United With Christ
UNITED WITH CHRIST
“The Believer’s Relationship to Sin”
"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 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. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. “(Romans 6:1-14NASB95)
For the past couple of weeks we have been studying the Scriptures trying to gain a better understanding of who we are in Christ.
Why are we doing this? We are doing this because until we know who we are we can’t become who we are. We all live out of some identity. In other words how I see myself will determine the way that I live my life.
For instance if you have been victimized in your past chances are good that you see yourself as a victim and you will live your life with a victim’s mentality.
A Christian has a unique identity that should determine the way that they live. Your identity as a Christian should shape and influence every part of your life. Unfortunately many, many Christians do not know who they really are. Therefore their Christianity is not the dominating influence in their lives, they see their faith as important, but it is simply another part of their lives. They see themselves primarily as a victim who is a Christian along with being a parent and a wife or some other responsibilities they have. In other words something other than their relationship with Christ shapes and influences them.
Let me put it plainly. If you claim to be a Christian that identity should be the dominating factor in your life.
What we are talking about is the believers union with Christ. This is why Paul so frequently refers to salvation and being a believer as being “in Christ”. To be in “in Christ” means that we have become “new creatures”. In God’s sight we have undergone the ultimate extreme makeover! How extensive is this makeover? Paul goes on to say that the old things have passed away. All the things associated with your past sinful lifestyle – your sin, your guilt – the impending judgment all of that has been done away. Your old nature has been dealt with. Paul says in Romans six that our old self – which means the old me was crucified and buried and you have been raised with Christ to walk in “newness of life”. What does he say in 2 Cor. 5:17
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17NASB95)
Paul says in Romans six that in our resurrection with Christ we have been raised to walk in “newness of life”. That is a phrase worthy of our contemplation and reflection. What does it mean to walk in “newness of life”? It means that our union with Christ makes everything about our lives new, it is a different kind of life. Newness of life means that I am spiritually alive whereas before I was spiritually dead. Newness of life gives meaning, direction and purpose to my life. Newness of life gives meaning, direction and purpose to my life. Newness of life means I now have access to all the resources of my Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ! This newness of life with all of its benefits flows from my union with Christ.
What are the implications of our union with Christ?
1. Our union with Christ means that “what happened to him is valid for us in him.” That means that we share in the accomplishments of Christ (such as he passive and his active obedience) and we share in the promise of Christ! One commentator writes “There is a union between Christ and Christians so that what happened to Christ is counted by God as happening to us.
2. We are new creatures – 2 Cor. 5:17
3. We have Christ living in us – Galatians 2;20
4. We have been raised to walk in newness of life – Romans 6
Another way of looking at this truth is to think in terms of relationship. Union with Christ means that you have a new relationship with Christ. That relationship with Christ changes your relationship to everything else in your life.
One of the relationships that undergoes a significant change is your relationship to sin! Remember you can’t become who you are until you know who you are!
God saved you to change you! One of God’s goals in our salvation is to make us like Christ.
"For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;” (Romans 8:29NASB95)