Rom 6:4,5,8 Two Resurrections 4/20/2003

 

 

 

 

#1. We Were Baptized Into Jesus Christ (Rom 6:3-7, Eph 2:9, Matt 20:22, Gal 3:27)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2. It Is All a Gift of God's Grace (Gal 2:20-21, Phil 2:13, Acts 2:27)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3. The Second Resurrection (John 5:28-29, Isa 53:11, Rom 6:8-11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open the sermon outline that is in your Bulletin. There are some valuable notes in the open spaces, which you are going to fill in. Now, please open your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans 5:12 (2X). The title of this sermon is: "Two Resurrections" (2X). Today we are celebrating the feast of Easter, which is an annual commemoration of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ bodily rose from the grave. This is known as the greatest feast of the NT church. And why is that so? Why is Easter the greatest feast of the NT church? We can only understand this if we first understand the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, which we celebrated this past Friday, also called Good Friday. First we look at:

What does Atonement mean? The word Atonement is derived from "at-one-ment", which means bringing together two warring parties, God and man, which means to make peace or to reconcile God and man. Christ made peace between God and us, by covering our sins with His blood, which is another way of saying that He suffered in our place, for our sins, and made the payment required for the guilt of our sins. In this way, God has removed our sins from His sight. We read in Isa 38:17, For Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back. Whose sins did the blood of Christ cover? Did the Lord Jesus Christ atone for the sins of all the people in the world? No! That cannot be possible, because millions of people in Noah's days drowned in the flood, which means that they came under the wrath of God because their sins were not covered. Likewise in the days of Lot thousands of people died in the destruction of Sodom, Gomorra, Admah and Zeboim, which means that they too came under the wrath of God because their sins were not covered. The Bible teaches that Christ suffered and died for those only who were chosen by God the Father to be in Christ from before the foundation of the world We read in Matt 1:21, "Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins". Who are His people? They are all those who are called God's Elect. The Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died for all the Elect, whom He represented, because they were all in Christ when the Lord Jesus Christ made atonement for them on the cross. Christ was their representative in the Spirit, just like Adam was their representative in the flesh. We see that here in Rom 5:12,

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Before finishing this thought the Apostle Paul first proves in verses 13-17 that the consequences of Adam's sin were felt through all the generations from Adam to Moses, even though the Law was not yet given until Moses came on the scene. Adam was our representative in the flesh, because all mankind was in principle in the loins of Adam when He sinned. Then we read in verses 18-19,

Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

We read in verse 14 that: "Adam was a figure of Him that was to come". Just like Adam was our representative in the flesh, so Christ was our representative in the spirit. Just like all mankind was in principle "in Adam", in the flesh, so all the Elect are "in Christ", in the spirit. This does not mean that our souls were already in existence when Christ hung on the cross. Just like our bodies did not exist yet when Adam sinned, so our souls did not exist yet when Christ paid for our sins. Our bodies and our souls were created at the moment of our conception in our mother's womb. God explained here what exactly the representative principle is: Adam for our flesh, and Christ for our souls. If we do not like what Adam did and we deny Adam as our representative, then we do not have a Savior, because God decided to apply the representative principle twice: Once in Adam, and once in Christ. Now look across the page to Rom 6:3, and there we read that:

#1. We Were Baptized Into Jesus Christ (Rom 6:3-7, Eph 2:9, Matt 20:22, Gal 3:27)

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

What does death have to do with baptism? Does this refer to the ceremony of "water baptism"? Absolutely not! Do you see any water here in Rom 6? Water baptism is something that we DO, and something that we DO cannot bring us into a saving relationship with God. Remember, God said in Eph 2:9, "Not of works, lest any man should boast". But the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of this baptism when He answered His disciples James and John, who asked to sit on His right side and on His left. Jesus said in Matt 20:22, "Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" What was the cup that Jesus had to drink of? It was the cup of the wrath of God on our sins at the cross. What was the baptism, or the washing, that Jesus spoke of here? It was the washing from the guilt of our sins that He would experience at the cross. Jesus called this a Baptism. That is the baptism spoken of here in Rom 6:3 and 4. What does it mean then that we were baptized into Jesus Christ? And the Greek word that is used here indeed means "into". It refers to the fact that we were and are "united" with Christ, and therefore we share in His death and in His resurrection. For example, look at Rom 6:4,

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by (through) 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.

