Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 22
GRACE MUCH MORE ABOUNDS
Back to Romans Chapter 6. We have the same kind of language so we’ll read verse 3 as we go into verse 4.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ (that was the work of the Holy Spirit. Ref. I Corinthians 12:13) were baptized into his death?”
Remember the Gospel, that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He arose again from the dead. Now that’s the Gospel, and we have to go through that spiritually at least in the mind of God, and we experience it by faith, that when He died, we died. As He was buried, we also were buried. And as He arose from the grave, we arose in newness of life. And as I said in the last lesson, this goes way beyond what water baptism can do. This is the work of the Almighty Himself, and now verse 4:
“Therefore we are buried with him by 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.”
Now I don’t know of any denomination that teaches that when they baptize you with water, they are baptizing you into death. Most are baptizing you into the Church, or into the denomination, but you see this is into something far different. Now this means that Christ was really dead. He proved that by being in the tomb for three days and three nights. He was really dead, and the same thing has to happen to us in the realm of old Adam. Old Adam has to die, and we have to be sure he’s dead, and so as He died, we died in the mind of God. He saw us in the tomb, and that’s the baptism He speaks of in verse 4. That again as we were engulfed in that three days in the tomb experience of Christ Himself, so also we have died, and we’ll see that in more detail in the Book of Romans.
Now, in order for us to experience the resurrection from the grave we naturally had to go into it. But we’re not going to stay there any more than Christ did, we are resurrected out of it. Turn for a moment to the Book of Ephesians. Because this a theme Paul never drops all through his epistles, he’s always hammering this home. That Christ died for our sins, and that as He died, we have to die, and out of that death we get new eternal life. Now let’s look at Ephesians Chapter 2 for a moment. Paul always writes to believers. I’m forever telling you Paul always writes to believers, and to make my point let’s flip back to Ephesians Chapter 1.
“PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:” See this is to every believer, and every believer according to Scripture is a saint. So these Pauline letters all start basically the same way, and that’s where I get it that Paul writes only to the believer. Now on to Chapter 2, and see how this all fits together.
“AND you (as a believer) hath (it’s already done) he quickened, (made alive with eternal life) who were dead in trespasses and sins;” In other words, the unsaved world in all their activity as they go barreling up and down these freeways, and as they are in their offices, and all their fast lane experiences – what are they? They’re dead! It’s a world full of dead people; not physically dead, but spiritually dead. They are wrapped up in the spider web of Satan, and I’ll show you a verse for that in just a moment.
“Wherein (in that life of sin) in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all (you and I, every believer has come out of that kind of lifestyle) had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
Back in the forties or fifties there was a popular song which went something like, “Doing what comes naturally.” When you do what comes naturally, who are you abiding by? The old nature under the control of Satan. But then we have the flip side in verse 4:
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,”
The flip side is we are no longer in that lifestyle. Now because of God’s Grace and His mercy, we are experiencing His love. Back to Romans 6. So we have be engulfed into the very death of Christ Himself. We have to identify with that. Old Adam has to die, and we have to be separated from him. Verse 4 again:
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so (in the same manner) we also should walk in newness of life.”
A verse comes to mind in II Corinthians that we can use here. These are concepts that not too many people are hearing, and yet it’s so fundamental to our Christian plan of Salvation.
