Archive for the ‘death’ category

Are You a Success When It Comes to Sanctification?

July 15, 2018

Has your life so far been a success?

At least, is your life finally now a success?

More successful than your parents?

Less successful than your children?

Do you think that “merely” surviving (still existing) is success?

If we read other people’s obituaries to find out what the dead persons did wrong, we should remember that we also are going to die, despite any success we have in eating and exercise. (s every other person’s death (besides ours) really a suicide—they made bad choices?)

-Pharisees have an explanation–unlike me, those other were merely existing, even before they died they were not really living. But I am a success. I myself am really living, not faking it. I am the real thing.
My practical personal righteousness (not for justification but for sanctification and assurance of final justification) exceeds that of the Pharisees.

—-
Our future deaths do not change the imperatives (poor people are too stupid to eat right like I do)

But grace does not mean that we will have success with the imperatives

Grace does not mean that there are no more imperatives

“Should have”—- “Could not” is not an excuse

The gospel is not an excuse for failure and sin

But that being said (and really meant , the gospel of grace is the only solution for failure and sin

Only resurrection is the solution for death

“Successful aging” does not provide a solution to prevent death.

Cherry picking soundbite proof texts out of the bible is not the means for success either.

Philippians 4: 13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

but see also

Philippians 3: 10 My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

2 Corinthians 13:4 For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are WEAK IN HIM, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

2 Corinthians 4: 10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, in order that the life of Jesus also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life will also be revealed in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us

This does not mean that Jesus is still dying.

Jesus is NOT still dying, not even in us.

We have either been placed in Christ’s death or we have not.

We are not in the process of being placed into Christ’s death.

We have either been sanctified or not.

Some of the elect have been sanctified, and some of the elect have not yet been sanctified.

II Thessalonians 2: 13 But we must always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning[f] God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.

Jesus Christ acted for His own glory. But we are not to act for our own glory. Jesus by His death obtained His own justification. We do not obtain our own sanctification. Jesus does not “help us” to obtain our own sanctification.

Hebrews 12: Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.

Lord, we are able. Our spirits are thine.
Remold them, make us, like thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.
Are ye able? Still the Master
whispers down eternity,
and heroic spirits answer,
now as then in Galilee.

Justified just as i now am
But the future second aspect of my justification depends on my lifestyle

Now i am more sanctified than I was, but now I also have the ability to become even more sanctified

Do you remember that song from some hymn books that says–yes we are able—so many think we (after we get justification out of the way) are able to help God produce our sanctification. We give God all the credit for enabling us to obey as well as we do, and we never claim to obey perfectly–so grace helps us, and then grace cuts us some slack and at least we are a little bit more successful than we were yesterday. We have gradual success , notonly because we are allowing God to transform us each day but also we ourselves are killing sin in us. We are not merely permitting the Holy Spirit to mortify sin in us. WE DO IT.

Ferguson, p 106—if you are led by the Holy Spirit, then you are not under law IN THE SENSE THAT YOU ARE NOT UNDER CONDEMNATION. But you are under the law in the sense that “for whatsoever you sow, that you shall reap.” The more we offer ourselves to the Spirit, the more fruit of the Spirit we will produce. God has given us provisions for victory, and made it possible for us to be more than conquerors

Sinclair Ferguson, Devoted to God, p 107 the Holy Spirit will deliver you from a lifestyle in which you find yourself constantly coming under the condemnation of the law

You and also the Holy Spirit keep you from sinning, and not sinning keeps you from condemnation

Is the new covenant God writing the Ten Commandments on our hearts?

Reformed—God has not changed the law (except God has de-consecrated the temple and the Jews, and now consecrated our children)

question—after God writes the Ten Commandments on our hearts, do we then obey the Ten Commandments?

Sinclair Ferguson, p 182, Devoted to God—“But when they come to Christ, the law that had formerly been a burden they felt unable to carry now seems transformed. It’s almost as though the law itself is carrying them, and not the other way around. What was their burden has now become their pleasure.

Almost….

Ferguson, 221–Is your “knowledge” merely informational” or is yoiur knowledge transformational?

In us, but also through us, by our efforts also

John Murray–“God works in us and we also work. But the relation is that because God works we work” His understanding of progressive sanctification entails that man cannot claim anything good “in and of himself”. “What the apostle is urging is the necessity of working out our own salvation, and the encouragement he supplies is the assurance that it is God himself who works in us” (Murray, 149).

But unless John Murray assumes the command to be given only to those who have the ability to perform the command in some sense, then the ability of the regenerate is not relevant.

“God’s working in us is not suspended because we work, nor our working suspended because God works. Neither is the relation strictly one of co-operation as if God did his part and we did ours so that the conjunction or co-ordination of both produced the required result” (Murray). Murray would see both full divine participation and full human participation in the sanctification process. This is synergism

I agree with Ed Boehl (The Reformed Doctrine of Justification- notice the critical preface in which Berkhof claims Boehl is too Lutheran).

Boehl–“If conforming into the image of Christ is truly the work of the Holy Spirit alone, then it is difficult to claim a a new ability, in the regenerate man. The regenerate man is not given an improved ability from the Holy Spirit to obey God. This position does not deny that the regenerate man bears fruit. Nor does it deny that the Holy Spirit sometimes enables the believer to overcome sin. However, it not the case that this is an ability found within justified sinners.”

Why do so many Reformed say that the Sabbath has been fulfilled but also that the Sabbath has not yet been fulfilled?

Maybe some of the reason is that they think they were born in the covenant before they had been justified yet.

And maybe some think that those who have already been justified have not yet lived a lifestyle that will escape condemnation when the second not yet aspect of justification arrives.

Ferguson–you cannot have Christ as your Saviour without having the Spirit as your leader. And being led by the Spirit will deliver you from a llfestyle in which you constantly find yourself coming under condemnation of the law Devoted to God, p 107.

I Peter 2: 24 He Himself bore our sins
in His body on the tree,
so that, HAVING DIED TO SIN
we would live for righteousness

245—Haldane holds the view that the only sense in which Paul could say that “Christ died to sin” is that he died for sins imputed. Haldane–“Our Lord never felt the power of sin, and therefore could not die to the power of sin?” Smeaton held a similar view–dying to its guilt.

