by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 7 June 12, 2016 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(013)Thesis: Walking in newness of Life is rooted in both understanding and believing the reality of what it means to have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within us.
Introduction: In our last study we looked into the issue of "burial together with Christ Jesus". The point of that study was that we are so completely identified with The Death of Christ Jesus that there is absolutely no appointment with the Justice of God in our future. He died for our sins once for all and we are considered by God to have died with Him in precisely the same way. The "burial" issue is simply the evidence of the reality of The Death. It is designed to enhance our ability to believe in our association with Him in The Death and its corollary of having been subjected to the fulness and end of God's Justice...to the uttermost, so as to eliminate it from any and all future considerations regarding how He is going to respond to us in our attitudes and actions.
This evening we are going to move to the next particular in our "baptism into Christ Jesus": our baptism into His resurrection and its implications for our daily living.
I. The Resurrection of Christ From Among The Dead.
A. This is a "just as" declaration: it sets the stage for a "so also" conclusion.
B. This is a declaration of the most significant demonstration of certain characteristics of God as Father as is found in physical creation.
1. There was a time when "dynamite" was considered "powerful"; then came "nitroglycerin"; and after that multiple forms of explosives.
a. All of these particular forms of "power" were tied to a ratio of power to mass: the more dynamite one had to ignite at one time, the greater the power.
b. Even in these days, the mother of all bombs, in terms of explosives was developed in terms of mass so that the delivery requires an airplane of significant size (it weighs 21,000 lbs.) in order to deliver it [Recently the Russians have devised the Father of all bombs that is four times more powerful, yet only weighs 18,000 lbs.].
2. Now, however, it is "nuclear" power that is seen to be the greatest demonstration of "power" in the physical universe.
3. Regardless, these are "powers" that are only "destructive" in their larger capacities, and none of them even begin to bring life out of death.
4. And man's fixation upon destructive power is rooted in his "materialism" as opposed to the reality of God's essential spiritual nature.
a. In the realm of man's materialism, the power of resurrection has never been harnessed and that means that man has no "power" of "Life".
b. But it is instructive to us to consider that what is phenomenal in the material world is to be used for our understanding of what God would have us "believe".
1) According to Ephesians 1:19 in context, it is critical for believers to come to grips with just exactly what it is that we are to seek and expect when it comes to "power".
a) Paul would not have so diligently prayed for such understanding if it is just a matter of course in the lives of believers.
b) His prayer was not for "material world" actions of power.
2) We are to seek, and expect, that God would use His power to address our real needs, none of which are "material".
5. But according to Romans 1:4, there is another issue involved in the "power" thesis: Holiness.
a. This may well be why Paul said in our text that "Christ was raised...through the glory of the Father".
1) There is far more involved in the demonstration of power than mere power.
2) That it was "through the glory of the Father" that Christ was raised indicates that there were multiple considerations in play.
b. The "holiness" thesis indicates that a plethora of issues were maintained in harmony with the exercise of the power.
II. Paul's Point.
A. We are charged with the obligation of a different kind of lifestyle and given a sure foundation for living up to it.
B. But the questions are two.
1. What is that foundation?
a. According to John 7:39 the resurrection had to occur before the Spirit of Life could be given.
b. Thus, our identification with the resurrection includes our awareness of the reality of the gift of the Spirit as indwelling presence.
2. Why is it cast in the terms of Romans 6?
a. This concept of indwelling presence is pervasive throughout the New Testament and boils down to living and walking by the Spirit of God as our Indwelling Presence.
b. So, why does Paul couch all of this in "baptism" terminology?
1. At issue is not whether we have heard about the gift of the Spirit (in light of Acts 19).
2. At issue is whether we have come to a "believing grip" on the truth.
3. Paul's method is to express the heart of the real issue of the presence of the Spirit of Holiness within us.
a) It is absolutely set into a context of total human incapacity so that we are not tempted to "go it alone" or turn it into "my obligation".
b) It is absolutely set into a context of "newness of life" so that we are not tempted to exalt the material over the relational.
c) It is absolutely set into a context of expectation that has to do with relational life in its purity.
d) "Blessedness" is totally divorced from material realities (not "blessings") so that we only feel "blessed" when our relationship with God is without condemnation.