The first part of this verse says: "Therefore we are buried with Christ through His baptism on the cross into His death". In other words, when Christ was washed from our sins on the cross, through enduring the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, we were there with Him. We were not there personally, but since Christ was our representative, it was as effective as when we were there personally, united with Christ. What does the Bible teach about our unity with Christ? The Bible teaches that all those whom the Father has foreordained to become saved have been placed in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Again, our souls were not there personally, because our souls were not created yet, but Christ was appointed as our representative. It was in this sense that we were in Christ. The Bible teaches that when Christ was crucified, we were crucified with Him. When Christ died, we died with Him. When Christ was buried, we were buried with Him. When Christ was raised from the dead, we were raised with Him. After 40 days when Christ ascended into heaven, we were there ascending with Him. When Christ was seated in the heavenlies, we were and are there seated with Him. We should not fret over the fact that we were not there personally. This is the language of the Bible. God used this language to make clear to us that effectively we died and were raised with Christ. Now we get into the message of Easter. The 2nd half of verse 4, and verse 5 indicates this,

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Now this verse reflects a guarantee. God says that if we indeed can believe and see that we have been crucified with Christ, then it is guaranteed that we shall be like Him in the resurrection of the Last Day. This is a glorious promise. But there is a 2nd promise attached to His resurrection. Verse 6,

Romans 6:6 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 6:7 For he that is dead is freed (Lit: has been justified) from sin.

These verses are talking about the promise of a life of sanctification. If we died with Christ, then our "old man" also died with Christ. Our "old man" is so unworthy of the Kingdom of God that he had to be fastened to the cross and die there. God expressly referred to the cross of Christ, in order that He might more distinctly show that our "old man" cannot be put to death in any other way than by partaking of the death of Christ. Therefore, "the body of sin" mentioned in verse 6 does not mean just flesh and bones, but the whole corrupted mass, of body and soul. If any of us were left to our own human nature, both body and soul would be just a corrupted mass made up of sin. But what was the purpose for this destruction of the "old man"? God says in V.6: "That henceforth we should not serve sin". In other words: in order that we should live a life that is more pleasing to God than the life we lived before we came to salvation. It does not mean that we immediately become sinless, but it means that sin is no longer our taskmaster; we are no longer enslaved to sin. This thought is seen again in verse 7, where God says: "The one having died has been justified from sin". Paraphrased God says here: "The one having been crucified with Christ has been washed from his sins and is now declared just in the eyes of God". For example, the servant that is dead has been freed from the rule and dominion of his master. And when he has been freed, he is like a slave having been delivered out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Now think of it: When we have been delivered out of the house of bondage, shall we talk of going back to it again? Of course not!

Put a sticker here in Rom 6 and please turn about 60 pages to your right () to the Epistle to the Galatians chapter 3:27 (2X). To be declared just in the eyes of God is not something that we can do by ourselves. Christ has to do it for us by taking our sins and suffering for our sins the required penalty that was due for our sins. In this way Christ has to cover our sins. And then Christ has to bestow His righteousness upon us, so that we are covered with the robe of His righteousness, and we are declared righteous, or just, in the sight of God. This is what God says in:

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

We have not single-handedly put on Christ. We are in no position to put on Christ ourselves. Christ calls the whole human race to believe on Him, and "many are called but few are chosen". He chose to baptize all His people in His atoning work on the cross, and bestow on them the grace of receiving His righteousness, and the grace of receiving His power to resist sin in this earthly life. Therefore, if we harmonize Gal 3:27 with Rom 6:3-7 we see that "to put on Christ" means to live a life of continued sanctification, in gratitude to what He has done for us. Can we see ourselves in these verses? Can we say that our life has radically changed? Can we say that we live a life that is totally 100% dedicated to serving our Lord Jesus Christ? If we can see that in our life, it is because:

        We Were Crucified With Christ (Gal 2:20, Luke 19:10, Isa 46:9-10)

Look across the page to Gal 2:20 (2X). Can we say with the Apostle Paul that we were crucified?

