Romans 6:4-5 — In Christ – Newness of Life (Bible study notes)

For the video teaching of these notes, click here: Romans Bible Study – week 12 – In Christ: Newness of Life

I.  Recap

  • IN Chapter 5 we learned….
    • Through Adam’s disobedience sin entered the world and as a result death reigned BUT much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ.
    • Through Adam ALL men were condemned BUT through Jesus ALL men were justified
    • Through Adam ALL men were made sinners BUT through Jesus ALL men were made righteous.
    • On top of all that the law entered so that the transgression of Adam might abound BUT where the sin (of Adam) abounded, grace superabounded
    • Paul ends chapter 5 letting us know that once sin reigned BUT now grace reigns
  • Chapter 6 begins by telling us we have had a nature change at the Cross
    • and that the reason we cannot continue IN SIN (in Adam) is because we have a new nature IN CHRIST – no more of Adam exists in us
  • Remember he is speaking to a transitional generation
    • those who lived on both sides of the cross
    • they were born with an Adamic (sin) nature, and the cross changed that – they died with Christ and were raised up in Him – in His nature
    • All of mankind went from “in Adam” to “In Christ” at the Cross
    • Adam (the old man) died on the cross — the old man was crucified (2000 years ago)
  • mankind born after the cross, never had an old man because we’re born on this side of the cross
    • The old man is not referring to former you and new you
    • it is not relating to your experience before you accepted Christ and to your experience after receiving Christ — You do not have and have never had, two different identities
    • You never were a slave to sin
      • you may have lived a horrible sinful life before you came to the knowledge of Christ
      • BUT you were never a SLAVE of sin (v. 7)
    • our death was with Him 2000 years ago which freed us from the sin of Adam
  • Your nature changed at the cross — not when you believed.
    • You got to experience the freedom of that nature change when you believed it — but it was a reality at the Cross
  • We (mankind) were baptized into Christ – our identity is now fully immersed in Him
    • and we (mankind) were buried with Him – co buried
    • Our new nature, our identification is solely in Christ
  • For these Jews, Paul is talking to (the transitional generation), the good news is —
    • your association/identity is no longer connected to Moses and the Law
    • you are no longer in Adam — on the cross, you died to the Adamic sin nature and the authority/dominion of death
    • Jesus’ finished work was 100% complete and successful
    • You died with Him and were co-buried with Him, and now your new nature is Christ! 100% Christ!
  • For us (born after the cross) the good news is —
    • You’ve always been IN CHRIST
    • you never had an Adamic sin nature
    • you have never been under the dominion of death!
  • Remember if you’re not understanding all of it yet that’s ok, just keep going after it.
    • In Galatians 1:11 Paul said that the (message of the ) Gospel he received from Jesus is not according to man — it doesn’t agree with our way of thinking
    • Phil 3:1 (Living Bible)— Paul said, I never get tired of telling you this and it is good for you to hear it again and again.
    • Peter said in 2 Peter 3:16: Paul’s letters are hard to understand — mentally hard to process; intellectually difficult;
  • We have to hear with spiritual ears
    • But you don’t have to struggle to hear correctly – you get to rest in His perfect hearing
    • Hebrews 5:8-9 5:8 Acquainted with sonship He was in the habit of hearing from above; what He heard distanced Him from the effect of what He had suffered. By His perfect hearing He forever freed mankind to hear what He had heard.
      • His perfect hearing freed us and awakened our hearts to hear
let’s continue with the rest of verse 4
II. Co buried and Co raised
Romans 6:4-5: Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
  • verse 4 says that we were buried with Him through baptism in death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
  • This is a power packed verse!
  • 2 words shows us a breaking with a former life —
  • death/burial is the breaking of our ties to our earthly life – our life no longer exists
  • and baptism into His death represents a new identity (IN CHRIST) and a breaking with a former identity (Moses and the law)
  • then he tells us the purpose for that breaking with a former life — that we have been raised again just like Jesus to newness of life
  • In an ordinary death, a man is enclosed in a tomb or grave to remain there
  • but we didn’t die an ordinary death… we were buried with the One who died and rose again
  • His resurrection is our resurrection – we have been raised to newness of life when He rose again
  • there is no way to return to a previous life – a former condition (in sin, in Adam) – that old life no longer exists
  • our resurrection was just as Christ’s resurrection!
  • In our lives here and now we can live just as He lives
  • 1 Jn 4:17 As He is so am I in this world
  • not as He was in the Gospels… but as He is in His resurrected state
  • what is His association with sin and death? He has none.
  • He died once and won’t die again (v.9-10). He is not dying daily! Or crucifying the flesh daily!
  • death has no mastery over Him
  • As He is so are we – we died one death with Him on the Cross – it was enough
  • death and it’s effects (sickness, disease, poverty, lack, fear, etc) have no mastery over us either
  • What is His association to sin? He has none
  • v.6 tells us that we are no longer slaves to sin (singular – the Adamic nature) because we have been set free (justified) from sin (singular – the Adamic nature)
  • Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father
  • glory – is doxa in Greek and means opinion, intent, a good opinion; the root is dokeo meaning to think or suppose; it speaks of a mental picture and suggests the exact blueprint that God had in mind when he said, “Let us make man in our image and in our likeness.”
  • Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory — the mindset, the original, authentic thought of God
  • What was God’s mindset, His original idea concerning mankind?
    • Mirror – Col 2:12: In the same parallel (your co-circumcision in his death) your co-burial and joint-resurrection is now demonstrated in baptism; your co-inclusion in Christ is what God’s faith knew when he powerfully raised him from the dead.
