The Living Dead
LIVING OUT YOUR SALVATION PT 1 - YOUR NEW IDENTITY IN CHRIST (Rom 6:1-11)
Salvation is God's gift to us of a new life in Christ. The first step toward enjoying and magnfiying God's grace is to recognize our new
identity in Christ by faith.
Come to a new section in book of Romans – show chart = Santification (becoming more like Christ, Working out my salvation, growing in holiness, becoming a mature Christian.)
+ table of how justification and sanctification are related (Cold 2:6)
What God has done What I cannot do Past and future Christ's work for me Grace
What God has not done What I must do
My work for Christ Works
Paradigm shift = as received Lord Jesus, so continue in Him Col 2:6 So the same principles that are at work in my salvation are at work and applicable in my sanctification.
Rom 5:12-21: Presented 2 originators, 2 patriarchs Adam, Christ.
When we are born God views us as united with Adam, when we are reborn through faith in Christ, God views as as united with Christ.
Picture 2 spheres, 2 realms, 2 circles if you would. In this circle, all those who are in Adam.
IN UNION WITH ADAM
We are sinners
We are condemned
We are alienated from God We receive just punishment We are dead
IN UNION WITH CHRIST
We are righteous
We are justified
We are reconciled to God
We receive underserved grace We are alive
Ultimately God's view of us is not determined by anything we personally have or have not done, but by who God views us in association with, in union with. Our personal works/ choices/ sin is not determinitive in salvation. Salvation is by God's grace alone, by His unmerrited, unearned favour and received by faith in what Christ has done for us rather than what we have done.
The question then naturally comes – if that is the case, why not receive Christ and then continue to enjoy sin? Why not get saved from my sin and then go awol when it comes to sanctification? If God's grace is far greater than my sin – then why not keep on sinning to show just how great God's grace is.... This is 6:1
Paul answers this objection and begins to unfold for us then, why that is not an option. Basically he shows us that at salvation we are transferred out of union with Adam and placed into union with Christ. We know from last week that our union with Adam brought very real and unavoidable consqeuences. Sin, pain, corruption and ultimately death comes inevitably through our union with Adam – so
righteousness, renewal and life comes inevitably through our union with Christ.
This week is part 1 of working out our salvation – has to do with understanding our identity in Christ. It is the foundation of our salvation and the foundation of our Christian life – understanding our identity in Christ.
Read Rom 6:1-11
1: You have died to sin (6:2,6,7)
Dead to sin
6:2 of such a kind, of quality as being dead to sin. This is a description of who we are in Christ. We are alive in Christ and at one and the same time dead to sin. This describes our new mode of existence.
Death: unresponsive to, unable to participate in.
If think of the realm or sphere of this physical world. Someone who is dead to this world = not responsive to, unable to participate in this world anymore, don't belong here. You are either dead or alive, you can't be both. If alive, then living in participating in, interacting with and responding to this world. If you are dead, then all the activities that are associated with life in this world have fully and finally ceased...
Paul says here, with regard to sin, we are dead. We have a new existence in Christ and in this new existence, we are unresponsive to, unable to participate in, unable to live in the sphere or realm of sin. If we died with regard to sin, we can't live with regard to sin – they are mutually exclusive.
You died (past)
Tense of the verb here points to a decisive event which has happened in the past. It points to something that happened at the moment of our salvation, when were taken out of Adam and united with Christ. Our existence ceased in the realm in which we used to live in Adam, the realm in which sin and death was the order of the day and we began a new existence in Christ.
“What the Apostle Paul has in mind is the once-for-all definitive breach with sin which constitutes the identity of the believer. A believer cannot therfore live in sin; if a man lives in sin he is not a believer. If we view sin as a realm or sphere then a believer can no longer live in that realm or sphere. ...The believer has died to sin once and has been transferred to another realm.” Murray pg 213.
Its not that the the Scripture here says its not right for a believer to live in sin – the Scripture here says it is not possible... It does not mean we cannot sin, it means we cannot continue a sustained existence in sin.
You died to your previous existence (6-7)
Paul picks up on this point in vs 6-7 and explains it further.
Your old self died with Christ. You old self, the self that was born in Adam – was corrupted by sin, in bondage to sin, alive to sin, under the reign of sin, ruled by sin. God killed that old self in order that with it the reign and rule and corruption of sin that was associated with that old self, might be done away with – so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.
Vs 7 – he who has died has been set free from sin. Point is not set free from the presence of sin but from the power, from the rule and reign of sin. No longer under our old master. The new you, the you that has been raised in union with Christ – doesn't have the same relationship to sin that the old self had.
“And the purpose of this was that the body as a helpless tool of sin might be definitively defeated.” Moo pg 393
It is critical to properly undertand that this.
Often we think that I have this new nature in me becaues of my salvation. But I also have the remains of this old nature in me. The old nature loves and pursues sin and the new nature loves and pursues righteousness and so my conversion has successfully made me into a schitsophrenic. 2 completely different natures of personalities living in this one person called me and continually competing against one another.