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

If I find that I have become saved, and that my life has changed, so that I no longer am serving myself but Christ only, then I know that I have been crucified with Christ, and my sins were left there.

"My sin O the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul." What a wonderful concept God has placed in the Bible that we were crucified with Christ, and that in principle we have endured with Christ the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. All our sins were paid in full. It means that God can never send us to Hell again for any sin, because we have already been there and paid our sins in full. It reinforces the certainty of God's promises to all His Elect whose sins were paid at the cross. God cannot end this world until the very last one of those for whom Christ suffered and died has been witnessed to and saved. None of them may be lost, like none of the sheep of Christ may be lost. Moreover, every last one of our sins must be imputed on Christ before He went to the cross. Not one sin of the Elect may be forgotten. That is why Jesus used the expression in the Bible that "The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). It takes a whole lot of seeking to find the very last sin of every one of those destined to become saved. But this also means that God must know all the sins of all people who are ever going to exist on this earth. God does not only know the sins of all the Elect all the way to the end of time, but God must also know the sins of all the Reprobate all the way to the end of time. Only then will God be able to know the end from the beginning. God says in Isa 46:9-10, Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure". The only way God can declare the end from the beginning is if God knows all the sins of all people, down to the end of time. This means then that the Lord Jesus Christ knew which sins He will atone for and which sins He will pass by. To deny that Christ deliberately passed by the sins of all the Reprobate is to deny that Christ is God. Therefore, when the Lord Jesus Christ died on that cross on that Passover feast, on Friday, April 3, in the year AD 33, the destiny of all the Elect was signed and sealed in blood that they would all be saved and inherit eternal life with God. At the same time the destiny of all the Reprobate was also signed and sealed in blood that they will all be damned and will have to pay for their own sins in Hell. To deny this is to deny that God knows the end from the beginning. We must tremble when we think of the possibility that God could have reprobated us, and that He might have given our salvation to someone else instead. Therefore,

#2. It Is All a Gift of God's Grace (Gal 2:20-21, Phil 2:13, Acts 2:27)

Let us now look at the second half of Gal 2:20,

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I have been crucified with Christ and I have died with Christ. Nevertheless I live. I am no longer dead, but have been resurrected with Christ to a new life. Christ sent His Holy Spirit to give me a new soul, I have become "Born Again", and Christ has come to live in my soul in a special way. The life that I now live in the flesh is a life dedicated in service to Christ. But I cannot take credit for this, because it is Christ who lives in me and who prompts me to live in this way. We must always apply this important principle found in Phil 2:13, "For it is God which worketh in me both to will and to do of his good pleasure". The life that I now live, which is a result of: having been chosen by the Father to become the Bride of Christ, having the Lord Jesus Christ suffer and die for the guilt of my sins on the cross, having heard of God's mercy in the Gospel by the working of God the Holy Spirit, having believed the Bible as the Word of God from cover to cover, having freely received Christ as my Redeemer by the grace of God, having the power of God working in me to live a life of sanctification, and having a blessed hope for the resurrection on the Last Day, that is all a gift of God's grace. My entire life is a gift by the grace of God. Grace is God's unmerited favor unto salvation. I could not earn it, or deserve it for any action of believing on my part. I have received it all by the faith of the Son of God. What is that faith of the Son of God? It is the faith that Christ had when He was going to endure on the cross the wrath of God, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, trusting that His Father would not leave His Soul in Hell, but that He would come out of Hell that Friday afternoon, according to the Scriptures. I have received this eternal life because Christ loved me and gave Himself for me, trusting that He would be successful in paying the debt that I owe due to my sins. And now look at verse 21,

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

I do not reject the grace of God, for the grace of God is irresistable. Therefore, when God decided to save me He saved me mightily, just like He drew Saul of Tarsus mightily on the road to Damascus. For if righteousness could come by obeying a law, if I could be justified by obeying a law, any law, then Christ would have died in vain. Christ would have died for no reason. Therefore, it is not possible that becoming right with God could be earned or deserved. It must be a free gift.

