“KNOWING THIS, THAT OUR OLD MAN IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, THAT THE BODY OF SIN MIGHT BE DESTROYED, THAT HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.” (Romans 6:6)
In these difficult times and perilous times this is a liberating passage of scripture. In Chapter 5 of Romans, the Apostle Paul tells us that “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
Death entered into the world as a result of sin! One may ask why is the world the way it is? It is because of sin according to God’s Holy Word. When Adam disobeyed God, sin entered into the world. In God’s Holy Word, we find that as a result of Adam’s sin, all of Adam’s posterity sinned. We find in Chapter 3 of Romans that “there is none righteous, no not one.” (vs10b) “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (vs. 18) Therefore, as a result of Adam’s sin, all sinned. (Romans 5:18)
Here in Chapter 6 we are told that “...our old man was crucified with [Christ]”. Our old man is the man/person I used to be in Adam according to Dr. D. Martyn-Lloyd-Jones. (The New Man, pg 62). This is not one’s carnal nature, or our “manner of life”. Dr. Lloyd-Jones, in his exposition of Chapter 6 vs. 6, is saying that our old man is the man that I was in Adam. We read in Colossians 1:13 that [Christ] “has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of His Dear Son”. Therefore, I am now in Christ. I was in Adam. I am now a man in Christ. What we see here is that in Christ , I am united to Him both in His crucifixion and in His resurrection. “In the likeness of His death and in the likeness of His resurrection.” A brief look at this most liberating passage of scriptures helps us to know of this great union with the Lord Jesus Christ. We see that we are baptized into Him by the Holy Spirit and united to Him as a “branch is in the vine.”
I. NOT EXPERIENTIAL - SPIRITUAL
We see here that this is not experiential, or as some might say experimental. We don’t experience crucifixion. Nevertheless, what we see is that as the Lord Jesus Christ was in fact crucified physically - we were crucified with Him spiritually. We will never know the agony and suffering that He knew. Our crucifixion - death and resurrection are in the likeness of His - not identical. Martyn Lloyd- Jones says what happened to Christ physically and literally actually happens to us spiritually because we are united to Him!
When Adam sinned, we sinned. When Adam died, we died spiritually. That old man, we see here, was crucified with Christ and we are joined to Him. When He was crucified literally, we were crucified spiritually. This statement “our old man was crucified with Him- spiritually. When He died we died with Him spiritually. Likewise, when He rose , we rose with Him - in Him - united to Him and are now seated with Him in heavenly places.
This happened! It is in the Word of God. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, I wouldn't know that I was a man in Adam if God hadn’t told me so in His Word. I would not know that I have been baptized into Christ unless He had told me. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says ,” this is an action of the Holy Spirit, which is not experimental. I know this because the Word of God tells me so. This is not something I experience. Therefore, as Abraham believed God on the basis of His Word alone, so do we. I must believe God on the sheer basis that He has said it, just as Abraham believed God. (Romans Chapter 3, Genesis 15:1-6, and Hebrews 11:8-12) Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. We must do the same!
II. THE PURPOSE
The Word of God tells us that God has done this for and to us (crucified our old man with Christ) “that the body of sin might be destroyed”. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says this verb is written in the aorist tense, which means that it has already happened. “Our old man was crucified”.It is complete. It has happened. God so loved you that He has already done this for you, that the body of sin might be destroyed. The Word “destroyed” , according to Martyn Lloyd-Jones, is probably too strong, but that the body of sin might be rendered void or ineffective, and that we henceforth not be slaves to sin. Everybody is a slave, either to sin or to God unto righteousness. ( The New Man, MLJ pg 59) God’s Word says in verse 11 of Romans 6 “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (The New Man, MLJ pg 59) Note this is the same theme: we are united to the Lord Jesus Christ in His death. In that He died, He died unto sin once. Once and forever! He had finished with it; and so have we! That is the whole point; to render the body of sin inert!
Paul was answering the charge that his preaching of justification by faith alone- in Christ alone- meant that we ought to sin all the more that grace may abound all the more. His answer here and elsewhere in Chapter 6 destroys that argument. The whole point is that Ephesisans 1: 3-4 says that God our Father has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…. that we should be Holy. (not to sin all the more) We are saved or justified in Christ Jesus that we can live as a saved man ought to live, not so we can sin more. Paul’s argument here destroys the argument to sin more because the purpose is to destroy the body of sin or render it inert. The argument to sin more that grace may abound more is an old heresy known as antinomianism. This means anti-nomos or against law; meaning I can do whatever I want to do.
III. NO CONFLICT WITH EPHESIANS 4:22-24
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesisans, he tells them in vs 22, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” This is a command to put off the “ manner of life” of the old man, not the old man. This the Apostle tells us in Romans Chapter 6 in verse 6 that “knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [Christ]....” You can’t put off that which is already dead. Our old man, the man we were in Adam was crucified with Christ. That old man is dead. The call in Ephesians 4:22-24 is, in a sense, a call to recognize that our old man - the man we were in Adam is dead. When Christ was crucified he was crucified. Therefore, this is a call in Ephesisans to recognize that the old man is dead and to put off the former manner of life of the old man! Stop living like the old man.
We are to recognize it simply because God’s Word says it - our old man is dead. That man is gone. We must recognize this true statement in God’s Word because God said it! We are to receive this and believe this as Abraham believed God, when God preached to Abraham the glorious Gospel of Christ (Galatians 3:8). God told Abraham that he was going to become the father of many nations and have more offspring than there are stars in the sky and sand on the seashore. The scriptures say Abraham staggered not at the promise of God even though he was 100 years old and Sarah was past 90 and her womb was dead. He believed God. He was fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was able to perform. We must do the same. Abraham didn’t feel anything. He believed the Word of God because God said it. We believe God’s Word because He said it. Our old man - the man we were in Adam is dead! We are a new man in Christ. We are called to “Reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God.” (Romans 6:11) He goes on to say in vs 14 that “sin shall not have dominion over you : for you are not under the law, but under grace.” We can walk in newness of life. We can heed Paul’s admonition in vs. 12 of Chapter 6 to “let not sin reign in your mortal body, that [we] should obey it in the lusts thereof.” This is the same call as is in Ephesians 4:22-24 to “put off the former conversation of the old man.” Don’t let sin reign in your mortal body. We, our old man, our essential self, are dead, but sin still remains in our mortal body and we are not to let it reign. We can mortify this sin by the Holy Spirit and through the Lord Jesus Christ because we ourselves have been united to the Lord Jesus Christ. Our old man is dead that the body of sin (that sin remaining in our mortal body) might be destroyed, rendered ineffective, inert.
Therefore, Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that “Though you are in the flesh at the moment, and are conscious of weakness and frailty and sin and failure, though you are persecuted and buffeted, tried and tempted, all is well, [says the apostle] because the Lord knows them that are His’ and the foundation of God stands sure.” (2 Timothy 2:19) The Lord knows them that are His, their position is guaranteed . Nothing can overthrow it …… Let there be no doubt or hesitation about believing it and living upon it.” (MLJ: The New Man, pg 60)
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
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