Romans 6:5-7

In Romans 6:5-7 Paul begins to paint a picture of what the transition to eternal life will look like for those who believe. Paul’s words around being ‘united’ expresses a close union. The phrase “exactly expresses the process by which a graft becomes united with the life of a tree… The union is of the closest sort, and life from Christ flows through to him” (Morris). This fits in with Jesus’ picture of abiding from John 15. “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” his close union is both in His death and in His resurrection. God has both experiences for us.

Our participation in the death of Jesus makes our participation in His resurrection certain. We must be careful not to focus completely on the crucified life and miss the connection to the bigger picture of the resurrection. Paul reminds us that our old self was crucified with Christ. “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” The old man is the self that is patterned after Adam, the part of us that is continually in rebellion against God and His commands. It is the root of our sin problem – that we are incapable of living a life of holiness because of our sin nature.

The system of the law is unable to deal with the old man, because it can only tell the old man what the righteous standard of God is. That system condemns us, but does not help us overcome that condemnation and become a new man. The law tries to reform the old man, to get him to “turn over a new leaf.” Yet it comes up short because of who we are as humans unable to live up to God’s standards. But God’s plan for grace understands that the old man can never be reformed. He must be put to death, and for the believer the old man dies with Jesus on the cross. That’s the only way our sin problem is addressed and corrected – through the shed blood of the Savior.

In place of the old man, God makes the believer a new man – a self that is instinctively obedient and pleasing to God; this aspect of our person is that which was raised with Christ in His resurrection. Jesus makes us a new man. It is through His death that we will be set free from sin. God uses our death to the old man, the sin nature, to liberate us from sin. A dead man can no longer have authority over us. “For one who has died has been set free from sin.” Our slavery to sin can only be broken by death. Jesus made that sacrifice. He went to the cross to gain victory over sin through death and has set us free forever. That’s our only way to eternal life. That’s the only way we will experience God for eternity!

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.

    Reply

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