246 Ferguson—My view however is that Christ died to Sin as a power. He died for sin but also to the dominion of sin. In Christ therefore we have died to sin’s reign as well as its guilt.

Mark McCulley— Haldane and Smeaton and Hodge argue that the power of sin is the guilt of sin.

Ferguson—Slaves, masters, “freed from sin” is the language of the marketplace not the legal courts. Paul is not dealing with justification from guilt as our motivation.

Ferguson, p 256, Devoted to God —“Only when we know the proportions of Christ’s deliverance. will Paul’s imperatives strike home and we know that we CANNOT go on living as though we were subjects of sin’s reign.”

Mark Mcculley: So, if we don’t see it the way Ferguson and John Murray see it, then we are not really Christian, because it turns out that we can and do live a lifestyle that is condemned by the law? But if we live a lifestyle that is not condemned by the law, only then, and as we continue to live that way, will we know that Christ died to sin for us, and that we are Christians?

I guess success is always relative. You could always have more success. If you wanted to.

Advertisements

Resurrection is not Ascension to Heaven

January 7, 2018

John 3: 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man.

Christ is there, and in that sense absent from here, and we are not there or going there.

John 5: 24 “I assure you: As many as who hear My word and believes Him who sent Me have the lasting life of the age to come and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.

This is passing from condemnation to justification.

Romans 6 explains how Christ Himself began in condemnation for the imputed sins of the elect, and then satisfied for those sins, and was vindicated and justified—now dead to sin and death.

John 5: 25 “I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself. 27 And the Father has granted the Son the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

This is passing from being unable and unwilling to believe the gospel to being born (from above)
If we say “born again”, the contrast is between our first birth in corruption, with no will to believe God.

Christ Himself was born as “also human now”, but never born with any possibility of not believing or doing what God does or commands to be done.

John 5: 28 Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out—

Notice that the text does not say that only our bodies (or souls) come out of the graves. We ourselves come out of the graves, on the last Resurrection day, when Christ comes to earth again a second time.

Christ Himself was raised in this way, coming out of the grave, as the first-fruits of we who will come out of the graves on that last day.

I Corinthians 15: 16 For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished…. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep

I Corinthians 15: 23 But each in his own order: Christ, the first fruits; afterward, at His coming, those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death.

Romans 5: 17 Since by the one man’s trespass,DEATH reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation …., so also through one righteous act there is LIFE-GIVING justification… just as sin reigned in DEATH, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in the lasting LIFE of the age to come through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Those who have now already been justified NOW HAVE the lasting life of the age to come, but they do not yet have immortality. Those who are born condemned into this world include the elect, but none of them has been given the “second death” yet. Those who are justified will never be given the second death, but those who remain condemned will not only be ruined or excluded but will terminally die, permanently perish. John 3: 16 “For God gave His One and Only Son, so that as many as who believe in Him will NOT perish but have lasting life. John 3:36 the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God REMAINS on him.”

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and to the ages.”

I Corinthians 15:45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Romans 1 Paul a servant of Christ Jesus called to be an apostle set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Now Christ is seated in heaven (Acts 2:34; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:13). None of the justified elect are now in heaven.

Psalm 110:1–”The Lord says to my Lord; Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” Except in their representative, the justified elect do not share God’s throne and do not sit at God’s right hand. The heavenly glory Christ had enjoyed in the Father’s presence before His incarnation has now been “crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death. (Hebrews 2:9)

Christ was first resurrected (the first-fruits) and then He ascended to heaven. Sitting there at the right hand, Christ does not simply wait but intercedes for the justified elect Romans 8:34–“What judge will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus who died, and more than that, was raised to life, who indeed is at the right hand of God, and who is pleading our cause?”

An ascent directly into heaven from the cross without a resurrection would be Plato’s pagan idea of death as the release of an immortal soul. But going to heaven is not resurrection. Gnostics teach going to heaven without resurrection. Gnostics teach that the only resurrection is going to heaven. Some of these gnostics are preterists, but most of them simply do not think straight about the need for the second coming of Christ.

They also hold onto unbiblical ideas about what “soul” is. Since they do not know that the living soul is body plus breath (Genesis 2:7), they tend to think of the “immortal soul” and they cannot deal with reality of Christ the servant pouring out His soul unto death (Isaiah 53). Since they change Christ’s death into “spiritual death”, they also tend to confuse Christ’s bodily resurrection with His ascension (“going to heaven.”)

Some “not going to think about it” preachers go so far as to say that Christ’s “spiritual death” (which some locate “in the time before time”) is the real and effective death. They say that the physical death is only a demonstration of that timeless before time “real spiritual” death. Other preachers do not go as far as that, but they prefer talking about Christ’s “infinite soul suffering” instead of the death Christ died in history which was demanded by God’s law for the sins of the elect imputed to Christ.

Acts 3:15–”You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead.

Ephesians 1:20 describes God’s mighty power “which He exercised in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and enthroned Him at His right hand in the heavenlies.” See also I Peter 1:21, 3:22; Ephesians 4:8-10; and I Timothy 3:16 (“He was taken up into glory”)

https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1116142239324

We are citizens of heaven who are not going to heaven, because heaven is coming here. Now we are a colony of heaven, with the law of Christ FROM heaven. To paraphrase George Steiner (My Unwritten Books, p 122): The Christian does well to keep a very loose relationship to any one place. If he is forced to resume his wondering, he will not regard this experience as a lamentable chastisement. It is also an opportunity. There is no society not worth exploring. And no nation not worth leaving if we need to. Exile means exodus, and new beginnings. Let us survive, if we survive, as guests among men. We will not kill them, but if they kill us, our hope is that the earth belongs to the Lord, and the Lord will resurrect us, even from death.

Updike, Self-consciousness, p 215—-Paul rejected the Gnostic idea that the resurrection had already taken place (II Tim 2:18) and in I Cor 15;14 rebuffed doubters within the early church—if Christ be not rise, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain, The church insisted no less firmly than modern materialism that the body is the person, and taught the resurrection of the dead.

Updike–If we picture the afterlife at all, it is heretically as the escape of something impalapable—the essential “I—from this corruptible flesh, occurring at the moment of death and not “at the last trump”. The thought of a long wait within the tomb afflicts us with claustrophobia and the fear of being lost forever. Where is our self during the long interval?. The winged heads on Puritan tombstones do not represent ascended angels but souls hovering in that abyss between death and resurrection. The idea that we sleep for centuries and centuries without a flicker of dream, while our bodies rot and turn to dust and the very stone marking out graves crumbles to nothing, is terrifying.

