United with Christ

Bob Hoekstra Photo Bob Hoekstra

Let’s continue now in Romans chapter 6. We are looking at “Foundational Truths for Counseling, God’s Way. In Romans 5 we saw the issues were being in Adam or in Christ. In Adam was sin and death and judgment and condemnation and sin reigning in death. In Christ there is an abundance of grace. There is the gift of righteousness. There is justification and a sanctifying work of grace that lets us learn to reign in life. Of course the counseling needs in people’s lives come primarily from being in Adam and they are answered and supplied by finding what is in Christ.

Now in Romans chapter 6, which is about being united with Christ, we see how God deals with our old life in Adam and it is quite radical. Hint: it’s not unto self-esteem. It’s unto crucifixion. And we also see how God offers a new life to us in Christ in Romans chapter 6 on “United with Christ,” it is this matter of knowing the facts.

Romans 6:1,

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

Feeding back on the earlier verses—where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. And of course the perversion of the flesh can think, oh, sin abounds, grace abounds much more. Wow, you know, maybe we can just continue in sin and all it’s going to do is to cause more grace to abound. You know that is really twisted thinking of the flesh. Shall we do that?

And Romans 6:2-4 says,

2 Certainly not! [May it never be or God forbid!] How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
2 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:3, “Do you not know…?” The first item is God wants us to know the heavenly facts. Do you not know? Do we know this? So many Christians do not know the facts presented here in Romans 6. We want to learn these facts, count on them, live by them and counsel from them and share them with others.

I didn’t know much about these Romans 6 facts the first three years as a believer. I was saved the last week of 1965. God did some work in my life those first three years. Through the third year as a believer I was a youth pastor out here in Orange County at Evangelical Free Church in Orange. But I couldn’t understand or explain or even be motivated to get into Romans 6. I was still running on early zeal. Yeah, I appreciated what God did and boy, I was going to do everything I could for Him. Well, I mean the Lord is a wonderful heavenly Father, obviously. And He understands our immaturity and He’s not scoffing at that. But He knows that’s not what it’s all about. He knows this is what we need to get to know. The facts of what He has done that produce a whole new life for us. And then three years after I was saved I went from being a youth pastor in California to Dallas, Texas.

The little group in our home of three couples grew and I was urged by others to hold public meetings. We became a church that the Lord had me pastor there for fourteen years. But I’ll tell you, a number of the early years as pastor there I didn’t have a clue what Romans 6 was all about. In fact, I stayed far away from it. Give me James, thank you. I’ll just tell them what to do and what not to do. And praise God for the Book of James. That’s a critical part of the Word of God. But there is more to the Bible than James, you know. People need to know that real faith works. But the reason real faith works is because real faith taps into a whole new life in Jesus Christ. And it comes out with fruit and with abundant labors.

“Do you not know?” We need to know these things. God wants us to know these facts. All the Word of God is not about “Do this and don’t do that.” It’s also just about things God has done. And we need to know it and stand on it. Or things He has promised to do. Or things He is well able to do in and through us. In a lot of the Word of God are things we need to know and learn to count on. “Do you not know?”

Do you not know that all of us—or translated here, “as many of us as were baptized.” This describes every believer baptized into Christ Jesus. Baptized into is bigger than water baptism. This word baptism is not, innately in the spiritual use of it, a necessarily wet word. In 1 Corinthians 10:2 it says “All [of Israel] were baptized into Moses” when they went through the Red Sea. Now, did they go through wet or dry? The whole point is they went through dry! The ones that went through wet weren’t baptized into Moses. All of Israel was identified with Moses as the, the type of Christ, the deliverer to bring them, in the name of the Lord, out of Egypt toward the Promised Land. A great synonym for “baptized into” is “identified with.”

Now certainly water baptism beautifully pictures all of this. But God forbid, that we would ever think that water baptism causes all of this. That’s almost like the Roman Catholic Church or others who try to say that water baptism saves. In this verse you would almost say that water baptism then sanctifies. No that is not what we’re saying! No, no. But it beautifully pictures the whole process of justification and then the sanctification that can flow out of it as we are joined to Christ. We are not just forgiven by Him, but united with Him.

Do we know that all of us, every believer, baptized into and identified with Christ Jesus, have been baptized into His death? In Christ is our new realm of existence, our new spiritual place of residence. He is our position before God, our source of life. In Christ, we are identified with Christ through faith in Him.

