In Romans 8:1 the apostle Paul boldly announces, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” What is sometimes overlooked is the fact that this magnificent proclamation is put forth as a present reality for those who abide in union with Christ. Those who have been experientially united to Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit can rejoice in the fact that they stand, now and forever, justified in the sight of a holy God. The final eschatological verdict for all of their sins (past, present, and future) has already been rendered in Christ: not guilty!
How is this possible? How are we to understand the fact that the final judgment for sin has already occurred in the life of the Spirit-born Christian? The key to understanding this precious truth can have tremendous impact upon our understanding of the relation between salvation, the future, and the overlap of the ages that Christ has wrought through His death, burial, resurrection, and exaltation to the right hand of God the Father. Our existential union with Christ testifies to the uniqueness of our situation as those who live in the overlap of This Present Evil Age and The Age to Come; the age of the first Adam and the age of the second Adam; the age of the flesh and the age of the Spirit; the age of sin and death and the age of holiness and everlasting life. Through union with Christ, believers who live in This Present Evil Age participate in the benefits of The Age to Come even while they remain in the fallenness and brokenness of This Present Evil Age. Our union with Christ is the basis upon which the apostle Paul can pronounce that the eschatological declaration of righteousness (forensic justification) has, for believers, already occurred. The final verdict from The Age to Come has penetrated into This Present Evil Age and is announced to the world by the Holy Spirit in Romans 8:1: there is no condemnation for sin to those who are united to Christ by faith.
At conversion, the sinner experientially enters into union with Christ, thus inheriting all of the benefits of salvation in Him (John 15:4-5; Rom. 8:10; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 1:11). Through this mysterious union, the elect participate in the life and work of Christ as if they had performed it themselves (Rom. 6:5-6; Eph. 2:6; 2 Cor. 5:14; Gal. 2:20). Christ is in the believer and the believer is in Christ (John 14:20). This union forms an indissoluble bond that is permanent and eternal, a relationship that can never be undone or severed (John 10:28-30; Eph. 1:11-14; 5:31-32; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:23).
The Pauline expression “in Christ” is one of the most characteristic formulations in the New Testament that testifies to the reality of the believer’s union with the risen Lord. Our election (Eph. 1:4), redemption (Rom. 3:24), positional sanctification (1 Cor. 1:2), reconciliation (1 Cor. 5:19), justification (Rom. 8:1; Gal. 2:17), forgiveness of sins (Eph. 4:32), progressive sanctification (1 Cor. 4:17), and death (1 Thess. 4:16) are all described to be “in Christ.” Union with Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant, describes the means through which Christians receive every covenant benefit of salvation. It brings together all of the temporal reality of our salvation “past, present, and future, as well as the objective and subjective, historical and existential, corporate and individual, forensic and transformative.” The efficacy of our union with Christ is rendered certain and sure through the bond of the omnipotent, indwelling Spirit of God. Believers are so intimately united to Christ that they are exhorted to consider their lives as “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).
As the last Adam, Jesus is an eschatological figure (1 Cor. 15:45). As the first Adam was “from the earth, a man of dust,” the second Adam “is from heaven” (1 Cor. 15:47). This comparison between the earthly man and the heavenly man is thoroughly eschatological. In His perfect obedience and in crossing over from death to life, Jesus declares Himself to be the true Son of God, the “eschatological image-Son.” Not only was He “descended from David according to the flesh,” but He was also “declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:3-4). Paul states that, in His resurrection, Christ has inaugurated the dawning of a new age: the age of the Spirit, which is set over against the current age of the flesh. Further, apart from any economic activity, Jesus’ eschatological significance in redemptive history “derives ultimately from his eternal ontic status as the Son of God. What the Son does in redemptive history has significance because of who he is from all eternity.”
