“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him:” —Romans 6:8
Romans 6:8 presents the reality of faith, which is a faith that is alive unto Christ; and that reality is explained further in vv9-10 (take note of the colon behind v8).
“Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him” (Romans 6:9). The word “knowing” in this verse is a different Greek word from “knowing” found in Romans 6:6. This word means “to see,” but it is often used to express perceiving and understanding. It is not merely a knowledge of the truth, but rather an awakened reality of the truth so that application can be made in a person’s life, as well as an increasing awareness of its implications as it relates to other corresponding Biblical truth; and here specifically, the truth of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Since Christ has risen, He is alive forevermore. He will never die again. Jesus Christ is neither within death’s reach nor subject to death’s reign. Why? It is because the sufficiency, the magnitude, and the supremacy of His glorious and righteous death was complete when Christ uttered in His perfect humanity as the Son of God, “Father, into Thy hands, I commend My Spirit” (Luke 23:46); and it is also seen through its majesty in divine justice as being satisfied when Christ proclaimed in infinite deity as the incarnate and almighty God, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). The next verse tells us so…
“For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God” (Romans 6:10). Because of the sufficiency and power in the substitutionary, atoning death of Christ, He does not have to die again, and again. Furthermore, this statement implies that nothing need be added to what Christ has done for justification by God’s grace to be declared. Therefore, salvation is completely and totally by God’s grace. He was raised forevermore, and “He liveth unto God.” The NASB renders it in this way: “He lives to God.” That means, as He is risen and ascended, because of imputed righteousness, the Righteous One stands before a holy God representing you and me as believers. He is our Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) until that day when we see Him as He is, face to face with our Savior.
Moreover, for those who have not yet been regenerated, though they are elect in eternity, they have not believed and repented unto faith in Christ. They have not yet been justified in the time that has been appointed between life and death. Because Christ lives and has not yet returned, the Lord Jesus Christ is alive before God, interceding on behalf of every salvation as the scripture says, “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
Is that your case today? Have you been pulled by grace, drawn by the Father to the Son, to desire Him in newness of life. It is no shame to say, “I thought I was a Christian, but now I know that it was not a supernatural work of God by the truth of His Word through the Spirit’s power that flows from Calvary’s cross.” There’s no shame in that. In fact, there is rejoicing in heaven before the angels of God over one sinner that comes to repentance. The shameful thing is to let this moment pass you without responding to the prick upon your heart. Turn unto Jesus and be ye saved. Though the Covenant of Redemption is an eternal truth, Jesus Christ as “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8), and though your name is written in heaven, there is no salvation apart from surrender to Him and identification with Him. Though salvation is completely and entirely by the grace of God, if there is no response of the soul to the truth, then salvation has not taken place because there has been no regeneration. If you do not have union with Christ, as mentioned previously, a work of God has not been done. Call unto Him and be saved.
Yet, where does that leave you, believer? Let’s close these thoughts with this exhortation found in the very next verse.
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). Have you imputed, counted, reckoned sin to be dead in your life? The power of the truth of justification by grace is what makes us truly alive unto God; and being alive unto God makes His declaration of imputed righteousness ring in our spiritual ears, resound in our awakened souls, and breaks forth in rejoicing in our regenerated hearts. When we are made free by the truth, no longer enslaved to sin, by its passions and lusts, temptations can be cast aside because of the love, grace and truth manifested at the cross of Christ. Will we always flee the sinful flesh and its lust and affections? No, but it is also at the truth of the cross of Christ that we find mercy, forgiveness, and comfort to bring us to repentance, revival, and reconciliation by the power of His resurrection. Remember, union with Christ in this NEWNESS OF LIFE means growth, maturity, and hope until that day in ultimate resurrection glory. Get to the Cross. Cling to the Cross. Keep at the Cross.
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Read the previous article in this series, “Reality That Makes Free” (Romans 6:7).