“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” —Romans 6:5-7
Our last article mentioned three very basic practical truths from this scripture portion: first, union with Christ that rests in hope (v5); second, knowledge of truth that moves with power (v6); and finally, the reality of the cross that makes free (v7). As we only examined verse 5, let us turn our attention to verse.
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6). The power of God, by His Spirit, comes by His truth. Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). Jesus Christ is truth.
The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). Interestingly, you can speak the truth without power. You can believe the truth without power. It happens all the time (and we won’t get into the scriptures for that topic today). Yet, the power of God does not work apart from His truth; and knowledge of the truth that the old man, the old self, is crucified with Christ as a certain reality carries with it the power to no longer serve sin. In other words, the truth has set us free so that we are no longer slaves to sin. The truth of God’s Word has that kind of glorious power! How is this power applied? Why, by faith of course.
It is like the man in the synagogue with the withered hand (Mark 3:1-5). When the Lord Jesus commanded the man, “Stretch forth thine hand” (Mark 3:5), believing by faith upon the Lord’s words, he was empowered to do just that. How is this faith secured? Why, it is a grace that is given every believer when he is saved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ; as it is written in Ephesians 2:8-9,
“For by grace are ye saved by through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Further, the word “knowing” in Greek, although it most certainly means the knowledge of facts (Romans 6:6), because of the saints union with Christ, the meaning also seems to convey an understanding and intimacy of that truth. It would be something akin to the Biblical intimacy found between husband and wife, as in Matthew 1:25, which says that, Joseph “knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called His name JESUS.” This word “knew” in Matthew 1:25 is the same Greek root as translated “knowing” in Romans 6:6.
So why is that intimate knowledge of the truth so important in our lives? We will take a look at that in our next lesson as we examine Romans 6:7.
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Read the previous article in this series, “Union that Rests in Hope” (Romans 6:5).