Apostle Paul wrote:
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized INTO HIS DEATH? 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 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. For he that is DEAD IS FREED from sin. Now if we BE DEAD WITH CHRIST, we believe that we shall also LIVE WITH HIM: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, HE DIED UNTO SIN ONCE: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be DEAD INDEED TO SIN, but alive unto God THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6: 3-11 KJV)
Wow. The more I read this, the more grateful and hope filled I become. Yet, is this the message we are hearing from church religion pulpits today? What I hear mostly are sayings like, “we need to die to self.” and “we need to die daily.” Did you know these phrases are not even found in the Bible? It is the truth! They are found no where in the Bible. Search it out for yourself; it simply does not exist in the Bible. In fact, the passage above in Romans 6 is likely the closest thing to the phrase and yet it does not teach us that at all. In fact, it is telling us something very opposite.
Do you really know and understand who you are, IN CHRIST?
The majority of people who say they are Christian do not even realize that we need to separate our physical existence and our Spiritual existence when coming to understanding about our Salvation and what happened (past tense!) at the very moment of belief on Christ’s finished work of atoning for our sins on the cross. So powerful and sufficient was Christ’s once for all sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10) for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2), yet do we grasp the depth of what Christ did for us? When you study passages like Romans 6 and Colossians 2 and 3 and Galatians we see Apostle Paul making this clearer and clearer.
‘When Jesus died on the cross, He nailed our sins to the cross.’ Now there is a phrase we hear all the time right? And, yes, that is certainly true but it goes well beyond that!
First, what is the wages of our sin? What is the penalty of our sin? Is the penalty that we need to be a better person? Do we need to be more penitent? Do we need to do more good than bad? In God’s economy regarding our sins, none of these are the wages of sin. The wages of our sin, IS DEATH! We cannot earn our way to paying off our sin debt against God because the only thing that can pay for our sins is death by the shedding of blood.
Now, look at verse 3 above in Romans 6. This is telling us that when Jesus died on the cross, He took our old self WITH HIM. It says we WERE baptized into His death. What does Baptized mean in this verse? Looking at the Greek in which this was penned for the translated into English word “baptized” here is the Greek word ‘baptizō‘ and the meaning is ‘to immerse’. Paul is not talking about water Baptism here though. He is talking about Spiritual baptism; the Baptism of the Spirit, being Born Again. As believers, our spirit nature was taken with Christ onto that cross and we DIED WITH CHRIST. Physically we are here on Earth. But spiritually, this is what took place. Notice that this is all written in the PAST TENSE! Our old spiritual self was DEAD with Christ, buried with Christ and rose again WITH CHRIST at the cross! In Colossians 2, Paul expands further and states that believers are “COMPLETE IN CHRIST” and “SEATED WITH CHRIST”, again all written in the present tense!
Just as Jesus said, IT IS FINISHED! God foreknew who will accept the GIFT of Salvation and who would reject such a great gift. And the will of the Father is that He will not lose any of His own.
“And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” (John 6:39 KJV)
In foreknowledge, God placed a believer’s old self on that cross WITH CHRIST. This is something we do not see taught very often from pulpits. Instead, we get more surface understanding that ‘our sins were paid for on the cross’ without the deeper understanding of this truth. We hear catchy phrases like ‘we need to die to self’, although this is as close as Scripture gets to that phrase; WE DIED WITH CHRIST! This is what being BORN AGAIN is all about folks! Our old self, (what Paul refers to as the Old Man) and our sins were crucified on that cross. Died on the cross. Buried with Christ and have been resurrected (born again). Jesus cried out, on that cross just before physically dying, IT IS FINISHED which in the Greek it was penned is an accounting term meaning, DEBT PAID IN FULL. Our sin debt was paid. Our wages of sin (death penalty) was paid for, IN FULL, on Christ. And when Jesus rose again, so did we rise again in the Spirit; Eternal, Holy, Righteous and redeemed forever. That just makes me want to shout THANK YOU JESUS. How about you? Grateful is the word.
From the very moment of our belief on Christ’s finished work on the cross, we were SEALED by the Holy Spirit forever. (Ephesians 1:13-14) How close are we to Christ as believers? We hear in church sermons that we ‘need to die to self’ and that we ‘need to get closer to Christ’ by doing this, that and the other thing. More church building attendance. More good works. More Bible study. These may all be good things to do, yes! Yet, Apostle Paul tells us that our old self ALREADY DIED with Christ on that cross and we are now ALREADY a NEW self called The Spirit. We have become (past tense) BORN AGAIN in the Spirit and are a new creation in the Spirit which is the righteousness of God, in Christ (John 3:5-6, 14-18, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
What About Our Sins After Salvation?
Apostle Paul addresses this too of course. He tells us that because we DIED TO SIN with Christ on that cross (Romans 6, Colossians 2 and 3), and that we are now a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST (2 Corinthians 5:17), and that we are now SEATED with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6-7), why should we continue in sin? He is not saying that sinning after Salvation will result in loss of Salvation. Remember ALL our life long list of sins (even future ones because all our sins are future from the cross) were paid in full on that cross 2000 years ago! He is just saying, look…this is the new you in union with Christ. Now when a temptation to sin comes around we should walk in the Spirit to avoid the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Walk in the truth and knowledge that as believers we are in union with Christ spiritually which is the new us and deny that sin knowing we are already DEAD to sin, in Christ.
Unbelievers just go ahead and sin and have no remorse about it really. But believers when they sin, well, we feel kinda icky! We become remorseful. We confess the sin and tell God we are sorry that we blew it after all He did for us. That is because we are born again. The Holy Spirit is right here dwelling within us. We are IN CHRIST! And sometimes if we are stubborn about a sin, God will chastise us just as a human parent chastises their children for their own good. It is all out of love for us and there is no greater love that God’s love for us.
I rather boast in God’s love for me , then my love for Him – that is for sure. I still blow it sometimes and fall into temptation as anyone at times. But do I ever feel bad about it later! Apostle Paul was telling us that he too had this ongoing struggle with our old mind not acknowledging or maybe knowing the truth about a sin. Even knowing something is a sin, we still step into it, even when our spirit really does not want to. Our new Spirit is Holy Righteous and redeemed but we need to renew our mind by the Word of God (Romans 12:2). We need to BELIEVE that what the Bible says we now are as believers is the truth and then accepting that in belief, our actions move outwardly into our lives. Let’s face it, how we believe, is how we will act!
Ever take notice that if someone tempts you to murder them, you just would never do that? You would walk away. But why then with other sins do you lose the battle with temptation? It is because right believing results in right living and right actions. If there is anything I pray for you and I as believers, it is that God grant us His WISDOM. His knowledge! The truth! And the more we study the Word of God the more knowledge we have for living in victory from our old self, wrongful thinking.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of HIS MIGHT.” (Ephesians 6:10 KJV)
The devil and his fallen angels are working to instill FEAR in believers. They will throw arrows at you such as, ‘you are not good enough..see you sinned again’, or ‘you have trampled on Jesus and your salvation is lost’ or ‘you better do more good and follow the Ten Commandments or you will lose salvation’. There are many arrows and schemes (called the wiles of the devil in Ephesians 6:11) they are using against believers because it is through us, others will come to the truth. And if they can distract us with lies and fear they believe they can stop people from being saved through Christ. And the truth is the only thing believers have to fear is not entering God’s REST.
“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” (Hebrews 4:1 KJV)
Know who you truly are in Christ. It is the truth that sets us free as believers.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32 KJV)