Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2
October 3, 2006
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.
1901 ASV Translation:
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.
- I. The "End" of Death.
- A. We "believe" ... "knowing"...
- 1. The resurrection of Christ signals the "end" of death for Him: "...He dieth no more..."
- a. "Death" exists on multiple levels.
- 1) On the physical level, "death" exists as a "separation" of the body from the spirit with the consequence that the body is reduced to the final chaos and the spirit is isolated from any "material tool" for expression of itself in the material world.
- 2) On the "soul" level, "death" exists as a "separation" of the "dependent person" from the "spirit/Spirit/spirits" which provide for the dependencies with the consequence that the "soul" languishes in terror because there is no "provider" to guard it from disaster.
- 3) On the "spirit" level, "death" exists as a "separation" of the human capacity for action from the Divine Capacity for action -- the human spirit from the Holy Spirit -- with the consequence that the human spirit no longer has the input of Divine Love or Wisdom as it goes about sponsoring activities in a cause/effect universe...a reality that sponsors disaster as Hate and Foolishness find expression.
- b. However, the issue of "death" is functionality in an adversarial relationship with God. Though it is often addressed in the terms of "separation" that are found in the above section (a.) this concept needs some clarification when we think in terms of separation from God.
- 1) First, it is impossible to be spatially "separated" from the omnipresent God. Thus, any "separation" has to exist in "non-space" terms. One of the revealed areas of "separation" is in the area of matters of the "heart and mind" -- i.e., being "separated" in terms of one's objectives and methods.
- 2) And, there is also the area of "separation" wherein God withdraws His provision(s) of the power to accomplish false goals. Clearly, sinners are already separated from God in the arena of motives and methods and sinners are already separated from God in the arena of His provision of Love and Wisdom. However, just as clearly, God has not yet withdrawn His provision(s) of the power which men use to pursue and accomplish evil agendas.
- 3) Thus, the real issue of death is not the "separation" issue, but the "residue" issue -- man's on-going functional capacity in isolation from Love and Wisdom. This "isolation from" is more accurately identified as an "adversarial relationship with God."
- a) Nowhere does the Scripture acknowledge any kind of "cessation of existence" for created persons, nor does it admit to any "cessation of sensibility" in that enduring existence.
- b) So, without any annihilation of sensibility, function and feeling continue. The problem with enduring function and sensibility in an adversarial relationship is "fire", "tears", and "rage" (Jesus said that the angels would gather the offenders and cast them into "the furnace of fire" where there will be "weeping and the gnashing of teeth" -- Matthew 13:41-42). Jude 7 says that the "eternal fire" is an expression of "vengeance" (which is the outworking of justice). Thus, the "problem" of "separation" is not "separation", but "locked-in adversarial action/reaction". Death is aggressive; it is not a passive absence of something good.
- c. So we must conclude that the "death" Jesus died involved body, soul, and spirit in such a way that not only was the physical separation problem solved, so also were the "soul" and "spirit" separation problems solved. In other words, the reason that there is no more death is not that physical resurrection has occurred, but that "spiritual unity" has been achieved with the consequence that an adversarial attitude exists no more. There is no way that Paul can declare that we have peace with God if that attitude remains. Thus, his condemnation of those who attempt to use God's provision for justification as an excuse for sin (Romans 3:8) is valid and his rejection of "let us sin that grace might abound" is also valid.
- d. So, when Jesus "died", He went into the realm of Death to suffer the imposition of the Justice of God in all of its ramifications.
- e. And when He was resurrected, He left the realm of Death permanently. The debt was fully paid so that there can be no further imposition of indebtedness.
- 2. Death no longer "lords" it over Him.
- a. Death's "lordship" is its ability to determine what shall be.
- b. Death's ability to determine what shall be is absolutely rooted in the Sin/Justice conflict and with Justice satisfied and Sin abolished, the capacities of Death are reduced to nothing.
- B. Paul's Rationale.
- 1. "For He died 'it'..." (the grammar here is interesting) -- "He died for the Sin once for all."
- 2. Paul's point: Death was a climactic "event", imposed by Justice against Sin, and it was accomplished as an event. Thus, being accomplished, there is nothing left of it.
- II. The Continuation of Life.
- A. "But He lives 'it'..." (a repeat of the odd grammar mentioned above) -- Since He cannot cease from existence in function and sensibility, any "living" now is done in unabridged unity with the Father so that there is no animosity, nor adversarial relationship.
- B. "He lives with God" -- Unity was regained at every level.
- III. The Only Issue Still on the Table: Reckon yourselves to be just as dead to sin as Jesus is and just as alive to God as Jesus is.