Please turn about 160 pages to your left (), to the Gospel according to John 5:24 (2X). There in John chapter 5 we are introduced to two resurrections. Remember, the title of this sermon is "Two Resurrections". There is a resurrection of the soul, and there is a resurrection of the body. If there are two resurrections, are there then also two deaths? That is also true: There is a first death, which is the death of the body, and there is a second death, when body and soul will be cast into the Lake of Fire. And this also implies that there are two births: There is a first birth, when we are born from our mother's womb, and there is a second birth, when our soul becomes "Born Again" by the power of God the Holy Spirit. This also means that there are two Judgment Days: There was a first Judgment Day, which was on Friday, April 3, in the year AD 33, and there will be a second Judgment Day, which will be on the Last Day. Let us read in John, chapter 5:24-25, about:

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

What is Jesus saying here? First of all we need to hear His Word. What does that mean? It means that we must have been given the spiritual ability to hear His Word. It means that we are not deaf any more. Who is deaf? Corpses are deaf. In Eph 2:1 God says that we all came into the world "dead in trespasses and sins". Dead people are deaf. We were all spiritually dead and spiritually deaf before the moment of our salvation. We could hear the Gospel with our physical ears, but these were just words without meaning. The natural man is not able to understand or believe the Gospel. God has to open our spiritual ears and give us faith as a gift from God. The Lord Jesus said in this verse: "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life". What is His Word? His Word is the Bible in the original languages, the Word of God from cover to cover. This is what we must be willing to believe, or else we have not really heard His command to believe His Word. If we have an aversion to some parts of Scripture, or if we skip certain verses because we do not like those verses, then most likely we have never been saved. But by the grace of God we can be given the faith to believe His Word in its entirety, which means that we believe on the Father who sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus on the cross. That is the signal that we have received "everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life". Just think of us, before our salvation we were sitting in church, but we were spiritually dead. You can see that when you watch some of your children. One day something the preacher said made us suddenly sit up and listen carefully. That did not come out of our own good nature. By nature we do not have such an interest in the Gospel. It was God the Holy Spirit who made us to listen carefully. If this sudden change in attention span lasts, and we develop an earnest desire to be obedient to God's Word, then we know that we have passed from death into life. It means that we have experienced the resurrection of our soul. The Lord Jesus spoke about that in the next V.

John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

Who are those dead? Did you notice that there are no graves here? This does not refer to the physically dead, but to the walking dead. They are the spiritually dead, who are walking around. They that hear the voice of the Son of God are they that rejoice to hear the voice of their Bridegroom, and they shall believe and live eternally in the Kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus said: "The hour is coming, and now is". This refers to the time Jesus was speaking to the crowd around Him. Salvation could come to any of them through the resurrection of the soul. This is the First Resurrection. The call of the Lord Jesus goes out into all the world, calling on all to believe on Him. But who will believe? No one will believe. No one will respond to this call, unless God the Father has ordained this person unto salvation, and God the Son has paid for this person's sins on the cross. Then God the Holy Spirit will at the right time infuse a new soul into this person, and he will miraculously become spiritually alive.

#3. The Second Resurrection (John 5:28-29, Isa 53:11, Rom 6:8-11). Drop down to V. 28-29,

John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Here are the graves. But these people are not called dead, even though we know that they must be physically dead. Why are they not called dead? It is because some of these corpses belong to saints whose bodies have died, and whose souls are now living and reigning with Christ in heaven. These two verses refer to the second resurrection when Christ shall come the second time. Then He will rapture the saints to be with Him forever and He will judge the rest of mankind and cast them into Hell. The 1st time Christ came as the "Suffering Servant". But the 2nd time He will come as the Judge.