That is not at all what this passage teaches. What does it teach, vs 6 the old self has been crucified, the body of sin has been done away with, I have been raised to newness of life in Christ for the very purpose that I might bear a completely new relationship to sin and a completely new relationship to righteousness.
Better way to think of it, is in terms of an event called death. At the moment you have a physical body and live in a physical realm, physical world. Though a spiritual realm exists, you are not responsive to it, you can't see it, smell it, taste it or touch it. One day you will die and be transported into the spiritual realm and exist in spiritual form (before you receive your resurrection body). In that mode of existence you will be able to see and perceive and exist in
and interact with the spiritual realm, but no longer with the physical realm. Though this world will still exist, you can no longer operate in it and function and live in it because you have died and been transferred into a new realm, a new mode of existence.
That is what happens at our conversion. Our old self, our old mode of existence which was characterized by sin and ruled by sin and alive in sin – that old self is forever dead. We are now a new person, living in this same world, in this same body, going by the same name, but never the less a new person with a completely different relationship to this world and this body and sin.
The power and corrupting influence of sin still exists in this world and in this body, but I don't bear the same relationship to it.
I know this is a bit hard to get your mind around at first, but once the light goes on, it brings a lot of light. Let me give you some illustrations.
Illustration: A new boss
You are a sales manager selling copy machines for nashua. You have certain sales targets and goals you must reach, certain resources at your disposal to reach those goals, have a very difficult boss, who demands all your time, basically rules your life and gives you nothing in return.
Sharp buys out Nashua and ownership of the company changes. With that the company structure changes and you get a new boss, new targets and new goals. In one sense it looks like nothing has changed: you sit in the same office as you used to, next to the same old boss, doing many of the same old things. But actually , now you are part of a whole new company, you no longer report to your old boss and take orders from him.You are the same person physically but your corporate identity has changed. When your old boss comes in ranting and raving and shouting orders you look him calmly in the
eye and say I'm sorry Mr Sin, I don't work for you anymore, as much as I would like to do what you say, I can't.
Illustration: a new soccer team
One more illustration. You are Christiano Ronaldo, you play for many years for a team called Sin United until one day you are bought out and sign a new contract with a team called the Righteousness Royals. Saturda you have a big game against your old team, sins united. You are playing the same game, in the same position but now you are playing for a new team the opposing team, facing the opposite direction trying to score goals in the opposite posts. You previous team mates and previous manager might be shouting all kinds of intructions to you from the sideline, but you have no obligation to listen to them.
You are dead to sin and alive to righteousness.
2: You are united to Christ (3-5)
Vs 3-4 = explain and vindicate this astonishing statement...
Takes baptism, the ordinance which symolizes our union with Christ. Says you all know that what is being symbolized in baptism is our dying with Christ and our being raised with Christ. Baptism is a symbol of a spiritual reality.
Not just a bizarre practice intended to embarass us or give us an opportunity to share our testimony. Baptism is a physical symbol, a picture of what has actually happened spiritually.
We were baptized, immersed into His death.
We were buried with Him through baptism = confirmation that actually and completely died.
In order that as Christ raised – we might also walk in newness of life.
Can get your mind in a knot with some of this imagery here, so let me give some pointers.
1: Baptism = conversion
Baptism refers to here is water baptism= visible sign of conversion. Visible symbol of spiritual reality.
Baptism in the N.T is intimately connected with conversion they are viewed together. In Mk 16:16 Jesus said “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, whoever does not believe is condemned.”
It is not that the act of baptism itself accomplishes anything. Baptism is being used here as a synonym for conversion. Its at our conversion that these things happen. Refers to our baptism because it vividly pictures what happens spiritually at our conversion.
So when see word baptism here, could well substitute word conversion.
2: union with Christ emphasized
Paul is not drawing a comparison here – as Christ died, we died, as Christ buried we buried as Christ raised we raised.
Note vs 3 “we were baptized into HIS death”
Not that we went through the same or a similar thing to Christ. It is that we were united with Christ in what He went through....
We are completely united with Christ – with Him in His death, burial, resurrection, life. Not that He hung on His cross and we hung
on ours – we hung with Him on His cross. Not that He was buried in His grave and we in ours, We were buried with Him in His grave.
Vs 5 : united with Him = grown together with Him, merged, fused conformed, inextricably and inexplicably united.
His death is our death, His victory is our victory, His life is our life – What Christ accomplished in His person we accomplished with Him.
Complete union with His person and His work - that is the point of this section and we mustn't get too hung up on the how that can be.
This is not completely foreign to us. We saw last Sunday how we are united with Adam in His sinful work and that literally changed everything. So now through faith we are united with Christ and that too changes everything. Paul uses this term “in Christ” over 100 times to refer to this intimate, spiritual union that has occurred
Illustration: Marriage in community of property
Very poor example of this would be when married – regarded as one legal entity. Her debts become our debts, her assets become our assets, her financial decisions become our financial decisions.
**3: timing** can leave out.
When did this occur?
If united with Him in His death, burial and resurrection, that would suggest that it occurred in AD 30 when Christ was actually being crucified, buried and raised.
Vs 4: Through baptism = through conversion. That would point to the moment of our salvation when we were united with Christ.
