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OUR DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION WITH CHRIST—PART TWO

“…transformed by the renewing of your mind…Rom 12:2”

 

The second aspect of our salvation (which we skipped temporarily) of identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, is the lifelong process by which our souls are transformed by the Holy Spirit, and we are “changed… from glory to glory” into the image of Christ. This process is what many would call practical sanctification, whereby our lives begin to reflect the effects of our union with Christ. How this is brought about will be the focus of our continuing study.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

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.

1 Thess 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel
in sanctification and honour;

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but
that it should be holy and without blemish.

Jesus, in His earthly walk, suffered in His soul as no man ever suffered. In His life, He was constantly confronted with temptations—with satisfying His own earthly desires, with forsaking the painful path that lay before Him. He was maligned, persecuted, and hated by his enemies; but His heart was set like a flint to do the Father’s will. In the Garden of Gethsemane, as the forces of hell pressed upon Him, he sweated, as it were, great drops of blood. In His death, as our sins were laid upon Him, for the first time in His eternal existence He felt separated from the Father. In every respect He experienced agony to the depth of His soul. Throughout all of His earthly existence, He gave up His life to do the will of God; and as our example, “learned he obedience by the things which he suffered”.

Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted

Matt 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Matt 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

Rom 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Matt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

However, in this aspect of our identifying with Christ, it becomes more than just a faith experience. By faith we identified with Him in His dying for our sins. By faith we partake of the substitutionary sufferings He endured in His life and in His death for our propitiation. By faith we await our physical transformation and resurrection of the body—believing that Christ has already suffered the pains of death for us, and rose again to a new life, and we in Him. Although our faith will grow in this second aspect of our salvation, it will be more than an objective look at what Christ has done for us. It will be something we experience in ourselves, and in which our soul, in every respect, is involved.

Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

1 Pet 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

Phil 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

1 Pet 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy

The spirit of man may be somewhat affected in this sanctification process—the Scriptures speak of grieving the Holy Spirit, and that might include our spirit as well; but man’s spirit has been reborn, and already lives in union with the blessed Spirit of the Lord Jesus. Furthermore, God will bring suffering to the body as a means of trying our souls; but the flesh of man is where the sin nature dwells, and will get no better until it is changed in the resurrection. It is totally corrupted by sin, even though we may imagine it is becoming better by its outwardly religious show. It may even look better as bad habits and filthy lifestyles are brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. However, in reality, it can only be subdued, and made to obey by God’s chastening and the practicing of good habits.

1 Thess 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

1 Cor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Heb 12:11
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

The spirit has been brought into union with Christ, the body will be resurrected, but the soul must be saved from the ravages of sin. So it is to man’s soul that God’s transforming work begins after we have been brought to Christ. However, to what extent does the death, burial, and resurrection process of redemption encompass concerning our souls? The Scripture teaches that man is a sinner through and through; we are absolutely corrupted by sin in every part of our being—body, soul, and spirit. We are not as bad as we can be, but there is in our body, in our spirit, and in our soul “no good thing” apart from, or outside of Christ’s presence in us. Neither do we, nor indeed can we, do anything that is good or untainted by sin, by, or of ourselves.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Psa 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
7
For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.

Isa 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores:
they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable;
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

The Greek translation for the Valley of Hinnom in Israel was Gehenna. It was in the Valley of Gehenna where the people of Jerusalem took their garbage to be burned. Jesus used it as a picture of Hell because its fires never went out, and the maggots and worms continually feasted on the garbage. Hell is where lost sinners are sent, because in a literal sense, they are garbage. There is nothing in them, naturally, that has any worth, or is salvageable, apart from God’s grace. It is in Hell that the fires of their torment will burn, and the worms of their guilty conscience will eat away at their souls continually. We must be born again, made a new creature in Christ, have the Spirit of Christ within us, for us to have any worth or value to God, and be redeemed. This leads us to our point—everything about us must be transformed into the image of Christ; the old man must die, and the new man must be brought forth to life. Everything we were before we were born again is the old man, and much of what we are now is still the old man. Salvation requires a complete transformation, which is begun in this life, and will be completed before the Marriage Supper of the Lamb takes place.

Mark 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched

Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue;
for I am tormented in this flame.

John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Therefore, if we properly divide asunder the “soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,” what needs to be crucified, buried, and resurrected in this sanctification process, is embodied in the mind, emotions, and will of man’s soul; and it is to this aspect we will turn our attention. In the coming chapters we will carefully dissect how this process works, and how God uses it to conform us “to the image of his Son.”

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

 

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