by Mike Ratliff
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:8-11 (NASB)
Instead of Christians being about religiosity in any form, the Bible clearly shows something entirely different in the purpose and mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Romans 1-5 the Apostle Paul makes it very clear that there is no person born of Adam who deserves anything, but eternal damnation from God because of his or her sin. However, God is merciful and justifies those whom He gives the gift of faith like Abraham. However, there is still the sin problem and Paul explains how our Lord Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross paid the penalty for everyone who will believe the Gospel by faith. Those who believe are justified by faith according to the grace of God, not according to their works. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to their account as their unrighteousness was imputed to Christ’s account as He hung on the Cross. This salvation is free and requires no law keeping on our part because Christ also fulfilled the Law for us. There are some who say this form of doctrine opens the door for licentiousness, that is, that Christians will be free to live sinfully because they are in Christ and can live any way they want. Is that what Paul taught?
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4 (NASB)
This is very clear. The Gospel Paul preached was not to live sinfully so that grace may abound. The Greek verb tenses here are Future Tense so he was speaking hypothetically. What is the reason that Paul gives for the argument to be rubbish? Those who are truly baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. These are aorist, indicative, passive verbs that tell us that this is something done by God not us. Why were we baptized into Christ’s death? Consider the following passage from Ephesians.
20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:20-24 (NASB)
Here is v24 from the NA28 Greek text, “καὶ ἐνδύσασθαι τὸν καινὸν ἄνθρωπον τὸν κατὰ θεὸν κτισθέντα ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ὁσιότητι τῆς ἀληθείας.“
Here is my personal translation, “and to put on the new man, which has been created according to the likeness of God in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” The words “new man” is translating καινὸν ἄνθρωπον. Καινὸν is the accusative, singular form of καινός (kainos), which refers to something new in quality as distinguished from something that is old and worn out. Ανθρωπον is the accusative, singular form of ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos), which speaks of man as a “species” or race. It also refers not to a mere part of a man, but the whole man, every aspect of him.
The new man is something that has not existed before. He is inwardly transformed, which produces new character and new habits.
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
My brethren, all in Christ are new creations. We were baptized into Christ’s death. We are to live this life dead to this world, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:5-14 (NASB)
This is to be our focus as we make disciples from all nations. As we obey the Great commission, we obey this as God sanctifies us through His cleansing fires. Yes, we do often become the walking wounded through this. I have been amazed as God continues to use some us who fall into that category. The world scoffs. The worldly leaders of the visible church considers us to be worthless and perhaps even worse. However, as we obey God in our ministries and live our lives according to this calling then we will naturally become separate from the world. The world loves its own and hates what is of God and that means those in the Compromised Church will hate us as well.
Soli Deo Gloria!