Updike–Every attempt to be specific about the afterlife, to conceive of it even the most general detail, appalls us. Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe. We cannot imagine a Second Coming that would not be cut down to size by the televised evening news.

If Spiritual Death Would Save, No Need for the Birth of the Baby Jesus

December 11, 2017

Hebrews 2: 14 Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death Jesus would destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the Devil— Jesus does not reach out to help any angels, but to help some of Abraham’s children . 17 Therefore, Jesus had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest to serve God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Mystery in the Bible is not something which has no explanation, Mystery in the Bible is information now revealed. What was not taught in the Abrahamic covenant about incarnation and imputation is now explained in the New Testament. John Owen–Believers were saved under the old covenants, but not by virtue of the old covenants. Sinners perished eternally under the old covenants, but by the curse of the original law to Adam. No man was ever saved but by virtue of the new covenant, and the mediation of Christ in that respect. http://andynaselli.com/carson-mystery-and-fulfillment

Peter Anders—The mystery of the incarnation is in the reality of the communication of attributes between the two distinct natures in the unity of the one person of Jesus. The trinitarian distinction is the conceptual key that opens the door for the understanding of God himself as freely relating to humanity in the incarnate person of Jesus. Jesus is the only mediator through which God and humanity meet in true solidarity. The more human we try to make God, the less we need the incarnation. But the more we acknowledge the radical otherness of God, through the affirmation of the divine impassibility, the more we will worship Jesus Christ who is the incarnation of God, God with us…

Smeaton, Atonement As Taught By Himself, p 78—The Son of God took sin upon Him, and bore it simultaneously with the taking of the flesh…Sin was borne by God, not alone in the sense of forbearance, but in such a sense that it was laid on the sin-bearer, to be expiated by the divine Son. Thus the Lamb of God appeared without inherent sin or taint of any kind, but never without the sin of others. The sin of man was not first imputed to Him or borne by Him when He hung on the cross, but in and with the assumption of man’s nature, or, more precisely, in and with His mission.

Smeaton–Because He bore sin, and was never seen without it, it may be affirmed that the mortality which was comprehended in the words, “Thou shalt surely die”—that is, all that was summed up in the wrath and curse of God,—was never really separated from Him. As the sin-bearer, He all through life discerned and felt the penal character of sin, the guilt, not personal, but as the surety could realize it, and the obligation to divine punishment for sins not His own, but made His own by an official action

The gospel teaches about and explains a glorious transfer, but that transfer is not a transfer of depravity. Christ was not imputed with the depravity of the elect, but with their guilt. Even though depravity is part of the punishment for imputed guilt, Christ was not imputed with depravity but with guilt. There are dangers to assuming that sin needs to be described as corruption instead of guilt, because our guilt is the cause of our inability and corruption. There is great error in describing “made sin” as the “spiritual death” of Christ. Christ did not become corrupt, and Christian do not become righteous by infusion or by imparting (one more extra nature ) but by God’s legal imputation. There is great danger in describing sovereign grace “salvation” as being born again. The elect become justified not by new birth but by means of Christ’s physical death—his blood poured out—his soul poured out.

Isaiah 53: Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[i and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he POURED OUT HIS SOUL UNTO DEATH
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Romans 8:3 What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh LIKE ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, 4 in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:3 teaches that it is God the Father who condemns sin in the flesh. While it was indeed in the flesh of his Son that God condemned sin but it was not only in his Son as incarnate, but in his Son as a sacrificial sin-offering.. God condemned sin by passing judgement on his Son.

Not all born in Adam stay in Adam
all chosen in Christ are born in Adam
not all born in Adam are chosen in Christ
some born in Adam stay in Adam
some born in Adam are justified in Christ

Romans 6 describes two legal states, one of which is “free from righteousness”. Christ’s death has not always been credited to elect sinners. Every elect sinner was once “free from righteousness”. God will not accept us into His presence based on something changed in us, not even something God has done in us. If we have not yet been legally justified by God, we are still “free from righteousness”. Romans 6 defines being in the “new man” (the new creation) in terms of God legally being placed into the death of Christ. Once God credits us Christ’s death, we sinners are justified before God.

Donald Macleod, Christ Crucified, IVP, 2014—Human nature after the cross remains as it was before the cross. If Christ healed our humanity by taking our humanity, then Christ was crucified by the very nature he had healed. According to some, Christcondemned sin by saying no to the flesh and living a life of perfect faith, worship and obedience. But this would mean that the condemnation of sin did not take place on the cross

Tobias Crisp—Had Christ not made a full satisfaction to the Father, Christ himself must have perished under those sins that Christ did bear; but in that Christ went through the thing, and paid the full price, as Christ carried those sins away from us, so Christ laid those sins down from himself. So that now Christ is freed from sin, and we are freed from sin in him. Christ was freed from sin imputed unto him and laid upon him, when Christ died. We were freed from sin as Christ takes our sins off from our shoulders, and has carried them away. “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden.” That is, with sin. And what follows? “AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.” As long as the guilt of sin is upon the shoulders, so long there is no rest. Therefore this doth necessarily import, that Christ must take away the power of the guilt of sin before the law, in order that we have rest. Christ Alone Exalted, Volume 1,

Tobias Crisp–Iniquity is laid on Christ, as well as the punishment of iniquity; “He was made sin for us.” Sin is a debt, Christ is a surety. The debt of sin, as Christ is a surety, is as really Christ’s, though not his own contracted, AS IF Christ had really contracted it himself– Sins his own by imputation; so legally and really Christ’s own, that God will not impute these sins imputed to Christ unto others ” 2 Corinthians 5:19. Christ Alone Exalted, Volume 2, page 20

Letham–Christ’s humanity was NOT entirely like ours. Christ does not identify with us to the extent of being himself a sinner. Christ has a peculiar distance from our own performance, does not follow our path, and always has an “estrangement from us”. Some Scholars oppose the idea that Christ took into union a nature like Adam’s before the fall. However, this is not the only alternative. Christ lived in a state of humiliation, sinless and righteous but with a nature bearing the consequences of the fall in its mortality, its vulnerability and its suffering—but not fallen. Furthermore, the NT witness is that the incarnation is a new creation, the start of the new humanity, not a reform of the old. Christ is the second Adam, not the first.

http://themelios.thegospelcoalition.org/review/the-incarnation-of-god-mystery-of-gospel-foundation-of-evangelical-theology

If Jesus died spiritually, then Jesus Needed to be Regenerated. But Jesus was not born in order to be regenerated. Jesus was born to die for the sins of the elect and be resurrected. Jesus did not become corrupt when Jesus was born. Jesus did not need to be born again after Jesus was born.