The significance of all of that identification with Christ is beautifully pictured in water baptism, as we’re buried with Him and raised to newness of life in Him. Romans 6:4, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death.”

We believers were buried. This is past tense. It was already accomplished. We were buried with Him, crucified on the cross and put into the tomb with the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. This is through baptism and through identification into death. That is His death becoming our death.

See, just as Adam acted for all who are in him that is the entire human race, so now has Christ acted for all who are in Him and all who believed in Him died with Him.

In the middle of Romans 6:4 NIV, “…in order that,” this identification was in order that or to show God’s plan and His result for us. It is “in order that, as with Christ, so we too….” As Christ was raised from the dead, so we too might walk in newness of life. Just like Christ was raised from the dead, we can now live an entirely new resurrected life, above the plain of the deadness of Adam and his race.

Oh these are things we want God to counsel us with, then we counsel others with it and be warned against lesser substitutes than what we’re going to be looking at in these very moments.

Romans 6:5-6,

5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, [or rendered powerless] that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Here’s the amazing thing: Every person on earth who was ever born or ever will be, starts out a slave of sin. And this is the only way to no longer be a slave of sin. It doesn’t matter whether the man is dying in the gutter in front of a crack house, or if he’s chairman of the board. If he’s not in Christ like this, he’s in bondage to sin. He just chose a different way to express his rebellion and self-centeredness and self-serving and self-exaltation.

Society looks on the man in front of the crack house and goes, “Oh what a poor sinner.” And they look at the chairman of the board and go, “Oh what an upstanding citizen.” This is the wrong framework of evaluation. If they are both in Adam, they are both in bondage to sin. No matter where they stand in society, they are slaves of sin.

But God has a way that we would no longer be slaves of sin.

Romans 6:5,

For if we have become united together in the likeness of His death, [and we have; His death is our death by faith] certainly [it’s absolute] we also shall be [that is, united together with Him] in the likeness of His resurrection.

We are united with Christ in the likeness of His death and in the likeness of His resurrection. We are united with Him, joined to Him, made one with Him and enmeshed together with Him.

By the very word itself you could almost translate it “enlifed” together with Him. It is kind of an awkward word, but I like to use it in private conversation like this. We are enlifed with Him. We are brought right into His life. Like a branch grafted into a vine, just united with Him. That is what the Lord was doing at the cross and the death and burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for all those who would trust in the Lord Jesus. We become united with Him, fully benefitting and partaking of Him. His death is our death; His resurrection is our resurrection.

Aren’t you glad the person you were in Adam got crucified with Jesus Christ? And further, you got raised to newness of life. That is what changes everything.

Romans 6:6, this is another great fact to know, “Knowing this, that our old man [our old self life, who we were in Adam] was crucified with [Him]….” The old us was already executed on the cross of Jesus Christ.

The old man in Adam is dealt with by God by the cross of Jesus Christ. God doesn’t reform him. He doesn’t put him in therapy. He executes him!

Knowing this, that our old man—and I’m not talking about our papa, I’m talking about who I was before I came to Christ—was crucified with Him. I’m so glad that that life that carried around the name Bob Hoekstra got executed. He was in bondage to sin. Oh, some people thought he was kind of respectable or a nice sinner. I remember enough of him. He was a scoundrel. He was so selfish, so self-serving. Let’s know this. The old man, the old life we had in Adam was crucified with Jesus Christ. There is no remedy short of the cross that is radical enough to deal with the old life.

Why did God do it that way? “That the body of sin might be done away with” (Romans 6:6), or it could be translated, “rendered powerless.” That is, removed from its previous dominating role.

See, God created man to be alive in the spirit, indwelt by the Spirit of God. And that being expressed through the soul, the personality, mind, emotions and will and all of that which is resident in a physical body that did what it was told. In sin and rebellion, man died. The spirit is dead in humanity. Things are upside down. The body is in control. It is “…the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the [boastful] pride of life” (1 John 2:16). So people are slaves to sin. The need is for the body of sin to be done away with. Or literally, rendered powerless, or you might say theologically, knocked off the throne of control. Letting Christ again reign, by the Holy Spirit, through the spirit of man, the new creature is born again in Christ.

