Lesson 47 - Chapter 6 verses 3-5

Lesson 47 - Chapter 6 verses 3-5

Verse 3

Or do you not know that.  The Greek verb for not know is “agnoeo,” which means to be ignorant.  The English word “agnostic” comes from the root word of this verb and means without knowledge.   In this verse it refers to the fact of ignorance which has come to be in the past but this same ignorance of doctrine is emphasized at the moment as a present reality.  Right then they are ignorant where they should be cognizant.  The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ produces the action of the verb, namely being ignorant in the field of extreme importance to our experiential advance.  Ignorance of Bible doctrine was the most serious problem in Christianity in the first century, as it is in this century.  Cognizance of doctrine is the only means of spiritual growth, the only way to acquire capacity for divine blessing from the justice of God and the only way to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in this life.  Everything hinges on learning and applying Bible doctrine.

All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death is not a reference to water baptism, but Spirit baptism.   The baptism of the Holy Spirit specifically enters the believer into union with Christ, forming positional truth.  This verse emphasizes union with Christ in His spiritual death on the Cross.   The sin nature’s ruling power over human life has been broken and we are identified with Christ when He destroyed the sovereignty of the sin nature over human life.  Second, because of the baptism of the Holy Spirit each believer is positionally separated from good and evil.  Being separated positionally from good and evil means the believer can walk in newness of life, which is the environment for those a fortiori blessings we studied in the previous chapter.  Those blessings received from the justice of God at spiritual maturity, plus the environment provided through the baptism of the Spirit, results in the mature believer possessing greater blessing than Adam and Eve had in the Garden and having an encapsulated environment for those blessings.

The newness of life provided through the baptism of the Spirit means freedom from having to produce good and evil.  The believer has no obligation to improve the devil’s world through social action, socialism, welfare state, communism, environmentalism or any social gospel, social action, getting involved, etc.  It is not the job of the believer to change the devil’s world system.  The human race is protected from Satan’s policy of good and evil through the laws of divine establishment which promote freedom instead of improvement at the cost of freedom.  

Divorced from the useless activity of human good and the function of evil, the life of the believer can be devoted to glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ through maximum knowledge of Bible doctrine.  As a result of this comes maturity and maximum blessing from the justice of God.  It is that maximum blessing from the justice of God which glorifies God in the Angelic Conflict.  

While the production of divine good by believers is not the means of blessing and reward from the justice of God, it is the spiritual result of spiritual advance to maturity.  The more the believer grows spiritually the greater his divine production, but it is always a result, never a means.

 Verse 4

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death.  This is a spiritual concept, a principle that occurred at salvation.  The judicial imputation of all sins had occurred - they had been judged by the justice of God as a part of Christ’s spiritual death.   At the same time as the saving work on the Cross occurred, human good and evil, as the policy of Satan, and the function of the sin nature had been rejected.  Human good and evil was not judged on the Cross.  In His death and burial Jesus was totally separated, totally free from human good and evil.  Through retroactive positional truth we are identified with Christ in His death and burial through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  As believers we are positionally separated from human good and evil. Since human good and evil had been rejected positionally they also can be rejected experientially by execution of the Christian way of life.  Hence, the positional break with human good and evil makes possible the experiential victory over human good and evil in Satan’s world system.  Identification with Christ in His spiritual death, His physical death and His resurrection is positional victory which breaks the power and the authority of human good and evil, both as the policy of Satan as the ruler of this world and as the function of the sin nature as the ruler of human life.

Human good and evil have not been imputed, rather they are the policy of Satan as the ruler of this world system.  Only personal sins were imputed to Christ on the Cross for judgment and salvation provision.  Human good and evil continue to be an issue in history in the Angelic Conflict. 

In order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  The baptism of the Spirit gives us a spiritual identification.  Our identification with Him is a spiritual identification, just as our identification with Him on the Cross and in the burial and the resurrection of our Lord was a spiritual identification.  These spiritual identifications are brought about through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Since the phrase “raised from the dead” is referring to our Lord’s resurrection, it is referring to His resurrection from two deaths: the spiritual death which is the imputation of all of our personal sins to Christ on the Cross and the physical death which occurred because His saving work was finished while He was still alive.