Jesus, like the Old Testament types, offered His BODY as a sacrifice: Who his own self bare our sins IN HIS OWN BODY on the tree. (I Pet. 2:24).

Being put to death IN THE FLESH, Jesus was quickened by the Spirit (I Peter 3:18).

Christ hath suffered for us IN THE FLESH. (I Peter. 4:1).

And you…has He reconciled IN THE BODY OF HIS FLESH through death (Colossians 1:21-22).

I am the living bread which came down from heaven…and the bread that I will give is MY FLESH, which I will give for the life of the world (John 6:51).

we are sanctified through the offering of the BODY OF JESUS once for all time (Hebrews 10:10).

“Destroy this temple, and in three day I will raise it up,” we are informed that”…he spake of the TEMPLE OF HIS BODY” (John 2:19-21).

“This is my BODY which is given for you” (Luke 22:19)

But many famous people continue to teach us that it’s really the “spiritual death” of Jesus which saves. Calvin was one of these people.

Calvin—Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgment, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death…Hence he descended to hell, seeing he endured the death which is inflicted on the wicked by an angry God. It is ridiculous to object that in this way the order is perverted, it being absurd that an event which preceded burial should be placed after it. But after explaining what Christ endured in the sight of man, the Creed appropriately adds the invisible and incomprehensible judgment which Christ endured before God, to teach us that not only was the body of Christ given up as the price of redemption, but that there was a greater and more excellent price—that he BORE IN HIS SOUL THE TORTURES of condemned and ruined man. (“Institutes of the Christian Religion.” Book 3:Chapter 16.)

Prosperity teacher Kenneth Hagen—Physical death would not save you from your sins. When Jesus tasted death for every man, that’s spiritual death.

Word of Faith teacher Kenneth Copeland: “Jesus did not pay for your sins on the cross. He paid for your sins in hell. His going to hell paid for your sins.” The idea is that Jesus must live in hell for a while in order to die “spiritual death” to pay for sins which were not paid for by His physical death on the cross.

John Piper– “My God, my God”, it is what takes place in THIS MOMENT that delivers us from hell. This agony, this scream, is what delivers all those who turn from their sin and trust On the cross, Jesus experienced hell for all of us. And because He did, Heaven awaits all those who turn from their sin and trust in Him. He screamed the ‘scream of the damned’ [i.e., “forsaken me”] for us. Listen, this scream should should have been my eternal scream.” Resolved Conference 2008. Session 11 – The Cry From the Cross. Min 46:35)

If Jesus completed the atonement by “spiritual death” before Jesus died, then why did Jesus die? If you deny that Jesus’ death atoned for sins, then your mistake is just as important, whether you relocate the atoning work to some period of suffering before the death of Jesus or to some period of Jesus living in torment after his death. Either way, you’re saying that the death of Christ did not atone for sin, and by inference that means that the conception, the birth, the incarnation of Jesus did not matter.

We can learn many things about the mystery reveled in the new covenant from the nature of the Old Testament sacrifices. The essential requirement for a sin-offering was that it had to be pure and sinless in order for God to accept it as a suitable substitute. The sin-offerings remained even in death MOST HOLY to God. Jesus knew no sin. Jesus became sin legally by imputation, but Jesus did not become unclean nor did Jesus commit any sins of His own. Teaching that Christ Himself became a sinner or needed to be born again is NOT teaching the fulfilling or satisfying of the law but instead it’s trying to bypass the law. It’s trying to ignore the law and calling that ignoring the law grace and atonement.

“If there were no distinction between the nature of corrupt man and original sin, it must follow that Christ either did not assume our nature, because He did not assume sin, or that, because He assumed our nature, He also assumed sin. Both of these ideas are contrary to the Scriptures. Inasmuch as the Son of God assumed our nature, and not original sin, it is clear from this fact that human nature, even since the Fall, and original sin, are not one and the same thing, but must be distinguished. (Lutheran Solid Declaration )

Erich Phillips explains the heresy in Christology which teaches Christ himself was as sinner. ,—Paulson interprets the communicatio idiomatum not as God the Son sharing in human nature, but sharing in human sin (92). He interprets the Patristic dictum, “What was not assumed cannot be healed,” in the same willfully twisted way: “what Christ assumes from sinners is their sin” (103). As if I wanted my sin to be healed! No, I want to be healed of my sin! That is what the dictum actually means. How could Christ make a fitting sacrifice of Himself, if taking Human Nature meant taking Original Sin? Paulson’s result is nothing short of appalling. How did Jesus save us? By breaking the Law Himself: Christ goes deeper yet into flesh to take our sin and acknowledged sins as his own, that is, he confessed them. This is like a man whose son has committed a crime, and out of selfless love the father steps in to take the punishment, but then goes so far that he irrationally comes to confess this crime so vehemently that he believes he has committed it—and as Luther famously said, “as you believe, so it is.” …

Paulson teaches that Christ came to believe that his Father was not pleased with him, thus multiplying sin in himself just like any other sinner who does not trust a promise from God. …Then finally in the words on the cross, “My God, my God…” Paulson teaches that Christ made the public confession of a sinner, “why have you forsaken me?” Confessing made it so, and thus Paulson teaches that Christ committed his own, personal sin Paulson—-Christ felt God’s wrath and took that experience as something truer than God’s own word of promise to him (“This is My Son, with whom I am well pleased”). Christ committed his own, personal sin.”(104) That’s exactly how Paulson defines Original Sin in another part of the book: “It is to receive a word from God in the form of a promise, and then to accuse God of withholding something of himself—calling God a liar” (152). (Paulson defines sin as against grace, not as sin against law.)