Christ is the “firstborn” (πρωτοτόκος, or prototokos) and “firstfruits” (ἀπαρχή, or aparche) of the sons and daughters of this eschatological age (Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 15:20, 23). As the Head of a new race, He enjoys a solidaric bond with those whom He represents. As the last Adam who is “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15) and the “exact imprint” of His nature (Heb. 1:3), Jesus perfectly reflects and radiates the glory of God in a way that the first Adam failed to do. This glory was unveiled first at the Transfiguration, which was an “eschatological sign-event” pointing toward the dawning of a new epoch in redemptive history (Matt. 17:1-8). The resurrection and exaltation of Christ were not merely personal events with relevance for Jesus and spiritual benefits bestowed to us as a consequence, but was the advent of an entirely new age with “cosmic significance. [The] two-age contrast, one dominated by the flesh and the other by the Spirit, dominates this eschatological horizon.”
Several New Testament texts speak of “this age” (αἰών, or aion) and of “the age to come” (cf. Matt. 12:32; 24:3; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 20:34-36; Rom. 12:2; Eph. 1:21). Aion denotes a period of time and is normally translated “age.” This Present Evil Age (cf. Gal. 1:4) is characterized and dominated by the flesh, evil, darkness, wickedness, death, satanic dominion, and rebellion against the rule of God. The Age to Come is thoroughly eschatological in character, marked by the Spirit, holiness, glory, righteousness, life, Messianic triumph, and obedience to the rule of God. In the first advent of King Jesus the glory of The Age to Come has invaded This Present Evil Age. The Age to Come has penetrated This Age with the coming of the eschatological Christ-figure in the power of the Spirit, creating an overlap of the ages. Christ “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age” (Gal. 1:4). “This deliverance comes from the power of The Age to Come which has reached back and projected itself in the person of Christ into the present evil Age.” The Kingdom of God has invaded the kingdom of Satan and fallen humanity, with the purpose of redeeming, restoring, and recreating repentant sinners in the image of Christ and recompensing the wicked according to their unbelief.
Due to the polarized nature of these two ages, we find ourselves in the midst of unavoidable tension and conflict. This Present Evil Age exalts earthly values (idolatry, self-centeredness, pride, materialism, etc.) that are opposed to the heavenly values of The Age to Come. Satan rules over and directs This Age (Acts 26:18; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2), fomenting death and destruction, opposing the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom, the message of eternal life in The Age to Come, which is ruled by the sovereign triune Lord. As a result of epochal overlap, Spirit-indwelt believers are rightly regarded as aliens and exiles (Heb. 11:13; 1 Pet. 2:11) that live “between the times,” caught up in the conflict of the ages. During this aion of spiritual warfare, Christians are exhorted to “put on the whole armor of God” so that they may be able to stand against the “schemes of the devil” and his demonic horde (Eph. 6:11). The command to “put on the whole armor of God” is not simply a call to personal piety, but is instead another way of describing our union with Christ our King. It is also a call to accept another view of the world, to recognize the overlap of the ages, and to respond accordingly in the power of Christ, for He is the One who is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age [αἰών] but also in the one to come” (Eph. 1:21). As His “body” (Eph. 1:23) we are exhorted to remain united to our Head who is “over all things” (Eph. 1:22) so that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day” of This Present Age (Eph. 6:13).
The tension emanating from the eschatological (yet concealed) presence of The Age to Come in the midst of This Present Evil Age will continue until the return of the King and the resurrection of the dead. Only then will the Kingdom be present in its fullness and the fallen powers of This Evil Age forever abolished. Only then will what is now concealed be fully revealed for all to behold (Rom. 8:18; 1 Cor. 13:12; 1 John 3:2; Rev. 1:7).
The overlap of This Present Evil Age and The Age to Come can be clearly seen in several passages in the New Testament. Utilizing terminology that varied based upon the contexts that he was writing into, Paul contrasts the two ages as flesh versus Spirit, Adam versus Christ, and old versus new. In Romans 8, after declaring that those who are united with Christ presently stand righteous before God, we see the defeat of the flesh by Christ (v. 3) with the purpose that the “righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us” by the power of the Spirit (v. 4). Those who are in the flesh (σάρξ, or sarx), that is, those who live according to the concerns of This Age where natural life is “the focus and chief end of existence,” are hostile toward God and are unable to submit to Him (v. 7) because they are devoid of His Spirit, which is the power of The Age to Come. To “set the mind” upon the concerns of This Age is “death,” whereas to “set the mind” on the power of The Age to Come, which is the Spirit, is “life and peace” (v. 6). Those who are presently united with the Spirit of Christ properly belong to and will one day experience The Age to Come in its fullness (vv. 9-11), even though they presently remain under some of the constraints of This Present Age of death (v. 10).
