Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 2
May 1, 2016
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1901 ASV Translation:
2 God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?
3 Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have become united with [him] in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of his resurrection;
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin;
7 for he that hath died is justified from sin.
8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him;
9 knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him.
10 For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.
- I. In What Sense Did We "Die"?
- A. The following verse immediately explains our "death" as a "baptism association with" the death of Jesus Christ.
- B. This, however, does not explain whether there was, in fact, any actual "death" on our part so that who and what we are was actually subjected to death, nor does it explain what "death" is.
- 1. The actual nature of the death of Jesus Christ.
- a. The question of the nature of "death" itself.
- 1) The most obvious sense of "death" is the departure of the spirit of man from the body of man (James 2:6) so that death involves...
- a. A separation between the life-factor (the spirit) and its object (the body).
- b. A consequent inability of the object to benefit from the union of spirit and body that once simply naturally flowed from spirit to body.
- i. This means that the body will return to its most basic elements (dust to dust).
- ii. This "return" means that part of the "meaning" of "death" is a cessation of that which is "dead" to function.
- iii. This also means that the spirit will cease to have any physical capacities in the physical world since the body was its instrument of activity in that world.
- c. This concerns the "death" of the physical body. And this becomes the major metaphor for our understanding of "death" in any/every realm beyond the physical.
- 2) A less obvious (because it is beyond the five senses) sense of "death" is the separation that exists between man in his conscious existence and God as the Ultimate Spirit of Life.
- a. Jesus' "...why have You forsaken Me?" is a revelation of the distance that has come to pass between the Father and the Son.
- b. Jesus' "I thirst" may well be John's chief metaphor of the result of this distance.
- c. This concerns the "death" of the "person" as a participant in the "union" between Spirit and "person". As long as there exists a union between spirit and body, physical life exists, but there is such a thing a "life" in the "essential person" and that requires a union between Spirit and spirit and/or soul.
- i. By "essential person" I mean the most stripped down version of personhood.
- ii. Since the "body" is relegated to the reality of being a "dwelling place" for the person, it seems that "personhood" does not essentially require a "body".
- d. This signals a sense of "death" that is fundamentally "distance" between two critical elements in "life" so that "distance" makes "living" difficult to impossible. Thus, "death" is "distance" when "distance" means the breakdown of "union" and "effective interaction". This is the "death" that Adam and Eve suffered "in the day" that they ate of the forbidden fruit; physical death followed over a period of 900+ years of gradual deterioration of the union between body and spirit.
- 3) And, then, there is the question of Spirit to spirit interaction in respect to Life. There is a reason that God's great gift to the Church was/is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the Agent of "Life". The spirit of man can maintain "life" in the body for a while, but is wholly ineffective in obtaining or maintaining "Life" in the essential person. For "Life", the Spirit of Life is essential.
- b. Thus, in respect to Jesus Christ, "death" first meant "distance from the Father" in terms of communicable union, and then meant "distance" between body and spirit when Jesus declared "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46) and then breathed His last breath.
- 2. In respect to our participation in the "death" of Jesus Christ, it is abundantly clear that there was no actual participation by our bodies with His body. Our bodies did not die when His body died, nor do our bodies die when we come to the point of justifying faith in His death for us.