This is an interesting thought and we’ll get into this more in a couple of weeks, but the body you and I have right now is the same exact body in the same condition, spiritually, it was in before we were saved. Now think of the implications of that. See, our spirit is made new or born again. Our soul, our soulish life, our natural looking life, our human life, our mind, emotions and will and personality and all is in process of transformation in Christ. But the body is the same exact spiritual condition it was in and it will stay that way until Christ comes again.

Romans 8:23,

Not only that, but we also who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

We’re waiting for our bodies to be redeemed. And aren’t we groaning together in these old bodies? We are awaiting the redemption of the glorified body. Our bodies are not yet redeemed. That is, brought into this redemption process. When we see Him, like He is, we will be given a body like unto His glorious body. Until then, we have the same body we had before we were saved.

One of the major implications of that is, by the way, we have the same physical organ the brain that we had back there. What did your old man, the old life pump into your brain? Don’t tell me, please. I got problems of my own. I know what mine pumped in to mine. And it’s a pretty full time task dealing with that. That’s why I can’t wait to get into the subject in a couple weeks, of the renewing of the mind. It is critical in the Christian life and in the counseling ministry. There is a way to let God change those thought patterns and repaint those ugly murals on the walls of our brain. This is about learning to think with the mind of Christ, from 1 Corinthians 2:16. But we’ll get to that.

But here now, we have the same body. And this body doesn’t want to do what it’s told to do. Next week we’ll see in Romans 7, sin dwells in this body. The sin principle is the tendency, the proclivity, the vulnerability, and the interest in sin that dwells in this body and in the physical brain part of the body.

So God has a way to render this body powerless. Romans 6:6 says, “…that the body of sin might be done away with [or rendered powerless] that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Unless this body can be rendered powerless, or done away with, knocked off the throne of the life, we just stay slaves to sin as we once were.

Now, how has the Lord provided this remedy? Let me tell you a little nursery rhyme, if I might. I’m not a nursery rhyme pundit. I don’t encourage it even with kids. We started out telling our kids nursery rhymes, even though we were both saved. And I’m sure, you know, no lightning bolts are going to come from heaven necessarily, though some of the rhymes are pretty sick. But after a while we kind of caught on. Hey, wouldn’t a Bible story be better? So our kids were kind of nursery-rhyme challenged, I guess you’d say. It’s a severe childhood disorder, you know. It lingers with you all the way to glory. Anyway, let me tell you a nursery rhyme and it has a point here. I goes like this:

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Now, Let’s say that Adam is Humpty. Ooh yes! Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. It was a major fall, and we can hardly recognize he’s an egg anymore. Oh, made in the image and likeness of God, but do you see much of it? It was a great fall. Splat! Now what is going on? Who are all those people gathered around Humpty there? Well, that’s all the king’s horses and all the king’s men. Looky, there’s Freud! He’s working hard to put the egg back together. Look, he thinks he’s got it. I found the id, the ego and the superego. Nah, that’s just the shell, what about the white and the yolk, you know? Oh no! Right next to him is Carl Jung. He’s listening carefully to his spirit guide, Philemon. So he can find out how to put Humpty back together again. There’s B. F. Skinner just trying to unscramble him probably. They’re working hard but here’s the truth—All the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot put Humpty back together again.

Now here comes our Lord. Our heavenly Father walks up and says to all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, “Stand back. Let me show you the only remedy. Scrape up that egg. Nail it to this cross and Let’s bury it in the tomb of My Son.” That is the only way to deal with Humpty, that ol’ egg. And in his place I will raise up a whole new Humpty Dumpty, in the resurrection.

See, here’s the thing, the old man that we were, living in this body, we could not say no to this body of sin. If something did not do away with this body of sin or render it powerless, we would stay slaves to sin. That is because we were dead in the spirit and the body controlled our lives and the sin that dwelled in us dominated.

The world wants to retrain, reform, put Humpty in a support group, you know. Get Humpty thinking like a positive egg. Visualizing himself as perfectly shaped and having never fallen, you know. It will never work. It’s not a radical enough solution.

God’s remedy was to crucify Humpty and raise a new Humpty in his place. And you know what? The new creature in Christ can learn to say no to this body and yes to God. That’s the thing. That’s the radical difference. A new creature in Christ can learn more and more to say, no to sin and yes to God. We can say “no” to the principle of indwelling sin and “yes” to God the Holy Spirit who dwells within.

How could man ever come up with anything like that? See, the only remedy must involve death and resurrection. Only God can provide that.

I believe in this chapter this is the issue that sets Counseling God’s Way a universe apart from anything that man could ever come up with. And it is another reason I say it is not only futile it is a crime, Biblically and spiritually before God, to try and mix the theories of the world, who want to patch up the old when God says “I’ve got to crucify it and raise a new man.”

This is right at the heart of the Christian life, discipleship, and therefore, Counseling God’s Way. If our counseling doesn’t anchor on the death, burial, resurrection of Jesus Christ, our union with Him and new life in Christ, we’re counseling the way the world does.

Romans 6:8-10,

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Since we died with Christ, we have faith that we shall also live with Christ now and forevermore. Live with Him. He is our life. Romans 5:10 says that we are “saved by His life as well as reconciled by His death.” Romans 6:9, “…knowing that Christ.” Our confidence in these matters is based on what Christ did. So we therefore also can live unto God. He died to sin. He lives to God. We also can be dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

In being counseled, in giving counsel concerning victory over sin, or being set free, growing in wholeness and sanctification, we must begin right here. Knowing the facts that the old man died with Christ; he was judged and crucified. And now an entirely new spiritual life is available in Christ. Not reforming. Not remaking. Not rehashing. Not investigating and repairing. That’s the theories of the world. “Oh, you said what? You think what? Oh my goodness, where did that come from? We better trace back through your history. Let’s start with your mom. Let’s start with your dad. Let’s get into your grandparents, your neighbors, your teachers…” investigating and trying to repair is absolutely the futile direction. There is no hope there. That’s all the king’s horses, all the king’s men standing around a splattered egg, trying to put him whole, back up on the wall. What a farce! There’s no way to do it. He’s irreparably damaged. He needs to be buried. He needs a new life, raised in his place.

Now verse 11 goes from knowing the facts to counting on the facts. Romans 6:11,

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Likewise or even so, as true of Christ as it is in Romans 6:9-10, it is also true of us. We died to sin and are now are alive to God in Christ. So consider yourselves such. Reckon it is right. Reckon it so. Even so consider yourselves to be such, to be dead to sin but alive to God. Conclude it so. Count on it. Rely on it. Depend upon it. That is what the word means. In other words, base our entire spiritual life on the fact that Romans 6:9-10 are as true of us, as they are true of Christ. He died to sin and now is alive unto God forever. Well, we were with Him and in Him. We died unto sin in Christ and now live unto God in Christ.

Consider ourselves dead to sin but alive to God, in Christ, because of Christ and who He is and what He did. And now we’re in Him. That new life is alive to God in Christ. That old life dominated by sin died with Christ.

It makes me think of Hebrews 11:1. This is a matter to take by faith. I’ve heard people say to me, “Oh Bob, I don’t know if I can believe that enough to make it true for me.”

I want to just cry out quick, “Hold it. That’s backwards.” God doesn’t say believe it hard enough to make it true. He says, “Here’s what I did for you. I’m telling you the truth. Here’s what I did for you in Christ. I’m only asking one thing of you. Trust Me. Just trust Me. You don’t have to explain it all to Me. You don’t have to have positive power of thinking enough to make it real for you. I did this for you.” God is saying, “All I’m asking you to do just trust Me.”

Can’t we trust God? He’s telling us He took care of the old life in crucifixion. He gives us a new life in resurrection. He says, “Consider yourselves as such. Just trust Me. I’m telling you the truth.”

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

We just trust God in this, faith will be substantiating our desire to walk in this. The substance of things hoped for. We hope, expect, desire, and would like to walk in this. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Just trust God on this one. Just believe Him. And watch it become substantiated in our life with a resurrected victory kind of living. This is the evidence of things not seen. We can’t see all of this, but we trust God that He did it. Evidences will start to show up.

Evidences, you know like you get more excited about the Bible than a poker game. I'm talking about my own testimony, Man, I’d do anything to get to a poker game. The higher the stakes, the wilder the participants, the later the night—“Wow, yes I’ll be there!” Why did the day come when it was far more exciting to me to go to a Bible study than show up at another poker game? Faith is the evidence of things not seen. I put my faith in these workings of God on my behalf though I couldn’t even explain them, and evidences started to show up that Bob Hoekstra was a new man with new values, new motivations, and new interests.