The Lord Jesus Christ also experienced two resurrections. That is a surprise to many. Let us ask some serious questions about the Atonement. 1st question: Is physical death a part of the payment that we must pay, because of our sins? The answer is NO! There will be many alive on the Last Day who will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, without ever having to go through a painful death scenario. Physical death is only a shadow of spiritual death. It is the spiritual death that causes people to be cast into Hell, which is called the 2nd death. 2nd question: When Christ had to suffer for our sins, did He suffer in His whole personality, body and Spirit, or only in His body? Answer: He suffered in body and Spirit, because God said in Isa 53:11, "He shall see of the travail of His Soul, and shall be satisfied". In all the verses of Isa 53 we see that Christ suffered both in body and in soul. 3rd question: What was the extent of Christ's suffering? Answer: To satisfy completely the righteousness of God the Lord Jesus Christ had to pay the full price to purchase us body and soul. The full price for our sins is that we would have to suffer body and soul in Hell for an eternity. Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ must have endured the 2nd death, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for all those whom He came to save, whatever God determined that equivalent amount of suffering to be. 4th question: When was the Atonement complete? Answer: Since God knows the end from the beginning God knew entire world history from the beginning to the end. God saw the sins of every person who will be born. The guilt of all the sins of all the Elect were loaded on Christ and all the sins of all the Reprobate were passed by. When the Lord Jesus Christ completed the sufferings for all the Elect, He cried with a loud voice: "It Is Finished". What was finished? His sufferings for everything He wanted to accomplish were absolutely completed. But He was still hanging on the cross; most of His blood was still in His body, which proves that the sufferings in His body were not a complete payment for our sins. Then He said, "I thirst", and a little later He said, "Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit". Then He died, His body was put in the tomb, and His Soul, His Spirit essence, went to be with the Father in heaven. When Jesus said: "It is finished", we must believe that He had really finished the sufferings necessary to complete the Atonement. In His Spirit essence He had endured the 2nd death. Therefore when His Spirit essence went to heaven this was His First Resurrection. But how would we know that? Therefore God also arranged that Christ's Spirit would come back and raise His body from the grave, so that we would know that Christ's Atonement was completed in full. Moreover, His dead body represented us, body and soul. If His body would not rise from the grave, then we would also remain dead in our sins. Therefore, this second resurrection of Christ is the seal, or the guarantee, of our first resurrection of the soul, and of the resurrection of our bodies on the Last Day. That is why Easter is the greatest feast of the NT church.

Please turn again to Romans chapter 6. We continue reading in verse 8,

Romans 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Romans 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Therefore, if it is really true that Christ suffered and died for you, then it is also guaranteed that there must appear in you the evidence that you have been in the fellowship of Christ when He was crucified. The fruit thereof is that sin has no more dominion over you. Do we really find this within us?

Let me try to summarize this sermon: When the Lord Jesus Christ died, in His Spirit essence He went immediately to heaven to be with the Father, and His body was put in the grave. Likewise, when a saint dies his soul goes immediately to heaven to be with Christ, and his body is put in the grave. But when Christ in His Spirit essence went to heaven, He went alone; His Spirit was not representing our souls. His dead body that was buried was representing us: body and soul. We began to be dead, both in body and in soul. When Christ's Spirit returned to His body, He rose from the grave, and we were in Christ as He represented us. This was the evidence that His atoning work was completed. In this resurrection story God showed the two resurrections that we experience. The first resurrection is the resurrection of our dead souls at the moment of our salvation. This is our second birth, when we become "Born Again" by the power of God the Holy Spirit, and by His power we can live a life of continued sanctification. The second resurrection we will experience is the resurrection of our bodies, which will occur on the Last Day when Christ shall come on the clouds of glory. These are the two resurrections that are in view when we read in the Bible about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a first birth and there is a second birth. There is a first death and there is a second death, but the Elect of God are not subject to the second death. There was a first Judgment Day, on Friday, April 3, in the year AD 33, and there is a second Judgment Day at the end of time, but the Elect of God are not subject to the second Judgment. Now, when we look back at the resurrection of Christ, Can we rejoice with the saints of the past 1300 years and say these words, which they spoke:

        Come ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness; God hath brought His people forth into joy from sadness. Now rejoice, Jerusalem, and with true affection welcome in unwearied strains Jesus' resurrection.

        'This the spring of souls today; Christ has burst His prison, and from three days' sleep in death as a sun hath risen; all the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying from His light, to whom we give laud and praise undying.

        "Alleluia!" now we cry to our King immortal, who, triumphant, burst the bars of the tomb's dark portal; "Alleluia!" with the Son, God the Father praising; "Alleluia!" yet again to the Spirit raising.

These words written in the 8th century AD, have been set to music for us 130 years ago in Hymn

#362. Let us remember with the saints of old this wonderful feast of Easter.

Amen. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.