In the context of Romans 8:1-11, we see that a distinctive mark of This Present Evil Age is the fleshly life of a humanity devoid of the Spirit, which results in hostility and disobedience to God. A distinctive mark of The Age to Come is the presence and activity of the Spirit of God, which results in obedience toward God (Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 36:26-27). Such obedience is a necessary result of the “eschatological intervention” of the new covenant of the Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 3:6). The Spirit is the “intrinsic element of the new covenant that ensures its sufficiency” and the One who binds the participant into eternal union with Christ in The Age to Come. The distinguishing feature of the new covenant is the “life-giving presence of the Spirit” who, even now, supplies us with the permanent and glorious benefits of The Age to Come, even as we remain in the impermanence and darkness of This Present Age.
The eschatological contrast between the ages is discernable in 1 Corinthians 15 in Paul’s appropriation of the phrases “in Adam” and “in Christ.” This Age is characterized by the death that Adam wrought upon all his progeny through his sin (v. 21). The Age to Come is characterized by the resurrection life that Christ wrought by His victory over the powers of the old age (vv. 21-22). By His life, death, resurrection, and exaltation, King Jesus and the powers of The Age to Come have decisively invaded This Present Evil Age, with the purpose of systematically conquering “every rule and every authority and power” until the appointed time when This Age is no more and we experience The Age to Come in its fullness (vv. 23-28). In this context, we see that This Age was inaugurated at the Fall of Adam and is characterized by the death and destruction that flowed from his disobedience. The Age to Come was fully inaugurated after the resurrection and exaltation of Christ at Pentecost and is characterized by the resurrection life that flows from His obedience. The reign of Christ and the destruction of the powers of This Present Evil Age are guaranteed by the eschatological presence of the Spirit of God, who is the indestructible vanguard of The Age to Come.
In 2 Cor. 5:17 Paul declares, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” In Gal. 6:15, we are told that old methods no longer avail, but what counts is “a new creation.” This concept of “newness” was a distinctly eschatological concept for the prophets, who looked forward to a new covenant (Jer. 31:31-34), a new heart (Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 11:19-20), a new spirit (Ezek. 36:25-27), a new name (Isa. 62:2), a new song (Ps. 96:1), and a new heavens and earth (Isa. 65:17; 66:22). “The Pauline statement that in Christ the old has passed away and the new has come is an eschatological statement.” Indeed, “to become a Christian is to enter the newness of the age to come.” In the new creation, all things are made new in the eschatological figure of Christ, who reconciles the world to the Father by the power of the Spirit (2 Cor. 5:17-19). “Christ, therefore, is the new creation. To be in Christ is to be exiled from this age and to be relocated in the age to come.” Believers have been eschatologically transferred from This Age under the reign of Satan to The Age to Come under the reign of the second Adam, the covenant Head of His redeemed people. The agent of this transfer is the Holy Spirit, who indwells, sanctifies, empowers for new covenant ministry, and preserves the body of Christ in union with its Head. The agency of union with Christ is thus the guarantor of eternal union with Christ. The Spirit is the One who anchors believers in the unshakeable newness of The Age to Come as we simultaneously contend with the passing and temporal demands of This Present Evil Age. However, the elect can never be defined by the norms and identities of This Age. Instead, we “are defined by the age to come, as if it has already dawned for us by virtue of the Spirit’s act of uniting us to Christ through faith.”