Spiritual union not physical. So understand that at moment of my conversion God regards me as being in Christ so that all that is accomplished spiritually by Christ life, death and resurrection are applied to me spiritually as if I had done it. What is true of Christ becomes true of me.
In order to live in newness of life
Here is the point in vs 4. In order that = purpose of our union with Christ.
This is a comparison Just as Christ was raised from the dead, we might walk in newness of life.
Does not state it as a simple fact – doesn't say united in order that might walk in newness of life.
States it as a comparison in order to show the absolute certainty of the fact. Just as Christ raised – so we might walk in newness of life. The walking in newness of life is as certain as the resurrection of Christ.
Christ did not die in order to be buried and remain dead. God's purpose is His death was that Christ might conquer sin and death and be raised up as conquerer by His power for His glory. It was God's purpose and intent from the beginning and God's glory that ensured it happened.
Just so in our life.... That is why we will certainly walk in newness of life. It is by and for and to the glory of God that we do so. God can no more allow a believer to remain in sin than He could allow Christ to remain in the grave....
That is the certainty of vs 5 – united in His death, united in His resurrection. Dead to sin and raised to newness of life.
You have died to sin; You have been united with Christ. You must affirm your true identity
3: You must live by faith (8-11)
9-10 Paul affirms that the death of Christ is a once-for-all irreversible event. It is an event which changes everything forever.
Must recognize the reality and the finality of what has occurred through our being crucified and raised with Christ. It is a once-for-all, unrepeatable, irreversible event which occurred at our conversion, when we placed our faith in Christ.
The problem is that we can't see this change and so we can be tempted to think nothing has changed when in fact, everything has changed. Nothing is the same or will be the same ever again.
We have to recognize this, to realize this, to affirm this by faith.
This is the basis of our sanctification, the basis of our living a new, holy life – not what we must do, but what God has done for us in Christ. The basis of our sanctification is the same as the basis of our salvation – not our works, but God's grace toward us in Christ.
I receive God's grace unto salvation by faith, by believing what His Word says about me and Christ's work on my behalf.
I receive God's grace unto sanctification by faith, by believing what His Word says about the new me and Christ's work on my behalf.
In trying to live in holiness and avoid sin – we too often skip this essential step. We try go from salvation by faith to sanctification by
my works, my effort – when in fact, it must begin with faith, with believing what is true of me in Christ and my new relationship to sin and to righteousness. Our conversion changes everything forever.
• Enjoyed going out with your budies and getting drunk. Then became a Christian. The first step to living a new life is not to merely say I mustn't do that anymore. Its to believe that is not me anymore. I have a new life now, my old friends are actually not my friends anymore. I can't get drunk and enjoy it anymore. Might have been an element of enjoyment before, but that is forever gone. Now, if I do choose to do that, I am going to be more miserable than ever. I am not only going to have a physicl hangover I am going to have a spiritual hangover until I stop drinking. In fact, I don't really want to do that anymore, I don't even enjoy it anymore I'm just in the habit of doing it because its what I always did on Friday nights. As much as my body would try to scream and shout at me and say I need a drink to be happy or to cope or to be accepted – Its just not true, I don't need that anymore.
Sanctification must start by affirming by faith what is in fact true of me. At the heart of every temptation is a lie about God, sin and self – so overcoming temptation must begin with believing the truth about God, sin and self.
Not creating reality, recognizing it
Important to realize that this is not possitive thinking, this is not by our possitive confession or faith making something true which is not in fact true.
Illustration: fat person
This is not a fat person standing in front of the mirror, trying to loose weight by saying, I'm thin, I'm thin...
This is anorexic, who is as think as a string bean – standing in the mirror, seeing herself as she truly is. Seeing that she is not in fact overweight and so she must eat accordingly. An anorexic will not change his or her eating habits until they change their view of themselves, until they begin to see themselves as they really are...
That, incidently, is a fundamental difference I would have with Alchoholics anonymous, Narcotics annonymous and similar programs. One of heir first steps is to teach you to see yourself as an addict.... If believer in Christ you are not an addict and first step toward freedom is to recognize who you really are in Christ. That would be true whether you see yourself as fat, ugly, a divorsee, a failure or whatever other warped image of yourself sin has been selling you.
Why would never go to a psychologist for counsel to help me with my problems. Because psychology observes human thinking, patterns and behaviour, puts a label on it and says says this is normative, this is what people do and this is how you can fix it. Friends, that may have been normative in Adam, that may have been normal for us then – not normal for us in Christ. While psychologist can tell us a lot about what is normative for people in Adam, they can tell us nothing about what is normative for us in Christ p only the Bible can tell us that.
See in sterile terms, as abstract concepts – so I want to help you put this in relational terms. Salvation called to know God, that is purpsoe of our salvation to be reconciled back to God. Sanctification is the
living out of that relationship so that come to enjoy and magnfiy God as our father in Christ.
Example of Paul becoming Paul Woolley
Close with example of delighting when kids score a goal. You see them as an extension of you.
Everything we accomplish and do is the product of God's grace, not only magnifies God's grace to others but God delights in seeing His grace manifested