Being a Christian is not about absorbing certain doctrines about God.  Nor is it about being a better or different kind of person.  The goal is having a personal, vital, profoundly real relationship with God through Christ by the Holy Spirit.  The goal is enjoying communion with God himself.  Union with Christ is not an idea to be understood, but a new reality to be lived, through faith.”  p. 54

“The gospel, the good news, is the way the Holy Spirit turns our eyes away from ourselves and onto Christ.  The gospel brings you into union with Christ.  Christ enters your heart and gives you faith.  By that faith, you receive Christ and all his fullness.  Faith fixes your eyes on Christ and rests in him.”  p.55