Because Christ has been justified by the Spirit in His resurrection from the dead (1 Tim. 3:16), those who are united to Him by faith participate in His resurrection and vindication (Eph. 2:6; Col. 2:12-13). The cross of Christ testifies to the judicial reality of eschatological condemnation. The resurrection testifies to the judicial reality of eschatological vindication. Eschatological acquittal for sin at the empty tomb follows eschatological wrath for sin at the cross. “The verdict of justification in the resurrection of Christ signals an eschatological reversal of the verdict of condemnation he suffered on the cross.” Through union with Christ, the believer participates in the “reversal of the verdict of condemnation” and is thus acquitted of all sin. In Rom. 8:1, the Reformers
heard an eschatological pronouncement. They understood that the “now”…is nothing less than eschatological in its force; it is the “now” of eschatological realization…. The Reformers grasped that the verdict, belonging at the end of history, has been brought forward and already pronounced on believers in history, and so, constituting the certain and stable basis for the Christian life, provides unshakeable confidence in the face of the final judgment.
At the time of union with Christ, believers experience the reality of the eschaton: they are instantaneously justified, regenerated, reconciled, adopted, and positionally sanctified, i.e., they experience many of the benefits of The Age to Come in The Present Evil Age via the powerful working of the Holy Spirit. Paul boldly declares the Christian’s present citizenship in The Age to Come (Phil. 3:20). The indicative of a realized eschatology is what provides the impetus to live godly in This Present Evil Age. Believers are not to walk as those who set their minds on the mere earthly things of This Age (Phil. 3:18-19) but as those who know that their identity is hidden with Christ in the heavenly places of The Age to Come (Phil. 3:20; cf. Eph. 1:3; Col. 3:3). Knowing this, Christians are to “walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8), as those who properly belong to the radiant glory of The Age to Come. “For [we] are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness” of This Present Evil Age (1 Thess. 5:5).
Existential union with Christ is what provides the Spirit-born believer with true knowledge of God in a time of false religion and worldly philosophy; it is what gives courage to overcome in the face of tribulation and persecution; it is what gives strength in times of weakness and adversity; it is what gives joy in the face of trial and heartache; it is what gives love in the face of spite and hatred; it is what gives peace in times of violence and destruction. Our union with Christ in the bond of the Spirit by faith is our steadfast and unshakeable source of abundant life and eternal peace in the Father.
 Scripture quotations will be from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version with Key Numbers (Crossway Bibles, 2006), Version 2.4, Accordance Bible Software 8.4.7, Oak Tree Software, Inc., 2010.
 In another sense, the elect were chosen “in Christ” before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4) and before the ages began (2 Tim. 1:9). That He regarded us “in Christ” in eternity past explains how it was that the Father could set His gracious electing purposes upon sinners and yet continue to uphold His holy character.
 Union with God the Son also results in a comprehensive union with the entire Godhead. Those who are in Christ are in God the Father (John 14:23; 17:21; 1 John 2:24) and in God the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Tim. 1:14). This Trinitarian union testifies to the ultimate security of the believer as he abides with Father, Son, and Spirit for all eternity. “Such union is a dynamic of inclusion and personal participation in the life of the Trinity through the personal mediation of the Spirit who unites our hearts in faith to Christ” (Paul Louis Metzger, “Mystical Union With Christ: An Alternative to Blood Transfusions and Legal Fictions,” Westminster Theological Journal 65 : 209).
 George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, rev. ed., ed. by Donald A. Hagner (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 523.
 Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), 840. “Every stage of the application of redemption is given to us because we are ‘in Christ’” (843). Millard J. Erickson states, “Union with Christ is an inclusive term for the whole of salvation; the various other doctrines are simply subparts” (Christian Theology, 2nd ed. [Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998], 961).
 Michael S. Horton, Covenant and Salvation: Union with Christ (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), 131.
 John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. by Henry Beveridge (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2008), 3.1.1.
 Horton, Covenant and Salvation, 290.
 Horton: “The flesh and the Spirit are not abstract categories, but are covenantally and eschatologically conditioned” (Covenant and Salvation, 149). Cf. Geerhardus Vos, “Paul’s Eschatological Concept of the Spirit,” in Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos, ed. by Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. (Philipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1980), 104.
