Thursday, 16 May 2013
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, Romans 6:5
This verse details the glory of the resurrection for the believer in Christ.
“For” – As a result of what will be mentioned.
“…if we have been united together in the likeness of His death,” This is referring to our state as noted in 6:3 & 4, we were baptized into Christ Jesus and into His death. The word Paul selects for “united” is the Greek word sumphutoi. This is the only occurrence of the word in the New Testament. It means “planted.” We have been planted as a seed in the same manner as Christ. The word designates a congenital, innate, and implanted characteristic by birth or nature. A good comparison of this is the vine and its branches. Christ is the main portion of the vine and we, through faith in Him, are grafted into His very nature.
Because of this uniting in His death, the explanation of “for” is given – “certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.”
The word “united” as explained above signifies that we now bear His same nature in our spiritual self, even if not yet in our physical self. It is the absolute assurance of eternal salvation for everyone who believes. We are alive spiritually right now through Christ and our physical bodies will become eternal bodies in the future as well. John 14:19 clues us into this –
“Because I live, you will live also.” John 14:19
The spiritual death which reigned from Adam’s fall in all humans is now overcome through Christ. Jesus, being spiritually alive because He didn’t inherit Adam’s fallen nature, confirmed that through Him those who follow Him will be like Him. This is what Paul is telling us in Romans 6:5. Having been united, or planted, with Him in His death we will have the same likeness of His resurrection.
Jesus was born spiritually alive and yet His physical body died, but He came out of the tomb with an eternal physical body. Paul says we shall bear the same likeness. This is the majestic and glorious promise of eternal life for all who believe. We shall be as was intended at the beginning, a soul/body unity which is spiritually alive and ready to face eternity without the fear of ever dying again.
Life application: Believing family and friends get sick and die and we shall too unless the Lord comes for us at the rapture. There is a difference between the believer and the non-believer. We shall be, 100% guaranteed, raised to life and we shall dwell in the presence of God for all eternity – ever searching out His wisdom and glory. Stand fast in this truth and give God the glory for what He has done and what He shall do.
Because I have been united with Christ in His death, I know that I shall be united with Him in His resurrection. This is the hope of Job, Isaiah, David and so many other prophets and saints of old. We shall stand in our flesh again and in the presence of our Redeemer and hail His greatness for all eternity. All hail the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Amen.