Monday, April 9, 2007

Identified in Christ's Death


Romans 6:5-7. There is a sense where we are identified with Christ in his death - as he has died so we die to sin.

There is a legal identification of the sinner with Jesus in his death and resurrection. Because of Jesus' death on our behalf, we are viewed by God as if we ourselves died in the death of Jesus where he suffers the full penalty for our sin. The punishment for our sin rests on Christ and is dispensed with through the sacrificial offering of his own body. Thus, we die to the legal consequences of sin.

Just as Jesus was crucified on the cross, so our old self must be crucified and put to death. The old self is not the ability to sin because that remains no matter what. It does not eradicate the carnal nature of man either, for the Christian continues to war against his carnal nature as you can read in Galatians 5:16-17. What is put to death is the dominion and control that the sinful nature has over us.

I’ll digress a bit. When we are saved, sin and Satan's control over us is destroyed. Since the dominion of sin over us is lost in our death with Christ, we should treat sin itself as dead. Sin can no longer dictate to us or control us. We can overcome temptations and ignore sin's power. Although we can sin if we desire, we should not submit to sin but treat it as though it no longer exists. I heard in a sermon just today that referenced Matthew 3:13 - 4:11. The pastor showed that immediately after Jesus was baptized, that he was sent to the wilderness to be tempted three different ways by Satan. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Jesus was tempted in three ways that can directly relate to every type of temptation we face.

We first apply the death of Jesus to our lives when we exercise enough faith to repent from our sins. So in essence we do die to our sins but it is a two-fold death to sin so to speak. We die to the world (sin) but also to the actual sin itself.

Now you have to also look at the fact we identify with Christ through His death AND resurrection. You cannot have one without the other. Identifying with Christ through His resurrection means that our identification with Jesus was not limited to our death with Him. We are actually in Christ. Whatever happened to Jesus happened to us, because we are in Him. Romans 6:5-6 shows that we were also buried and resurrected in the Lord.

This just touches on the question posed, but I hope that it inspires you to study deeper into Romans chapter 6 and really reflect on each verse. A lot of Paul’s writings discuss this issue and I invite you to find them and report back…

We can make this passage of Romans a continuing blog after Philippians 2, if you guys would like. Just let me know. You can always email me at: Phil2project@bellsouth.net

1 comment:

marinna said...

"Have I made this decision about sin - that it must be killed right out of me? It takes a long time to come to a moral decision about sin, but it is the great moment in my life when I do decide that just as Jesus Christ died for the sin of the world, so sin must die in me, not be curbed or suppressed or couteracted, but crucified."

Oswald Chambers writes this in his utterly fantastic book, My Upmost for His Highest. He calls it co-crucifixion. It is the killing of sin. The sins don't all get massacared at once, but one at a time they are removed, making more and more room for the Holy Spirit to come in, so we can identify not only with His death, but also with His ressurection.

As our sin dies in us and we conform to His will and purpose for us, we become more like Christ. Our likeness to Him should be the proof that the dominion of our sin is dead.

"Lord, identify me with Thy death until I know that sin is dead in me."