Erick Phillips asks–And how is this supposed to work salvation for sinners, that the spotless Lamb should join them in the mud? Paulson argues that by identifying so deeply with human beings as to take their sin and actually experience the act of sin, that Christ confessed not just that He was a sinner, but that He was every sinner, the only sinner. The result of this confession, for some reason, was that “once the Law accused Christ, it looked around and found no other sin anywhere in the world and suddenly, unexpectedly, when Christ was crucified, its proper work came to a halt” (110). It is not clear at all by what principle this works. It seems a bizarre and inadequate theory to prefer to the Substitutionary Atonement, but this is what Paulson means when he says that Christ “fulfilled the law

http://pseudepigraph.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Paulson-Review-E.-Phillips.pdf

Romans 16: 25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long AGES 26 but has NOW been disclosed

I Corinthians 15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, THEN shall come to pass the saying that is written:

Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O grave, where is your victory?
O Hades, where is your sting
56 Now the sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.

Christ’s becoming incarnate (still to this day) did not mean becoming corrupt or unbelieving or sinful. Christ’s becoming incarnate was for the purpose of the imputation of the sins of the elect to Christ and then Christ’s one time historical death as satisfaction for those sins. Us becoming justified before God does not mean our becoming regenerate members of Christ’s body. The elect becoming justified means becoming legally dead to the power of the law in terms of the power of guilt

Donald Macleod–We may say that Christ died as our representative, our surety and our substitute, but the only fact that can explain the substitution itself is that we and He were federally one. The Father gave us to Him; He (voluntarily and willingly) accepted us; and He kept us and saved us. In the mystery of eternal communion with the Father and the Spirit the Son took full responsibility for the sins of His/Their people; undertook to answer for them and to do all that their remission required.
The whole point of the sacrifice of Christ is to lay a foundation for the intercession. This means that the primary movement of the atonement must be God-ward. If Christ’s intercession is God-ward (1 John 2:1) then the hilasmos on which it is based must be God-ward as well. This is fatal to all subjective theories of the atonement. The Intercessor seeks God (in accordance, of course, with the Father’s own eternal predisposition) to forgive the sins of which His people stand accused; to provide for their needs; and to receive their praise.

None of this is compatible with the idea of an intercession or atonement of which the purpose is to change us; or, more precisely, to change our views of the divine character.The Liberal argument is fatal to its own cause. If God is prepared to forgive us only on condition that we change our minds about His character, what kind of God is God? What kind of Judge is God: one whose final verdict and sentence depend on what the accused think of God?

The orthodox doctrine was moral at its very core: forgiveness must be grounded in equity, and equity is secured by the vicarious death of Christ. But if the structures of the moral universe presented no impediment to remission – if it was simply a matter of the divine sovereign will – then it was unspeakably churlish of the Almighty to require any kind of atonement: particularly an atonement which had as its object changing men’s minds about Himself.

Reduced to its basic point , the Abelardian view amounts to `Love me: or else!’

The incarnation and Death of Christ was an outrage! Why did the wrath of God abide on the Sinless One? on God’s only Son? How could God’s wrath result in death elsewhere than where God’s wrath is deserved?

`If God the Son could or needed to turn the mind of the Father, then God is not of one mind, and neither are the Son and the Father one.’ The atoning death is the result of God’s love, not the cause of God’s love.

Remission of sins is the removal of guilt, criminality and blameworthiness—-`a position and relation towards God in which His wrath would be undue, unrighteous, impossible.’ This is the position of the justified sinner. Because of the sacrifice of Christ, the justified sinner is not merely `let off’. In Christ, the moral universe has no more right to strike the justified sinner down that it has to topple the Almighty from His throne.

The Moral Influence Theory (that Christ died to impress upon us a sense of the divine love) and the Rectoral Theory (that Christ died to cause us to experience a sense of divine justice) are, both of them, false as explanations of the way that the death of Christ actually atones. The death of Christ atones by its God-ward effect.

http://www.donaldmacleod.org/?p=166

Your believing will not Cause you to be Born Again

July 1, 2017

John 3:18 The one who believes not is condemned ALREADY

John 3:36 The one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God REMAINS on them

Not all sins, not all sin, was laid on the Savior
But every sin which was laid on Christ has been paid for by Christ’s death
No sin is paid for by our believing

The believer who points to their believing and says that this believing made peace
is not yet believing the true gospel.
Different believers believe different gospels

Even if you don’t think your believing is the righteousness,
if you believe that Christ’s righteousness was for everybody
then you certainly don’t think it’s Christ’s righteousness which saves those who are save

I Peter 2:24 who his own self bore OUR sins in his body on the tree
I Corinthians 15 Christ died FOR OUR SINS according to the Scripture

The gospel is not about how God COULD save somebody
The gospel is about how God WILL save all for whom Christ died
The gospel is not about sinners already being saved before they believe
The gospel is not about sinners being saved without knowing or believing.

The gospel is about Christ having been imputed with all the sins of those God loves
The gospel is about Christ’s death one time taking away God’s wrath for those sins
The gospel is about God imputing Christ’s death to the elect and giving them faith in that death as the righteousness which will give every blessing of salvation

II Peter 1:1 Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ:To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Christ’s blood means Christ’s death
Christ’s righteousness means Christ’s death
satisfies God’s wrath against sins

God does not buy God’s love for His people
God’s love for God’s people is the reason God buys His people
Christ’s righteousness pays for God’s people

Romans 5:8 But God proves His own love for US in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! 9 Much more then, since we have NOW been declared righteous by His blood, we WILL BE SAVED through Christ from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the DEATH of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, WILL WE BE SAVED by His resurrection

Ephesians 1:7 in Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to His grace

All for whose sins Christ died were first objects of God’s love
God’s elect are not loved because they believe
God’s elect believe the gospel only because of God’s grace

Those who believe the gospel are free from condemnation
passed from death to life
but NOT because they believe and NOT because God always saw that they would believe
believing the gospel is a gift of grace purchased by Christ’s death

Romans 8: If God is for us, who is against us?
32 God did not even hold back His own Son
but handed Him over for US all;
how will God not also ( along with His Son) GIVE us everything else?
33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
God is the One who justifies.
34 Who is the one who condemns?
Christ Jesus is the One who died,
but even more, has been raised;
Christ Jesus also is at the right hand of God
and intercedes for us.

