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1 Corinthians 1:30 (NIV): It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Union with Christ is an important Biblical theme: it concerns the Biblical idea that we are in some way united to Jesus Christ, and is expressed in the New Testament through the phrases "in Christ" and "into Christ". These phrases occur over 200 times just in Paul's letters, and is a major theme of John's Gospel, let alone the rest of the NT.

Union with Christ is fundamental to the Reformed doctrine of salvation, our union with Christ being what applies Christ's redeeming work to us as individuals. But I suspect that in other denominations and theological traditions Union with Christ plays a different role.

What is an overview of the understanding and role of Union with Christ across Christianity? Some denominations/theological schools may not use the term "Union with Christ", but due to the high occurrence of "in Christ" they will surely have some explanation of what these phrases mean.

Note that this is an overview question: answers must summarise the positions of all major Christian branches, and if possible some of the smaller ones as well.

  • What do you regard as 'major' Christian branches ? (+1) – Nigel J Jan 19 at 8:45
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    @NigelJ ideally I'd like Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Lutheran, Reformed, Arminian, Mormon, JW. – curiousdannii Jan 19 at 9:30
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    This is a great question that I personally invested in, but unfortunately I'm too busy to research and construct a good answer for this project-level question (unless one has done the research or has the expertise to dispense what's cached in one's brain). This book immediately comes to mind, reviewed by a professor in a series of blog articles here. Also this book reviewed here – GratefulDisciple Jan 20 at 4:41
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    this answer has comparison between Eastern Orthodox's theosis and Reformed's union with Christ. – GratefulDisciple Mar 27 at 23:59
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    @curiousdannii My comments on this question is for sharing some research notes. I would hope when a good answer comes out there is enough intelligibility to prevent an answer that is simply 3 ivory towers for 3 major branches. So I attempt to select resources that presents at least 2 sides with common theological/philosophical language. – GratefulDisciple Mar 29 at 0:40

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