Saturday, October 17, 2009

Romans 6:8-11
"Identity: What Paul and Clark Kent Have to Say"

[The index for the series is here.]

I am using the Pastor's titles for these posts. The appropriate links are:

The text:

(NET) Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know6 that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die7 again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you too consider yourselves8 dead to sin, but9 alive to God in Christ Jesus.

6 tn Grk “knowing.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

7 tn The present tense here has been translated as a futuristic present (see ExSyn 536, where this verse is listed as an example).

8 tc ‡ Some Alexandrian and Byzantine mss (P94vid א* B C 81 365 1506 1739 1881 pc) have the infinitive “to be” (εἶναι, einai) following “yourselves“. The infinitive is lacking from some mss of the Alexandrian and Western texttypes (P46vid A D*,c F G 33vid pc). The infinitive is found elsewhere in the majority of Byzantine mss, suggesting a scribal tendency toward clarification. The lack of infinitive best explains the rise of the other readings. The meaning of the passage is not significantly altered by inclusion or omission, but on internal grounds omission is more likely. NA27 includes the infinitive in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.

9 tn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.

[1] Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.

My Comments: Matt Bowen gave this message sans a note sheet - hence no link above, and no "Going Deeper into the Word" questions below.

The simple message of this passage is to have us see our identity with Christ - and to understand what that means to us. That, in Christ, we too have died to sin, risen to new life, and do not have to worry about death again. However, since this changes our indentity, we now have to act in a way consistant with that new identity in Christ. We have to remember that we are now dead to sin, but more importantly we have to remember the positive -- that we are alive to God.

Bob Deffinbaugh says that "Our Union with Christ Requires a Break with Sin". He gives these general observations about Romans 6:3-11 --
  1. Paul is speaking to Christians
    Paul is assuming that those reading his words here are genuine Christians who have been justified by faith in Jesus Christ. He makes no distinction between Jewish and Gentile Christians. He seeks, however, to strongly contrast the Christian’s lifestyle with his conduct in the past as an unbeliever.
  2. Paul seeks to amplify and document his statement in verse 2 that we have “died to sin.”
    Paul’s answer, in verse 2 to the question of verse 1 is predicated on the fact that those to whom he is speaking have “died to sin.” Verses 3-11 expound on the origin of our death to sin.
  3. The lifestyle of the Christian is the issue addressed.
    Paul teaches that conversion should change the conduct of one who has come to faith in Christ.
  4. The basis for Paul’s teaching is the gospel, specifically the cross of Christ.
    Paul does not leave the gospel behind, once he has taught justification by faith. He now seeks to apply the gospel, as it relates to Christian living. Christian conduct must be consistent with Christian conversion.
  5. Paul assumes that a knowledge of the gospel is the basis for the Christian’s belief and behavior.
    There is a strong emphasis on knowledge in these verses. Ignorance of biblical knowledge is deplorable to Paul, just as the neglect of this knowledge is deplorable. What we do should be consistent with what we know to be true.
  6. Paul bases his teaching on the fact that every believer in Christ has been united with Christ and His work on the cross.
  7. The imagery used by Paul is that of baptism.
  8. The emphasis here falls on the death of Christ and its implications for the believer.
Deffinbaugh sums up this passage in this way:
The death of Christ ended an era in our lives. It closed that ugly chapter of our lives marked by sin and destined for death. It was but one event, ending the death-grip of sin on our lives. But the resurrection of Christ commenced a whole new and eternal life. The death of Christ was one event in history, a death to sin “once for all.” The life of our Lord is for all time, an endless succession of living toward God.

Living in sin is entirely inconsistent with the work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. It is entirely inconsistent with who we are and what happened to us, in Christ. Our death to sin and aliveness toward God is a fact which we must reckon as true. Just as we must receive the atoning work of our Lord as His act accomplished for us, personally, so we must also accept His death to sin, resurrection, and life toward God personally. We must regard ourselves as dead to sin and alive toward God. To do so is to agree with Paul that to continue to live in sin is inconceivable, in the light of our death to sin and resurrection to life, in Christ.
Matt Bowen wanted to stress that we need to focus more on who we are in our new identity with Christ and what that implies positively about our behavior, and not on the identity we have died to and the "no-no's".

Next: 5:21-6:14 -- "A New Identity"

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly