How Does the Christian Deal with Sin?
study series by Arthur J Licursi
Part of 13 of 13 – Our Real Baptism & Burial
The Apostle Paul not only preached the death of Christ but he also declared what was accomplished through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the on behalf of believers. No other writer of the Old Testament or New Testament had ever done this before Paul. Peter in his second epistle says we need to listen to “our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you”; (2 Peter 3:15)
Paul is the one who reveals the very basis of all that is to be appropriated to the believer as the fruit of the cross of Christ. That basis is that the believer by faith has been baptized (immersed) into the very “body of Christ,” in order to make the cross effectual in the life of the believer.
1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized (immersed) into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Note in 1Corinthians 12:13 above that it is the “Spirit” who is the baptizer… into Christ’s body. This is in contrast to Jesus who baptized the early Acts Jews with “power” in order for them to effectually proclaim the kingdom gospel to the Jews. This baptism of 1Cor 12:13, however, takes place without the use of water. The believer is immersed, by the Spirit, into a different medium than the water of the Jewish “baptism of repentance.” Believers are immersed into Christ’s very body. In fact, long ago were “chosen to be in Christ,” since the “before the world began” (Eph 1:3).
We the believers are now eternally positioned with our life “hid with Christ in God”– we are in the “I AM.” Being in the One who “always was, is, and will be” we have thereby entered the eternal realm of timelessness. It is by this understanding that we get a glimpse of how it is that we believers were also in Him at the time of His death, burial, and resurrection. Thus, His death, burial, and resurrection, are also our death, burial, and resurrection…by having “faith in the operation of God” (Colossians 2:12).
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized (immersed) into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism (immersion) into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom.6:3, 4).
“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).
Notice here above that we are not only immersed into Christ’s death, but also “we are buried with Him in baptism.” This verse does not say we are buried “like He was,” but rather we “are buried with Him.” Therefore, we must have already been there at the time Jesus was buried. This is only possible for us because Christ is eternal – He always was, and we have now entered that eternal realm “in Him.” He as “the lamb of God” was slain already from the time the God laid “the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8). We also were “chosen to be in Christ before the world began” (Eph 1:3).
One day we actually fulfilled our eternal destiny by receiving Christ; it was then that we partook of His eternal life, at the moment of our salvation. We not only have partaken of Him who was “slain from the foundation of the world,” but also we partake of all that He is today; this includes all that He endured at the
Calvaryas us. In Romans 6 Paul teaches us that when we were saved God simultaneously made all that is “in Christ” effectual to and for us. By immersing us into the eternal Christ, God essentially appropriated Calvaryto us; He made us one with the Lord Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Our old Adamic nature, which is our “old man,” which we are all so ashamed of, was crucified with Christ. This was to render “the body of Sin,” that is our body of flesh, powerless over us – making us free from Sin’s dominion.
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed (kartargeo, rendered of no effect), that henceforth we should not serve sin" (Rom.6:6).
Thus "sin" as a nature is not to reign in our "mortal body" (Romans 6:12). We are “dead to Sin” (Romans 6:2). What's more, we have also "become dead to the law by the body of Christ" (Rom.7:4, 6) because we also died in Him. "Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace" (Eph.2:15).
Not only are we made one with Jesus Christ in His death and set gloriously free from Sin’s dominion, but there is another very important reason for Christ's burial, which again is only revealed to us in Paul's epistles. We don’t bury living people – we only bury the dead. It is our old Adamic self-soul’s nature that is buried, even now in Joseph of Arimathaea’s tomb. Just our sins have been put away forever and out of God's sight, we are also freed our sin nature (Rom 6:7, Heb.13:10-14).
Just as Jesus Christ was actually buried, so we also have been “buried with Him.”
"Therefore," says the Apostle, "we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom.6:4).
The Sin nature in our flesh has not died, rather, we have died in Christ; we have died to Sin. Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Yes, this is true, it has really taken place. And because you can't reform that old sinful self, nor justify it, Paul here declares that the old Adamic sinful self must be buried; and we must count it to be dead daily.
"Likewise reckon (count as such) ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom.6:11).
“Reckon ye also yourselves” is the Greek word “logizimo,” meaning “to consider yourself, or count yourself” as also an accountant may take account of the plusses and minuses. Let’s apply some accounting to what has occurred according to Roman’s 6.
· We had a self-life and that may be counted as “1.”
· Also, our old self-life was crucified and buried with Him, so that’s a “-1.”
· The total here then is “0.”
· Thankfully, God did not leave us empty; He placed the one life of His One Son, Jesus Christ, into us as our “1” new life.
Thus, we can agree with Paul’s accounting, such that we have only one (1) legitimate governing life; we can say is “Christ liveth in me.” Paul writes it this way.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” Galatians 2:20a
Now that our self-governing has ended by the cross, Christ is our only governing life – He is the Lord or governor of our soul’s life, to lead our entire being.