      • Our co-inclusion, our union in Christ was His original thought — His plan for us from before the foundation of the world
      • Eph 1:4: just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world for us to be holy and blameless before Him, in love
        • Mirror – He associated us in Christ before the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about us! He always knew in his love that he would present us again face-to-face before him in blameless innocence.
  • Paul is saying our walk now – our newness of life – is to be lived from the awareness of God’s original mindset for us — our union in Christ
    • Paul told us the same thing in Galatians when he said what his new life looked like
      • Gal 2:20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
  • should walk: conduct your life; be occupied with this oneness IN CHRIST that you now have in this newness of life.
  • In newness of life – This is a Hebraism to denote a new life.
    • newness of life means a total renewal; it isn’t simply an experience similar to the past, but a totally different one in quality.
    • 2 Cor 5:17: ”if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”
      • in the Greek it says “the new is born!” – signifying a change in state or condition
      • not talking about individuals but a “new creation” which is singular; also defined as an institution
    • Col 3:10: “….the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…”
      • Mirror: We stand fully identified in the new creation renewed in knowledge according to the pattern of the exact image of our Creator.
  • We’ve been taught to believe in a dual identity, a little bit of Adam and a little bit of Jesus;
    • BUT — “…. if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
      • And that statement alone divorces man 100% from any relationship to Adam and that old identity
      • God calls mankind a new creation that is longer to be regarded in relationship to Adam, to sin, to death or to the flesh.
III. United with Him
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
  • The word if in this verse is not a conditional if…. as in if you have been united in the likeness of His death then you shall certainly be united in the likeness of His resurrection.
  • This “if” follows a verb (should walk in verse 4) and therefore it denotes assumption that may only be portrayed as valid or true; it expresses a condition that is thought of as real; viewed as factual; it is merely for the sake of argument;
  • v. 4 already told us that we were buried with Him
    • it is an aorist indicative passive — past tense fact that happened to us — we didn’t play a part in it
      • Jesus’ burial was our burial. God buried us along with Jesus Christ! Co buried
  • So Paul isn’t saying if you have been united with Him
    • He is stating the obvious
    • his readers would’ve read that and said “what do you mean if?” “of course we’re united with Him in the likeness of His death, so obviously that means that we are united in the likeness of His resurrection”
  • united is sunphuo in Greek which is from 2 words, sun meaning together with; joined; co! and phuo meaning to bring forth; together they mean born together with; of joint origin;
    • it is a perfect indicative active tense — emphasizing the completed action that has lasting results; the resultant state is the emphasis, not the action
      • My state of being is, I am united with Him
    • it is indicative mood meaning it is a fact — it indeed happened — I AM joined with Him
    • and it is active voice suggesting that the subject of the verb performed the action — in this case, the subject is (His) death — Christ’s death united me with Him – I had nothing to do with it.
    • This is who I am, united with Him, and will continue to be — it isn’t changing – it was ALL because of His finished work.
      • That’s so awesome!!
  • We were told that we were co-crucified, co-buried and co-raised in v. 4 and now here in v. 5 we learn that we are co-united, co-joined with Him. We have become ONE!
    • We are united in the likeness of His death – united in the likeness of His resurrection
      • likeness is same as; no difference
    • In other words, what Paul says then is that:
      • When Jesus died on Golgotha, we died on Golgotha.
      • When Jesus was placed in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb, we were placed in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb.
      • When Jesus rose again from the dead from that tomb in bodily resurrection, we also arose with Him.
      • When Jesus ascended to heaven, we ascended with Him and are now seated with Him in the heavenly realms.
  • Our identification with Christ includes our crucifixion with Him, burial with Him; and our resurrection, ascension, and glorification with Christ.
    • His experiences are our experiences
  • Our identification (baptism) with Christ is so complete that from God’s point of view, we experienced co-crucifixion, co-burial, co-resurrection, co-ascension, and co-glorification.
    • If this is how God sees us, shouldn’t we see ourselves in the same manner?
IV. Closing
  • But most of us aren’t seeing ourselves in this manner because our lives are a constant contradiction.
  • A life that contradicts the finished work of Christ
    • seeing ourselves still in Adam instead of in Christ, or having both natures struggling on the inside of us
    • Seeing ourselves through the lens of sin instead of the lens of righteousness; living a life tormented by guilt, shame, rejection, never measuring up to God’s high standard… instead of seeing ourselves justified, righteous, holy, perfect and blameless
    • Our lives reflect things which Jesus redeemed us from — sin, sickness, disease, poverty, lack, wrong identity (i.e., servants not sons), fear, etc.
    • Seeing ourselves as inferior instead of “as He is so are we in this world” — having the fullness of the Spirit without measure, full of His glory, reigning in life
  • Romans 6:1-11 aren’t dealing with our experience or behavior, but with our new position with God IN CHRIST.
    • it’s about a nature change
    • that mankind is no longer in Adam and is now IN CHRIST because of the finished work of Jesus.
    • Understanding that truth is the key to walking in this newness of life — a victorious life IN HIM.
  • The key to walking in the actual fullness of the experience of this new life is in verses 6-11… in knowing some things.
    • we’ll look at those verses, 6-11, next week

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