by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 10 July 24, 2016 Humble, Texas
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:
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 Forthe death that he died, he died unto sinonce: butthe 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. Paul's Conclusion(s).
A. If we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall also live together with Him.
1. At issue here is both the objective reality (we died together with Christ) and the subjective reality (we believe...), by which the objective becomes the experience.
a. Technically, we not only died with Christ, we lived again with Him just as did He at the resurrection.
b. At issue is not "whether" this unity is real, it is "whether" it is believed.
1) That we have "died together with Christ" must be understood in terms of two issues: that aspect of it that exists "in the mind of God" and that aspect of it that exists in His consequential actions toward those of whom He has decided that "they died".
a) God's "reckoning" is in His own mind.
b) God's actions are overt injections of "power" in His own cause/effect universe.
2) This issue of whether, in fact, these aspects of the facts from God's determinations are true and dependable exists in the realm of "faith". A person either "believes" them or not.
2. And, again, the "we shall live together with Him" is, as in 6:5, a future that is not yet the present, fully-formed, experience. Paul moves away from the "technical" reality to its ultimate fulfillment as a matter of "faith".
3. When a person "believes" the objective fact(s), there is an immediate potential to cast aside the intended "faith" and twist it into a passive fatalism so that one immediately lapses into sins.
a. Some think that since we "shall live together with Him", there is no real point in the flow of life in the here and now with all of its thought, choice, action complexity. This is simply fatalism that severs our present from our future.
b. Paul "believed" that the promise was designed to sustain our determined "faith" so that we become, more and more, instruments of righteousness in the present time.
1) The struggles of life are real and inescapable. In respect to the struggle, it matters not what a person believes; no one escapes the reality of "a struggling life".
2) But it matters a great deal as to what the impact of the struggles is in both temporal, emotional reality and in eternal, emotional reality.
1. Always, when "faith" is in view, there is a required knowledge.
2. The particular knowledge in this context is that Death has no further dominion over the Christ into Whom we have been baptized.
a. He was raised so that He "dies" no longer.
1) The verb is present tense (He is dying no longer) and signals a significant reality: death to The Sin, followed by resurrection, leaves the One raised without any dominion by Death whatsoever. The death of Jesus was "to The Sin" because He had become sin for us; afterward there is no need of any kind whatsoever for Him to "become" sin again.
2) Jesus, unlike us, was only "dying" during His crucifixion, but He was subject to Death's impact all around Him in the lives of those who surrounded Him. And, unlike us, He had, and has, no inner realities like ours as residue from Adam. His understanding of Truth is pure and unbounded so that "faith" is fully effective. We are constantly in need of greater understanding and more confident "faith".
3) The point, however, is that we actually share what is His when we actively depend upon Him for what we do not have, or what we still have as residue from our former lives.
4) That "He is dying no longer" means that we have that potential also -- to the degree that we trust Him through the moments of each day's events.
b. Since He "dies" no longer, death no longer rules as a lord over Him.
1) Death's "lordship" over Jesus was ever and only upon the basis of the Justice of God after He "become" sin for us.
2) Before His transition into "being" sin, death had no lordship over Him; He was, and is, "the life" even before He was "the resurrection".
3. The One Who died, died to The Sin once for all; thus the One Who lives, lives for The God.
a. The "death to The Sin" actually alters the attitude of The God and directs His responses to our thoughts and actions.
b. The door is open for our participation in His life even though we are yet in the period when the fulness of the promises is not yet ours.
C. The rationale...
1. He Who died, to "The Sin" He died once for all.
2. Thus He Who lives, lives to God.
a. This is the problem that "fatalism" brings to the table: we "live".
b. "Fatalism" only complicates the fact that everyday in every way we are making choices and taking action and are only guided by "fatalism" if we cast our "faith" in that direction.
II. Paul's Exhortation
1. The word is used in 40 texts in the New Testament, with 19 of them to be found in Romans.
2. It ranges in meaning from "reasoning between options" (Mark 11:31) to "drawing conclusions" (Romans 3:28) to "acting upon the conclusions drawn" (multiple texts).
3. As such, the word is a good explanation of the biblical concept of "faith" -- looking at the options produced by the data, drawing some definitive conclusions, and then acting upon those conclusions.
B. "Reckon" yourselves dead to The Sin.
1. The "reckoning" is a matter of taking Romans 6:1-10 to be a set of actual facts based upon the concept of God's decisions to "impute to us" what belongs to Christ.
2. At the heart of the issue is "faith" in the reality of our union with Christ Jesus so that the twin provisions -- the promise of Eternal Life and the gift of the Holy Spirit -- are understood to be actual facts.
C. "Reckon" yourselves living to The God in Christ Jesus.
1. The actual "living" is complex; thus, the existence of the New Testament.
2. Complexity simply means we have to take the words seriously and be reminded of them regularly.