Early on as a Christian, I won’t tell you some of the things I still did; I don’t want to encourage you to do any of them. But boy, “faith is the substance of things hoped for.” I hoped for a new life when I was forgiven of the old one. I tell you, trust in the Lord began to substantiate those things I hoped for. I began to walk more and more in a new life. And it’s the same process going on today in my life and in yours.

In 2 Corinthians it says, which may be simpler than Hebrews 11:1, though it is a glorious way to think on it in Hebrews 11:1, but 2 Corinthians 5:7 just puts it real straight and simple about the Christian life. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Yeah, we can’t see all of this that God did for us. But He did it and He’s told us about it and faith accepts it and we walk that way. We walk by faith not by sight.

Well, I don’t know if I’m behaving and I don’t know if the circumstances of my walk are a living demonstration of all this. Just keep believing what God did for you there in Romans 5 and Romans 6, and you’ll find yourself walking in it. For we walk by faith not by sight.

The enemy is really good at pointing out where there is still lack or things that don’t match what God can produce for us in Christ. Let’s just keep believing what God has done. In it is forgiveness for failure and sin. In it is grace to transform and change. We just walk by faith not by sight. Just keep believing Him. Just trust Him. He’ll keep working it in us and out through us.

We believe on these things because they are true, not to make them true. They are true. “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

So, there were facts to know and then facts to count on. Then that leads to this wonderful growing process of presenting ourselves to God. Romans 6:12-14, presenting ourselves to God. You know, this is the decision, the choice the new man wants to make and can increasingly learn to make.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

The new creature in Christ can increasingly say no to fleshly impulses and no to sin. We don’t have to let it reign in our mortal body, even though it still resides there. We don’t have to obey its lusts. We can present ourselves, offer ourselves to God as those alive from the dead and say, “Here I am, Lord, alive unto You in Jesus Christ. Use my life for righteousness sake.”

And then grace, Romans 6:14, is the power which motivates us and transforms us. It is not trying to be righteous; it is believing God for what He did to bring righteousness to us. And His grace begins to develop it in our lives.

That is how sin loses its domination over our lives. Not by trying harder to obey the law, but by believing what God did for us in Christ. We are not under law, but under grace.

Romans 6:15-18,

15 What then? Shall we sin because we’re not under the law but under grace? Certainly not! [Back to that argument. No way!]
16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness.
17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine [teaching] to which you were delivered. [That is, the Gospel]
18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

See, we used to be slaves of sin. Now we can be slaves of righteousness. We are giving our lives to God for righteousness’ sake and to produce a righteous life in us.

Romans 6:19,

I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. [You know, so you’ll understand these things] For just as you presented your members [as] slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members [the members of your body and all that resides in them] as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

We were slaves to sin. We became obedient from the heart, a new heart, a new life in Christ. We committed ourselves to the grace of God in Christ. Not to the theories of man and his reformation programs. So now, we can present ourselves to God as slaves of righteousness. That gives God room to work in us, like Philippians 2:13 says, “…to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Let Christ shine from us, and live out through us.

Do you remember how you used to fully present yourself unto sin and disobedience for unrighteousness sake? I think I did it with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. You know. Oh, I was dedicated to the path of sin and self. I was so into gambling and thinking I was becoming a hotshot because there was a long period there where I didn’t work. I just lived on money I got from poker games and gambling at golf. I would go home from an all- night poker game, bleary-eyed, coughing and hacking. I didn’t smoke. I don’t know why I never got into smoking in my life. It seems like I got into everything else. But my word, in those poker games I breathed in enough smoke to be a two packer a day, probably. I would go home with my chest aching, eyes stinging, and exhausted. Oh, but on a high because, of the four or five hundred dollars I made. I thought I had life in my pocket. No, really I had death around my neck.

I’d get home about four o’clock and you’d think, I’d crash for eight or ten hours? Oh no, no! That was because I might meet these guys at the golf course on Saturday. But I had to be there at five or six, because it’s crowded and I’m too stupid to make reservations because that takes planning. So I’d sit on the chair by the bed and kind of lean. Just rest and dare not lie down or I’d miss that wonderful opportunity to gamble outdoors to clean out lungs and my eyes. The alarm would ring and I’m sitting there in a half daze, you know, and stagger to the car and get out there. I was young and stupid and had enough adrenaline to get out there for five or six hours, grinding it out on the golf course. I was trying to get somebody else’s money. Sick. Was that dedication or what?