The phrase “by the glory of the Father” refers here to all of the attributes of God. This verse emphasizes the function of God the Father in raising Christ from the dead, as also does Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1Peter 1:21.

Now we have a comparative clause which begins with the phrase, “so we too might walk in newness of life.”  This is designed in a comparative clause in order to introduce us to the fact that it is possible for us as members of the royal family of God to have an experiential victory equivalent to what God has provided positionally.  All divine blessing comes through the grace pipeline.  Justice is on one end, righteousness is on the other, so that there can be no penetration into this pipeline with anything that is false, i.e., any legalism, any system of good, any system of legitimate good, no personality change, no talents, no ability of any kind.  The pipeline is the source, then, of the salvation blessings, as well as blessings related to maturity adjustment to the justice of God.  The pipeline is protected by the integrity of God in such a way through this encapsulation that we have security with these blessings.  Any blessing that flows through this pipe is secured by the integrity of God, not by any personal maintenance of self-righteousness, morality or system or function of the individual.  Therefore, it is not what we do, it is what God does for us.  Therefore this pipeline is encapsulated to guarantee that our spiritual assets received at salvation flow through this pipe, which are received only by the righteousness of God.  Then there are no other further blessings which flow through the pipeline until we reach some level of spiritual maturity.  Then the pipeline is opened again by the justice of God because we now have capacity to receive greater blessings.  In the meantime we are sustained by logistical grace - everything that God provides for us to take in and apply Bible doctrine.

Walk is the Greek verb peripateo, which was derived from the concept of poteo for motion and peri which means motion away from the center.  It had a connotation of motion and thrust and others such as energy, balance, orientation, purpose - all of the things necessary for walking.  Here we are interested in an individual walking and what is meant in this verse.  The believer now has the ability for a new type of walk.  A spiritual birth means a spiritual type of walking. The energy is spiritual from the Holy Spirit. The balance, coordination, orientation and purpose are spiritual from Bible doctrine circulating in the soul.  While the production of divine good by believers is not the means of blessing and reward from the justice of God, it is the spiritual result of spiritual advance to maturity.  The more the believer grows spiritually the greater his divine production, but it is always a result, never a means.  Newness of life means freedom from the sovereignty of the sin nature as the ruler of human life.  Newness of life is freedom from the policy and the plan of Satan as the ruler of the world.

Verse 5

For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit puts us in union with Christ in His death, His burial, resurrection, ascension and session.  This is a fact that occurs during the Church Age for each one of us as members of the royal family of God.

United with Him in the likeness of his death uses the Greek word “suphutos” for united, which means to be planted with, to grow together with something or intimately united.  This is a reference to retroactive positional truth or identification with Christ in His death and burial. Plus we have the Greek word “homoioma,” which means, resemblance, same form or copy.  

Then we have a reference to the likeness of His resurrection.  This is not our resurrection which is a literal fact but not taught here.  So, it is not predicting the future of our resurrection body which occurs at the Rapture of the Church.  That is a true doctrine but it is not taught in this context.  This verse means that the policy of good and evil, both as to its policy and as to its function, is destroyed through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  We are identified as believers with Christ in His death, in His burial and in His resurrection.  Being united with Him in His resurrection we have the basis for newness of life.  Newness of life equals the status quo of the maturing believer.

Verses that are often quoted with regard to newness of life are II Corinthians 5:17-21.  The content of II Corinthians 5 is the result of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the placing of the believer into union with Christ.  Contrary to popular belief, “all things becoming new,” is not a reference to a person’s lifestyle or “bad habits.”  If there needs to be change, then the only legitimate change must come from spiritual growth based on the Word of God, not on some religious taboo.  As a matter of fact, this passage refers to what God does for us, not what we do for God. 

For in II Corinthians 5:17 is the Greek word “hoste” and can be better translated “conclusion.”  Paul looks back at the context of the passage and draws a conclusion based on previous doctrinal information.  The conclusion is “if any person is in Christ that person is a new creation.”  Creation is the Greek word “ktisis” and refers primarily to the creative act in process.  It is the believer who is being acted upon by God.  This act of creation is when God, at salvation, creates a human spirit in the believer. This creative act by God creates something in the believer that previously did not exist.  It is “new” and it is “spiritual” in nature and the believer becomes a different “classification” (Royal Family of God). (I Corinthians 2:9-14; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 2:19)