 Lane G. Tipton, “Christology in Colossians 1:15-20 and Hebrews 1:1-4: An Exercise in Biblico-Systematic Theology,” in Resurrection and Eschatology: Theology in Service of the Church: Essays in Honor of Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., ed. by Lane G. Tipton and Jeffrey C. Waddington (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2008), 181.
 Horton: “‘Firstborn’ refers not only to Christ’s preeminent status in this family, but also to the eschatological relationship between his exalted state (glorification) and [the certainty of] our own” (Covenant and Salvation, 296).
 Tipton, “Christology,” 189.
 Horton, Covenant and Salvation, 297-98.
 Horton, Covenant and Salvation, 291.
 Joachin Bentheim Guhrt, “αἰών,” in New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, ed. by Colin Brown (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986), Version 3.0, Accordance Bible Software 8.4.7, Oak Tree Software, Inc., 2010.
 George Eldon Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in the Kingdom of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959), 28.
 Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom, 41.
 On “realized eschatology” and the terminological differences between Paul and the other NT writers, Archibald M. Hunter states, “Though he makes but little use of ‘kingdom’ phraseology, Paul shares with the rest of the apostolic writers the conviction that in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit, God’s ancient promises to Israel have come true, the Reign of God has been decisively manifested, and the powers of the New Order – the Age to Come – set in motion” (“The Hope of Glory: The Relevance of the Pauline Eschatology,” Interpretation 8/2 [April 1954]: 134).
 Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom, 42.
 Donna R. Reinhard, “Ephesians 6:10-18: A Call to Personal Piety or Another Way of Describing Union With Christ?” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 48/3 (September 2005): 531.
 It should not surprise that such exhortations would occur in a letter sent to a region that was considered to be the “magic capital of Asia Minor” (Ben Witherington III, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998], 576) and the dominion of Satan (Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles, New Testament Commentary [Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1990], 687). Luke does not describe “any other location with so many accounts of the demonic in Acts,” which testifies to its centrality as a center of demonic activity (Clinton E. Arnold, Ephesians, Power and Magic: The Concept of Power in Ephesians in Light of its Historical Setting [New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989], 30).
 Susan R. Garrett helpfully points out: “The [human] powers [of This Age] are neither exclusively good nor exclusively evil. They can…serve the good of the world order, as in Romans 13…. But there are also powers that work to undermine God’s vision for a world of life, blessing, and righteousness (Eph. 6:12)” (“Christ and the Present Evil Age,” Interpretation 57/4 : 372). Cf. also 1 Cor. 2:8: “None of the rulers of this age [αἰών] understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
 Ladd, A Theology of the NT, 527. On those belonging to The Age to Come, Ladd states: “In the new aeon, the things of God and of Christ have become their chief love.” Also: “Life in the Spirit means eschatological existence – life in the new age. This is established by the fact that the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church is itself an eschatological event” (526). Horton states, “The definitive categories for theology are covenantal and eschatological: the tyranny of sin (flesh) versus the reign of life in righteousness (the Spirit)” (Covenant and Salvation, 250).
 Ladd states, “‘In the flesh’…is synonymous with life in the old aeon of sin, bondage, and death. Those who are ‘in Adam’ [cf. 1 Cor. 15] are also ‘in the flesh’” (A Theology of the NT, 525).
 The tension of living between the ages is in view in Gal. 5:17: “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Paul urges Christians to live as those who belong to The Age to Come and not as those who belong to This Present Age (5:16). The indicative of the new existence in Christ thus motivates Paul’s imperatival exhortations (cf. Ladd, A Theology of the NT, 516, 523, 536). For other texts that speak of this tension, see Rom. 8:23; Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:2-4. With Dennis E. Johnson, Douglas J. Moo, and others, I do not believe that Rom. 7:13-25 refers to the plight of a Christian caught in the tension of the overlapping ages. Cf. Dennis E. Johnson, “The Function of Romans 7:13-25 in Paul’s Argument for the Law’s Impotence and the Spirit’s Power, and Its Bearing on the Identity of the Schizophrenic ‘I,’” in Resurrection and Eschatology: Theology in Service of the Church: Essays in Honor of Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., ed. by Lane G. Tipton and Jeffrey C. Waddington (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2008), 42-54; Douglas J. Moo, Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 125-129.
