Crucified, buried, resurrected, ascended, and seated with Christ
- [Rom 6:6 NAS] Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.
- [Rom 6:7 NAS] For he who died is freed from sin.
- [Gal 2:20a NAS] I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
- [Rom 6:11 NAS] Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
- [Col 3:1] If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is seated on the right hand of God.
- [Col 3:3 NAS] For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
If you are a born-again believer, you know that you were justified by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross -- that your sins were washed away by His precious blood. But did you know that you died on the cross too?
In order to bring us into fellowship with Himself, and to break the power of sin, there were two aspects of sin that God had to deal with. One was our sins themselves, the unrighteous thoughts, words and deeds that we have committed, and the other was the source of those sins, the sinful nature that we inherited from Adam. The Bible sometimes refers to the former as ‘sins’ (plural), and the latter, sin (singular). See The Two Men. We had to be saved from the guilt of our sins. And we also had to be set free from our old sin nature and it‘s defilement. The only way that we could be separated from that sin nature is by death. Our death.
God wants us to know that what we were in Adam was put to death: [Rom 6:6 NAS] ‘Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin’. Now this is not something that is readily apparent. It often feels as if our old sin nature is very alive and well. And actually it still is there in us. But judicially, in God’s sight, it was crucified. God wants us, firstly, to know it, and secondly, to count it to be true: [Rom 6:11 NAS] ‘Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.’ Or as the King James version puts it, reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin. Believe it. Accept it by faith because God said it.
We are to live the Christian life in the same way that we became Christians: [Col 2:6] ‘As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him’. We became Christians by faith in the Lord. We are to live the life by faith also. Faith in the facts presented in the Word of God. And the Word says that we were crucified with the Lord Jesus.
As the believer reckons himself to be dead to sin, and yields himself to God as it says in Rom 6:13, the Holy Spirit makes true in our experience what the Word says it true of us judicially, that we are dead to sin. [2 Cor 3:18] ‘But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’. [2 Cor 4:11] ‘For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh’. Our spiritual condition, which, at first especially, is far below our exalted position, is gradually brought higher by the Spirit’s application of the cross in our lives. For more about this, see Condition vs. Position.
Our identification with the Lord Jesus was not limited to our death with Him. We are actually in Christ. Whatever happened to the Lord Jesus happened to us, because we are in Him. Verses 5 and 6, and others in Romans 6 show that we were also buried and resurrected in the Lord. That whole chapter should be studied. Other verses tell how we ascended in Him, and are even seated with Him there now. [Eph 2:5,6] ‘Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’. And one of the most awesome things that believers have to look forward to is that someday we will share the Lord’s glory: [Col 3:4] ‘When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory’.
A 19th century song writer that understood our identification with Christ was Daniel Whittle. I love these words from his hymn ‘Moment by Moment’:
Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
This short article has only scratched the surface of so vast and important a subject, yet I hope it will provide an incentive to dig into it more on your own, principally by prayerful study of Paul’s epistles, especially Romans, Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians. A helpful anthology of writings on this subject can be found in the book None but the Hungry Heart.