All for whom Christ died will in time believe the gospel
the gospel is not that Christ died for all sins and all sinners
you can’t know if Christ died for you until after you believe the gospel

But how can you believe if you don’t know first if Christ died for you?
The gospel is not that Christ died for you
Christ died for the specific sins of the elect as propitiation for those sins

Those who believe the gospel are those for whom Christ died
NOTHING IN THE BIBLE SAYS THAT CHRIST DIED FOR ANYBODY WHO NEVER BELIEVES THE GOSPEL

Hebrews 9:12 Christ entered once into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED PERMANENT REDEMPTION for US

But how can you believe if you don’t know if God will give you believing?

how can you take a breath without knowing if God will give you another breath?

Why would you not want to breathe?

why would you insist on knowing that Jesus died for you before you would believe?

Would you like it better if Jesus died for everybody even though not everybody will be saved from God’s wrath?

Would you like it better if at least your believing was not a gift God gives also along with the death of Jesus?

Would you like it better if it was not the death of Jesus that made the difference but instead your believing?

would you like it better if God loved those who will perish under God’s wrath just as much as God loved those who God will save?

Would God be more righteous to you if Christ’s death was not enough to turn sinners into those who believe what God says about Christ’s death?

would God be more righteous to you if God did not care what you believe about believing making the difference?

Does Christ’s righteousness depend on what you do with that righteousness?

II Corinthians 5: 17 If anyone is in Christ, there is new creation. Old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us to serve the reconciliation: 19 In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against THEM , and God has committed the message of reconciliation to US. 20 Therefore, WE are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through US. WE plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”

The Holy Spirit Does NOT Baptize Us Into Christ

December 2, 2016

In Romans 6, Paul describes being baptized into Christ, with no mention of the Holy Spirit in the chapter. Romans 6:7 gives as its answer to antinomianism not a new enablement by the Holy Spirit which allows us not to sin (so much) Romans 6:7 is about being justified from the power of guilt because of legal identity in Christ’s death is about the indicative of being united to Christ in His death.

All the New Testament texts teach that Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit, and none of the texts teach that the Spirit is the agent who places the elect into Christ. Should the texts be understood (even if they don’t say) that “John baptizes with water, but Jesus baptizes with both water and the Spirit, and (also) the Holy Spirit is the one who baptizes when Jesus baptizes? So when Jesus baptizes with the Spirit, it’s really the oppoiste of that, so that the Holy Spirit who baptizes with Christ?

I agree that it is not possible to receive Christ without receiving His Holy Spirit, but that in no way proves that the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ. We should not assume that the “reality” of regeneration by the Spirit has priority over God’s legal imputation with Christ’s death and justification. “We have have been baptized into Christ” is NOT about the water ritual. The baptism on view in I Peter 3 and Colossians 2 and Romans 6 Is NOT ‘an outward sign of an inward change…. Water does not fulfill the type of physical circumcision…

One, I am not giving “the baptist view” Most baptists I know are as likely to assume that “baptism” means also water as any paedobaptist. (See for example, though I like Robert Haldane’s commentary, his remarks on Romans 6.)

Two, I believe in Holy Spirit baptism, but Holy Spirit baptism does NOT mean that the Spirit “baptizes into” Christ, at least not so far as any Bible text teaches. I Cor 12:13 correctly translated reads –”in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” The text does not say “by the Spirit” or teach that the Holy Spirit is the baptizer. The I Cor 12:13 agrees with the other six Spirit baptism texts in teaching that Christ is the agent who gives the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not give Christ, and the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in Romans 6. Yes, even many baptists assume that the Holy Spirit is the agent in Romans 6, but they also wrongly agree with many paedobaptists who assume that any text with the word “baptism” must have reference to the work of the Spirit and read that idea into Romans 6 and Colossians 2 and I Peter 3.

Do you assume that there’s water somewhere (at least implied) in Romans 6 and in Colossians 2 and I peter 3? There is no text anywhere that talks about “baptism by the Spirit”, and these three specific texts a) don’t refer to water but instead to something that actually saves and b. don’t refer to the Spirit or to the new birth. All three texts are about legal identity with Christ’s death. They don’t use the word “imputation”, but their legal context has nothing about the Holy Spirit or regeneration (or water)

I never teach that Romans 6 or Colossians 2 or I Peter 3 are about the Holy Spirit,. I teach that the three texts are NOT about water. If not water, then what? Not water, but the Father’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect. I agree that other “baptism” texts ARE about water, and about some texts, I might still be agnostic. We could go from “John the Baptist with water, but Jesus with the Spirit to the Great Commission. But in the meanwhile, we need to stop assuming “water” or “water as a reference to the Spirit”. That paradigm does not fit all the biblical evidence.

Since I deny that the new birth comes before God’s imputation of Christ’s death and say that it’s Christ’s death imputed which results in having Christ and life, am I also begging the question about what “union” means? I hope not. Christ, who was far off, is brought near by the news of the gospel (Romans 10:8), and united to the elect when God credits them with His righteousness (which is the value and merit of Christ’s death) and effectually calls them . The elect don’t first get Christ and then get His righteousness . The elect cannot first “put on Christ”, and only after that get “baptized into His death” Being placed into Christ’s death is in order to being in Christ and then having Christ in us. Being baptized into Christ in Romans 6 (which is NOT regeneration by the Spirit, which is NOT baptism by the Spirit) is another way to talk about God’s imputation. And this means that Christ baptizing the elect with or into the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13) is not first, but the result of legal union with Christ.

Berkhof—-“It is sometimes said that the merits of Christ cannot be imputed to us as long as we are not in Christ, since it is only on the basis of our oneness with Him that such an imputation could be reasonable. But this view fails to distinguish between our legal unity with Christ and our spiritual oneness with Him, and is a falsification of the fundamental element in the doctrine of redemption, namely, of the doctrine of justification. Justification is always a declaration of God, not on the basis of an existing (or future) condition, but on that of a gracious imputation–a declaration which is not in harmony with the existing condition of the sinner. The judicial ground for all the grace which we receive lies in the fact that the righteousness of Christ is freely imputed to us.”