Now how about if we just present ourselves to God for righteousness sake with that kind of heart? To that degree of abandonment, you know? Ooh, what is going to take place? God is going to do great and mighty things! He is going to take us at our word. He’s going to use us for righteousness sake. He’s going to transform us into righteous living, presenting ourselves, the members of our body, as slaves of righteousness for holiness, for sanctification, and for godliness. Boy, that’s the path of growth.

So many people that are looking for help and seeking a word of counsel, they need to trek through Romans 5 and Romans 6 to learn of the problems in Adam and the resources in Christ. Do you know these facts, what God did for you? All He wants you to do is believe Him. Then count yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ and say, here’s my new life. Use it for righteousness sake.

It’s foundational truth. It goes all beyond the little, what about this and that, and if that and when this? Well, God has words of specific wisdom, but I tell you, this gets right to the heart of the issue. I have found often you can answer 50 different people questioning the struggle in their lives, with one same answer here, even though each of them might think their problem is different. Mine is drugs. Mine is pride. Mine is anger. Well, mine is this. Mine is that. Listen, are you reckoning the old man dead and a new life available in Christ? “What do you mean?” Well, let's see. Let’s find out what God means. These foundational truths can deal with a hundred issues simultaneously. Not [snap] like that and it’s all gone, but cutting away at each one of them. We need less doubt and more faith. We need less striving works and more fruit. It is a path of growth, but it’s a walk by faith. Take a step, in faith because God did these things for us.

Let’s close with Galatians 2:20. It fits perfectly in this context, doesn’t it?

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh [in this flesh and bones body] I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Is Romans 6 a great commentary on Galatians 2:20 or what? Don’t they go together like hand and glove? Praise God we were executed with Christ in that old life! No longer are we the ones producing a life, but Christ now lives in us. And this life which we go through now in flesh and bones bodies, we live trusting in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us.

Oh, God wants to counsel us by these truths. He wants us to be equipped to share these truths. And He wants us to be very alert to psychological, humanistic therapies that want to substitute, get in the way, intervene and get Christians off on a side trail.

You know what? Psychological theory strengthens the very life that God wants counted crucified with Christ. They aren’t integral. One is crying out, “Death to the old man.” The other is crying out, “No, Let’s help the old man.” One is saying “God executed him and it’s the only remedy.” The other is saying, “Oh no, we can patch him up.” They are diametrically opposed. God help us from getting into that trap. God use us to help multitudes in the church of Jesus Christ.

Psychological theory Christianized and brought in by loveable Christian leaders, is far more popular and familiar to the American church than Romans 5 and Romans 6. That’s the state we’re in. Well, that’s the state I used to be in. But the Lord can change us. I believe He can change this sad direction the church has taken as well. I really believe if we gave ourselves to mining in this heavenly gold mine of Romans 5 through Romans 8, and got out of the gravel pits of the world, we’d see mighty changes in lives. A lot of people are trying to live in that dump. That’s not life. That is just eking out an existence.

How about if we got back into Romans 5 through Romans 8? What if the church of Jesus Christ took all the time, money, resources, man power, hope, and invested in psychotherapy, Christianized style, self-help groups, and just plunged all of that time and resources to communicate into searching out Romans 5, 6, 7 and 8 by the Spirit of God? I know what would happen. I am sure this is what would happen. We would not only see a radical change in how the church counsels one another, we would probably have a revival like unto the Reformation of 400 years ago. I am personally one who believes we’re like overdo for that. And I not only would love to help any one brother or person that comes my way, I’d like to be an instrument in the hands of God to see a mighty change in the whole church. God’s done it before. He can do it again.

Let’s pray together.

Lord, we thank You so much for these mighty truths. They are breathtaking. They are exhilarating. They are mind-blowing. And yet they are the truth. Teach us to just trust in You and what You’ve done and what You’ve said that we might walk in newness of life in Jesus Christ our Lord. And we know the glory will be His and oh, the people we can help as we counsel God’s way. Lead us that path and touch the church of Jesus Christ as well to turn again to God’s heavenly gold mine here in Romans 5 and Romans 6. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.