Either Dead in Christ or Not

Galatians 5: 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus HAVE CRUCIFIED THE FLESH with its passions and desires

If we were to ever become dead in Christ

It would not have been us who did it
it would be by God’s imputation

If we were to ever become dead in Christ
We would count in a new way and not hang our future
On a divine life in us

If we were to ever become dead in Christ
We would count as loss
What we used to count worship

If we were to ever become dead in Christ
We would have had it Done to us
Death is suffered

If we were to ever stand still in Christ
What we would have lost is making outcomes
Depend on God causing us to obey

We do not hope for righteousness
We hope because of righteousness
Having passed from death through a death imputed

Died with Christ” (or “died in Christ”) means Christ died instead of the justified elect, but the result is that the person the elect used to be, that person is dead, over with, done trying to help build their own righteousness. That old person is not here now anymore. The justified elect person has nothing to gain by their works. And nothing to lose.

Galatians 2: 19 For through the law I died to the law, in order to live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives with regard to me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Being crucified with Christ and living now in the flesh by faith are two sides of the same thing—you can’t put on the new without putting off the old. The Romans 6 baptism into the death is NOT God’s imputation of the sins of the elect to Christ—-God’s baptism of the elect into the death of Christ is the same as God’s imputation of Christ’s death (Christ’s righteousness) to the elect.

I Corinthians 1:25 For the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it (the gospel) is the POWER of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

I Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God

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2 Comments on “Either Dead in Christ or Not”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    ‘the covenant of works” sounds like it’s saying

    don’t sin for long enough
    then you CAN eat from the tree of life

    don’t sin for long enough
    then you won’t be under the covenant of works anymore,
    and once you are no longer under the law,
    then you can sin and the sin won’t be counted to you

    what is your reward for your success at “the covenant of works”?
    it can’t be eating from the tree of life
    because Adam could do that already as soon as he became living soul
    and that tree would be cut off only if he sinned

    what would have been the reward for Adam’s success at “covenant of works”?
    some preterists say it would have a two stage reward
    1. then he would get permission to eat from the tree of knowledge
    2, then he could finally die, and get that new spiritual soul in heaven

    no more earth, no more body

    how do you spell yippee?

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Moo- “The image of crucifixion is chosen not because Paul wants to suggest that our “dying with Christ” is a preliminary action that the believer must complete by daily “dying to sin,” but because Christ’s death took the form of crucifixion. The believer who is “crucified with Christ” is as definitely and finally “dead” as a result of this action as was Christ himself after his crucifixion (as Paul stresses in v. 10: the death Christ died he died “once for all”). Of course, we must remember what this death means. This is no more a physical, or ontological, death, than is our burial with Christ (v. 4)
    or our “dying to sin” (v. 2). Paul’s language throughout is forensic, or positional; by God’s act, we have been placed in a new position. This position is real, for what exists in God’s sight is surely (ultimately) real, and it carries definite consequences for day-to-day living. But it is status, or power-structure, that Paul is talking about here.” https://www.dbts.edu/journals/1997/nature.pdf

    The strength of Peterson’s work is his ability to engage various biblical texts without ever losing sight of their wider context. In fact, it is an appeal to context that leads him to disagree with J. C. Ryle’s interpretation of Hebrews 12:14 (a verse that says “without holiness, no one will see the Lord”). Peterson and Ryle are not far from each other, but Peterson’s approach sees holiness as an expression of our “once-for-all” sanctification and Ryle sees holiness more as “proof” of our salvation.

    At the risk of oversimplification, we might put it this way: Peterson believes stressing the positional aspect will lead to the expression of the progressive aspect, whereas Ryle believes stressing the progressive aspect will lead to evidence of the positional.

    Or to look at it from the other side: wrongly emphasizing the progressive will lead to an obscurity of the positional and to doubts of salvation (according to Peterson), whereas wrongly emphasizing the positional will lead to apathy and lack of incentive to faithfully pursue a holy life (according to Ryle https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2014/08/18/christians-are-holy-and-wholly-possessed-by-god/


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