Cal Beisner— “First, the term baptism did not mean, primarily, a ritual application of water. Second, commentators argue in two ways that in Romans 6 baptism does not denote the rite: (a) consistent application of that sense in the immediate context (verses 1-10) would yield the conclusion (contrary to other passages of Scripture) that all, without exception, who undergo the rite are regenerate, converted, justified, sanctified, and finally glorified, and (b) Paul himself, who certainly views circumcision and baptism as type and antitype (Colossians 2:11-12), had already written in the same epistle that it was not the rite of circumcision but the spiritual reality designated by it….
p 324 http://www.ecalvinbeisner.com/freearticles/AATConclusion.pdf

Paul Helm—Is not the granting of Christ’s gifts also a work of Christ? Is this giving not something that Christ does? Giving us gifts is not atonement, Giving us gifts is the result of atonement. But in giving justification Christ is at work.
Bavinck: Christ took on himself the task of really and fully saving his people. Christ will not abdicate as mediator before Christ has presented his elect– without spot or wrinkle – to the Father. The application of salvation is not less an essential constituent of redemption than Christ’s acquisition of salvation‘Take away its application and redemption is not redemption’. Christ continues his prophetic, priestly and royal activity. The application of salvation is Christ work. By an irresistible grace Christ gives himself and his benefits to his own. (Reformed Dogmatics, 3-523)

Docetism Says that Jesus was Not Really Human and Did Not Really Die

October 6, 2016

When Jesus was a baby, He didn’t sleep all that well at the beginning. The baby Jesus kept waking up his mom

Jesus was tortured to death, but Jesus is not still being tortured, and Jesus was not tortured for three days after He died.

Jesus had told his disciples that He would not be asking the Father to save him “from this hour,” because it was “for this reason” that he had “come to this hour” (John 12:27). What Jesus did ask was that the Father glorify his name, and the Father answered: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again,”

Jesus told them that this voice had spoken for their sake because the time had come for “the judgment of this world, “when the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when Jesus was “lifted up from the earth,” he would “draw all people to himself. That was his way of indicating the kind of death he would die In the garden of Gethsemane, Peter drew his sword in an effort to protect Jesus from arrest, but Jesus told him: “Put your sword back into its sheath,” because Jesus willed: “to drink the cup that the Father has given me” (

Calvin said that the physical death of Jesus would not save anybody, Calvin said it was God’s torture of Jesus that saved but Calvin also said that the torture was before Jesus died

Calvin: “If Christ had died only a bodily death ,it would have been ineffectual. No—it was expedient at the same time for him to undergo the severity of God’s vengeance, to appease his wrath and satisfy his just judgment.” 2.16.10.

Calvin–“Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgment, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death. … … Hence there is nothing strange in its being said that he descended to hell, seeing he endured the death which is inflicted on the wicked by an angry God. It is frivolous and ridiculous to object that in this way the order is perverted, it being absurd that an event which preceded burial should be placed after it. But after explaining what Christ endured in the sight of man, the Creed appropriately adds the invisible and incomprehensible judgment which he endured before God, to teach us that not only was the body of Christ given up as the price of redemption, but that there was a greater and more excellent price—that he bore in his soul the tortures of condemned and ruined man. ”

Calvin argued, that In ADDITION TO his physical suffering, Christ endured an “invisible and incomprehensible judgment” and paid “a greater and more excellent price in suffering in his soul the terrible moments of a condemned and forsaken man.” 2.16.10.

Calvin does not deny the physical death of Christ but Calvin assumes that Christ went straight to heaven, and Calvin adds something else to the human physical death of Christ. Some today teach that there would be “no hope without” vicarious law-keeping imputed ADDED TO Christ’s human physical death. Calvin taught that it was the pre-death sufferings of Christ which really made the propitiation, and NOT the human physical death.

What happens to the “Calvinist extra” (deity not united to humanity) if Christ’s deity is present in two places, not only with His dead body but also with his “human spirit in heaven”? Why object to Lutheran ideas about the ubiquity of the humanity (by communication of attributes with the deity) once you have agreed to humanity present with deity in two places?

F F Bruce–One symptom of the docetic tendency appears in the description of our Lord’s manhood as ‘heavenly humanity’…Writing in 1901, W. B. Neatby said, ‘A year or two ago I heard an address from a Brother of the Open Section, who actually taught that Christ did not die from crucifixion, but by a mere miraculous act. Or C. F. Hogg’s pamphlet, The Traditions and the Deposit: ‘What He did not know, He knew that He did not know’

http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/ffb/humanity_bruce.pdf

Smeaton, Atonement As Taught By Himself, p 78—The Son of God took sin upon Him, and bore it simultaneously with the taking of the flesh, nay, in a sense even prior to the actual fact of the incarnation. The peculiar character of the Lord’s humanity, which was, on the one hand, pure and holy, and yet, on the other, a curse-bearing humanity, plainly shows that in some sense He was the sin-bearer from the moment of His sending, and, therefore, even prior to His actual incarnation.

Smeaton–And when it is said that God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, we have the very same thing…Sin was borne by God, not alone in the sense of forbearance, but in such a sense that it was laid on the sin-bearer, to be expiated by the divine Son. Thus the Lamb of God appeared without inherent sin or taint of any kind, but never without the sin of others. The sin of man was not firsti mputed to Him or borne by Him when He hung on the cross, but in and with the assumption of man’s nature.

Smeaton—The very form of a servant, and His putting on the likeness of sinful flesh, was an argument that sin was already transferred to Him and borne by Him; and not a single moment of the Lord’s earthly life can be conceived of in which He did not feel the harden of the divine wrath which must otherwise have pressed on us for ever.
Because He bore sin, and was never seen without it, it may be affirmed that the MORTALITY which was comprehended in the words, “Thou shalt surely die”—that is, all that was summed up in the wrath and curse of God,—was never really separated from Him.

Smeaton–As the sin-bearer, He all through life discerned and felt the penal character of sin, the sense of guilt, not personal, but as the surety could realize it, and the obligation to divine punishment for sins not His own, but made His own by an official action; and they who evacuate of their true significance these deep words, bears the sins” allowing Christ to have no connection with sin, and only dwelling on His purity and spotless innocence as our example—they who will not have Him as a sin-bearer—are the most sacrilegious.

There are dangers to describing sin as corruption instead of guilt, because guilt is cause of inability. There is great error in describing “made sin” as the “spiritual death” of Christ. Christ did not become corrupt, and Christian do not become righteous by infusion or by imparting (one more extra nature ) but by God’s legal imputation. …..

