Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 8
Thesis: The "second root" of godly life is the knowledge of the crucifixion of the old man.
Introduction: As we have noted in almost all of our studies in Romans six, the issue is how we are to live a godly life. Paul's emphatic denial of the legitimacy of a careless attitude toward whether we ought to live a godly life or not in verse two makes the issue crucial. When we couple that to Paul's emphatic declaration that those who promote a careless attitude are under condemnation in Romans 3:8, we get the point that interest in the methodology of a godly life is not an option for the true child of God. Then, when we see Jude's open hostility to those who "turn the grace of God into an excuse for sin" (Jude 4) and we note that he says of them that they are "ordained to condemnation", we are even more impressed with the fact that interest in a godly life is of paramount importance.
So, our pursuit of Paul's instruction in Romans six is not only legitimate, but absolutely necessary. In this pursuit, we have already seen that the key to a godly life is clear understanding. He initiates his instruction with a question as to whether his readers are "ignorant" of a most fundamental truth (6:3). Then, in the verse before us this evening (6:6) he claims that we participate in resurrection life by "knowing" a certain body of truth; and, in 6:9 he again inserts the issue of "knowing" a certain set of facts. So, life is by the knowledge of God's revealed truth as that truth sustains a healthy relationship to the Holy Spirit Who dwells within our bodies.
Therefore, this evening we are going to press for a better understanding of the "second" root of godly living -- knowing that our "old man" was crucified with Christ.
September 5, 2006
- I. The "First" Root.
- A. Paul questioned our level of understanding regarding our "death to sin" in 6:2-3.
- B. In his instruction he made our "death to sin" a matter of having been baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit.
- 1. He says that when Christ died, we died.
- 2. He says that when Christ was buried, we were buried.
- 3. He says that when Christ was resurrected, we were resurrected.
- C. The major problem here is the almost total breakdown of clear understanding of what he is saying.
- 1. The teaching of chapter five is sufficiently difficult in that it tells us that we sinned when Adam sinned -- when we were not consciously "there" and were not consciously "capable of having any say whatever" in what Adam decided to do.
- a. This is difficult because we cut our teeth on the dogma that we cannot be held accountable for stuff about which we had no say or choice.
- b. It is even more difficult because we not only do not want to be accountable for what we have no control over, we don't even want to be held accountable for what we deliberately did do.
- 2. But, in chapter five, there is at least a "linkage" between Adam and us that we can grasp because of our life in the physical world.
- a. We know we are heirs of all manner of physical "hand-me-downs".
- b. This, at least, makes it possible for us to see how Paul can argue that we sinned when Adam sinned.
- 3. When we come to chapter six, however, Paul moves completely out of our "realm".
- a. There is no discernible linkage between us and Christ as there is with Adam.
- b. For any understanding whatsoever, we have to transition from the physical realm (where we have the roots for the vast majority of our "understanding") into a realm in which there is no "physical evidence".
- c. All of the reality that exists between us and Christ is faith-based.
- 1) This means it is governed by the declarations of God and not the testimony of the material world and its evidences.
- 2) This means that it is absolutely determined by the Spirit of God and not our manipulations of our material world.
- 1) It is no accident that the vast majority of the "gospels" that float around us are basically "here's something you can do to make it happen" doctrines [these are material world impositions upon Grace].
- 2) Nor is it an accident that the Scriptures adamantly separate this world from the Truth [as long as our considerations are "this worldly", we will never understand God].
- II. The "Second" Root.
- A. Because divine declaration is the foundation for life (man lives by every word of God), Paul claims in Romans 6:6 that our ability to experience newness of life is rooted in "knowing".
- 1. This is the second focus upon having to "know" something.
- 2. And, as with all knowledge, we must have some level of "understanding".
- B. The problem in 6:6 is the content of knowledge.
- 1. Just what is our "old man"?
- a. Part of the answer is in the fact that the "our" is plural, but the "old man" is not.
- 1) This means that we all have a single "old man"...there is only "one" of him.
- 2) This means that we are not seeking to discover something that we all have "one" of, but something that we all have together.
- b. Part of the answer is in the fact that the last half of Romans 5 is our immediate context and it clearly makes "Adam" our old man.
- 1) First, Adam was the first man: this fits the terminology "old" in the sense of previous and time-worn.
- 2) Second, Adam is clearly presented in chapter five as being our major "problem".
- 2. In what sense was Adam "crucified" with Christ?
- a. Clearly he was not crucified with Christ in any physical/material sense whatsoever.
- 1) Adam was completely off the historical scene and had been for 3000 years.
- 2) Adam was completely blocked out of the "generation of Christ" as the "male" and the "head" of the race.
- b. Just as clearly, there is no salvation for us unless Christ was Adam.
- 1) The Gospel has no meaning for us if Christ did not act in our stead as though He were we.
- 2) Nor does the Gospel have any meaning for us if we do not get to be heirs with Christ as though we were He.
- 3) Thus, the emphatic teaching in Romans 6:1-5 -- that we are so united with Christ that there is no distinction except in terms of personhood so that what He did we did -- makes Christ Adam in that same sense.
- c. Thus, when Christ was crucified, Adam as "our old man" was crucified also.
- 3. In what sense is the "purpose" of this union of identity fulfilled?
- a. Paul's claim is that "the body of sin" is "done away with".
- b. Paul's claim goes further to say that "we should no longer be servants to sin".
- c. These two claims raise the question of "how" they are accomplished.