 On the coming of the Spirit as an event belonging to The Age to Come, John B. Polhill states, “In [first century] Jewish thought…the outpouring of the Spirit had strong eschatological associations” (Acts, The New American Commentary [Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1992], 84). Ladd states, “[The] gift of the Spirit is an eschatological event belonging to the day when God finally redeems his people Israel, and gathers them into his Kingdom” (A Theology of the NT, 380).
 Jason C. Meyer, The End of the Law: Mosaic Covenant in Pauline Theology (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2009), 66. Meyer further states, “Eschatological intervention belongs to the nature of the new covenant” (114).
 Meyer, The End of the Law, 67.
 Meyer, The End of the Law, 82.
 Lane G. Tipton points out that “life is first and foremost a function of the eschatological focus” of the Adamic Covenant by which “eschatological advancement was held forth to obedient Adam” (“Union With Christ and Justification,” in Justified in Christ: God’s Plan for Us in Justification, ed. by K. Scott Oliphint [Great Britain: Mentor, 2007], 36, n. 24, emphasis in original). The first Adam, through his disobedience, extinguished life; the second Adam, through his obedience, dispenses life (1 Cor. 15:45). Eternal life as a present possession of the elect is, in itself, a statement that the eschaton has invaded our present order (John 3:36; 5:24; 1 John 5:13). As death (the penal consequence of sin) belongs to the old age, the possession of life from the dead through Christ (a removal and reversal of the penal consequences of sin) properly belongs to the new creation.
 Christ’s bodily resurrection is itself “an eschatological event in redemptive history” (Tipton, “Union With Christ and Justification,” 27).
 Ladd, A Theology of the NT, 521-22. On the eschatological character of newness in the NT, Ladd cites Mark 14:25; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 2:17; 3:12; 5:9; 14:3; 21:1-2, 5. “A new creation is the glorious end of the revelation of God’s salvation; it is the supreme goal of the entire biblical Heilsgeschichte (‘history of salvation’).”
 Ladd, A Theology of the NT, 522. “The old has passed away” (2 Cor. 5:17) is proleptic in that it speaks of the defeat of the powers of This Present Evil Age as if the victory has already occurred in a definitive and final sense. Although Christ has won the victory, it is only partially realized in this time of eschatological tension, awaiting full consummation in the future, at His second advent. We should find great comfort in the certainty of the outcome: the Second Adam has prevailed, final victory is assured, and our union with the Spirit is the guarantee that the benefits of The Age to Come are ours, to the praise of the Father’s glory (Eph. 1:14; 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5). J. V. Fesko states, “When Paul writes of the new creation he has in mind the Isaianic prophecies of the eschatological new heavens and earth (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 43:19-19, LXX). Hence the one who is united to Christ is taken up into the inaugurated eschaton” (“Sanctification and Union With Christ: A Reformed Perspective,” Evangelical Quarterly 82/3 : 204).
 Grudem, Systematic Theology, 843 (emphasis added). Grudem adds, “To be ‘in Christ’ is to be in that new realm that Christ controls.”
 Horton, Covenant and Salvation, 152. On the relation of the Gospel to The Age to Come, Horton states, “The Spirit-grace-promise-gospel-faith matrix introduces us to a new Word (gospel) and with it a new world (the new creation)” (150). He goes on to assert that it is the “power of the justifying Word [that]…actually insert[s] the believer into the world [i.e., The Age to Come] that it announces” (248).
 Horton, Covenant and Salvation, 250. Horton states that this eschatological transfer is “a completed event” (251). David VanDrunen states, “Thanks to Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and ascension believers have already passed through judgment with him (justification) and been made citizens of the world-to-come. They stand on the very brink of eternity” (Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture [Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010], 63).
 Horton, Covenant and Salvation, 253.
 Tipton, “Union With Christ and Justification,” 32.
 Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., “Justification and Eschatology,” in Justified in Christ: God’s Plan for Us in Justification, ed. by K. Scott Oliphint [Great Britain: Mentor, 2007], 1.