If Christ died spiritually, then Christ Needed to be Regenerated

Glenn Peoples—many reject the view that Jesus atoned for sin by suffering in hell after death . The problem, however, is that they still assume that the punishment for sin is suffering the wrath of God in the form of torment, and so the solution, whatever it is, is assumed to be that Jesus suffers that torment somewhere, either on the cross or in hell – and since it wasn’t in hell it was on the cross.

Smeaton—We Died When He Died—Don’t Reduce Substitution Into Participation

May 1, 2016

Smeaton, The Apostles Doctrine of the Atonement : To understand what is meant by dying with Christ, we need to see the connection between the previous chapter and Romans 6. In Romans 5:12-19 Paul described our standing in Christ, and then he added “where sin abounded, grace much more abounded.” Anticipating the objection that would be made to such a view of God’s grace, Paul says, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” and then he rejects that thought with total abhorrence of the idea.

But not content with his mere “God forbid” rejection of the thought, he then goes on to prove that this type of perversion of grace could not logically follow for a reason which touches the deep elements of God’s moral government, and makes it totally impossible. Paul argues from a fact-the great objective change of relation that comes from dying with Christ.

We need to ask, then, what Paul means by these expressions that he uses, on which he makes his point so strongly (verse 12): “dying with Christ”, “dying to sin”, “buried with Christ”, “crucified with Christ”. One particular verse of Scripture will give us a key to the meaning of the above phrases: For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 2 Corinthians 5:14

In this passage, Paul uses two expressions interchangeably; that is, “He died for all”, and “all died in Him.” He is describing the same thing from two different points of view. The first of these expressions describes the vicarious death of Christ as an objective fact. The second phrase speaks of the same great transaction, in terms that indicate that we too have done it. So then, we may either say, “Christ died for us”, or “we died in Him.” Both are true. We can equally affirm that He was crucified for us, or we were co-crucified with Him.

We are not referring here to two acts-one on Christ’s side and another on ours. Rather,we have but one public representative, corporate act performed by the Son of God, in which we share as truly as if we had accomplished the atonement ourselves.
It is a mistake to not carry Romans 5 into Romans 6. If we carry the thought of the representative character of the two Adams from the one chapter into the other, then the difficulty vanishes.

All men sinned in the first man’s act of sin; for that public act was representative, and all Adam’s offspring were included in it. From God’s perspective, there have been but two men in the world, with the two families of which they are the heads; there have been just two public representatives. The idea of Christ being our Surety and the representation of His atonement as the act of “one for many”, run through this entire section of Romans. But the passage we are studying (Romans 6:1-8) contains one difference as compared with other passages, and that is that here we are described as doing what our representative did.

Let us notice the expressions used in Romans 6:1-8: It is said that “we died to sin (verse 2). As this phrase is misunderstood quite requently, we must discover what it really means. It frequently occurs in the writings of Paul in different forms, and it always alludes, not to an inward deliverance from sin, but to the Christian’s objective relation. It means that we are legally dead to sin in Jesus Christ.

This is made very clear by two other expressions occurring in the section. The first of these passages applies the same language to the Lord Himself; for He is said to have died to sin once (verse 10). Now the only sense in which the Sinless One can be regarded as dying to sin, is that of dying to its guilt, or to the condemning power which goes along with sin, and which must run its course wherever sin has been committed. He died to the guilt or criminality of sin when it was laid on Him. He certainly did not die to sins indwelling power.

The second of these phrases shows that this dying was the meritorious cause of our justification. “He that is dead has been justified from sin” (verse 7). The justification of the Christian is thus based on his co-dying with Christ; that is, we are said to have died when Christ died, and to have done what Christ did. The words undoubtedly mean a co-dying with Christ in that one corporate representative deed; that is, they mean that we were one with Christ in His obedience unto death, just like we were one with Adam in his disobedience.

Christ’s death to sin belongs to us, and is as much ours as if we had born the penalty ourselves. And the justification by which we are forgiven and accepted has no other foundation. It is noteworthy that Romans 5 describes all this in the third person, whereas Romans 6 describes it in the first person, and from our own share in it.

Paul also says in this section that our old man is crucified, or co-crucified with Him. The entire section of which this is a part is to be regarded not as an exhortation, but as the simple statement of fact; this passage does not set forth anything done by us, but something done on our account, or for our sake, by a Surety, in whose performance we participate.

It might be asked, “can’t we understand that these statements designate two separate actions, one done by Christ, and a similar or parallel one by us?” NO. The acts are not two, but one, described from two different points of view. There is not one crucifixion on the part of Christ, and a second, parallel and similar but different, crucifixion on the part of His people. There is but one corporate act—the act of “one for many.”

But what is the old man that is said to be co-crucified with the Lord? Does not this refer to our inward corruption? NO it does not. Such an explanation is untenable, as it would make the expression synonymous with the next clause which is not only bad theology but also inept reasoning. Instead, the first clause is made the condition of the second.

The old man is crucified in order that the body of sin (sin within us, or the flesh) be destroyed. Now there must be a difference between the two clauses, as the former is in order to attain the latter. The old man said to be crucified with Christ, is therefore our standing “in Adam”, which is terminated so that we have a new relationship to God in the crucified Surety.

To summarize, Romans 6:1-5 says we have been crucified with Christ, which tells us that our standing has changed from being “in Adam” (with its curse and condemnation) to being “in Christ” (with all of its blessings and benefits). The first five verses of Romans 6 are statements of fact, then verse 6 is an exhortation, so a one-sentence summary is, “because we were crucified with Christ, we should no longer be slaves of sin.”

But to bring even more clarity to the mind of his readers Paul says we were baptized into His death (verse 3). Christ is presented to us as laden with sin, and satisfying divine justice; and baptism, as a symbolical representation, shows our connection with Him, or rather our participation in that great corporate act which Jesus did on the cross, in the place of all His people.

We are seen as having done what He did, and to have done what He did, and to have undergone what He underwent, to satisfy divine justice. The symbol of baptism teaches this, and Paul tells us the fact that it was a baptism into His death, an emblem of oneness with Christ, or fellowship with Him in His death to sin (verse 10).

The death was the price of the life. The one was the cause, the other was the unfailing reward or consequence. The apostle declares that not only was the death of Christ a substitution in our place, but that the consequences of it being a substitution are that we may be said to have done what He did. And, because of our oneness with Him, we are discharged from sin as a master.

The Glory of the Atonement