II Corinthians 5:17,18
“Therefore if any man be in (positional term. That person who has been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body) Christ, he is a new creature (creation is a better word than creature, because our Salvation is a work of creation, a work of the power of God): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
“And all things are of God (as a believer don’t ever get the idea that you’re going to have a rose petal pathway. No way, we’re going to have just as many trials and tests as the world. The only difference is we have a stabilizing power that’s going to see us through it), who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us (it’s our responsibility to share this with those around us) the ministry of reconciliation;”
Now come back to Romans again. So now we have been raised from the dead even as Christ was, we are now quickened, we have been given new life, we’ve been given a whole new set of principles and values, and then in verse 5 he’s going to explain it with even a more simple explanation. And he’s going to do that by using the word “Planted.” This may give away my age, but how many of you remember the old radio comedy team of Fibber McGee and Molly, one of the characters of their program was the old undertaker. Remember that? His name was Digger O’Dell, and I can’t help but think of old Digger every time I see this verse, because he was always going out to plant somebody. We used to laugh at that, but it was so Scripturally true. That’s just exactly what we do when we take a loved one to the cemetery who’s a believer. And if the Lord tarries long enough and I go the way of the cemetery, they’re going to do the same thing with me; they’re going to plant me. That’s exactly what Paul is alluding to, and that is, when the body is placed in the earth in death, it’s waiting for the resurrection day. And out of that death will come resurrection life, and that’s why he uses the term. I’m going to take you back, and Jesus used the same analogy. Alright, verse 5 …
“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death (what he’s talking about? The tomb. If we have been in the tomb as He was; if we have been buried because we’re dead, and old Adam is now crucified, here’s the guarantee), we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”
Just as surely as He rose from the dead, then one day we will also, if we have to go that route. I’m trusting that before that happens The Lord is going to come, and we’re going to be out of here. (Ref. I Thessalonians 4:13-18) Now verse 6, and here Paul is going to recap. How is all of this possible? What’s he talking about?
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him,…”
What does crucifixion do? It puts to death, it kills. Turn for a moment to John Chapter 12, and I’m going to show you that Paul is not out in left field with all of this. He’s following right in the concept of Christ Himself as He spoke just before He was crucified. Here it’s building up for the week of Passover, and there are multitudes of Jews who have come in from the then-known world for this Feast of Passover. But just as when we go to Israel, we like to go down to the Wailing Wall, and watch the carrying on of these Jews at their Wailing Wall, I imagine that it was pretty much the same way back then. Some Gentiles may have been visiting Jerusalem on business, and so forth, because I personally don’t think these Greeks were proselytes, but probably just curiosity seekers, and they had been hearing about this Jesus of Nazareth, and all the miracles that He had been performing. Let’s start at verse 20. It picks up with these Gentiles in the midst of all these Jews.
“And there were certain Greeks (Gentiles) among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same (Gentiles, and we don’t know how many there were) came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, `Sir, we would see Jesus.'”
We would like to talk to this fellow. My we’ve heard a lot about Him. You know Philip had a hot potato, and he didn’t know exactly how to handle it because he knew that Jesus had nothing to do with Gentiles (Ref. Matthew 10:5) for three years, with but two exceptions, and they were tough ones. So Philip was wondering how he was going to handle this. Philip knows Jesus isn’t going to see a Gentile so he cops out by taking the problem over to Andrew.
“Philip cometh and telleth Andrew (can’t you just picture that conversation? And I can hear old Andrew tell Philip, “Now wait a minute Philip, we can’t take this responsibility on ourselves, we had better at least go in and ask Him.” So Philip and Andrew pick their way through the crowd and find Jesus.): and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.”
“And Jesus answered them (Philip, and Andrew), saying (bring them in? Take me to them? No!), `The hour is come (probably within 48 hours before He would be on the Cross), that the Son of man should be glorified (speaking of His death, burial, and Resurrection). Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (kernel) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.'”
Now what’s He talking about? If you take that kernel of wheat, and leave it in a granary some place it will never reproduce, but rather what does it have to do? It has to be planted, and when you plant something then you’re burying it. Now as a result of that burial, the moisture, the sunshine, and all the activity in nature, what happens to that kernel of wheat? It dies, it rots, but out of that death will come that new green shoot. Out of that little green shoot will come the stem, and maybe a hundred kernels. Now Jesus is using that simple illustration in reference to His own death, burial, and Resurrection. That unless He is to die, and spend those three days and nights in the grave, and be resurrected from the dead, then there would be no Salvation for those Greeks. See, He’s already looking forward to the time when the Gospel (Ref I Corinthians 15:1-4) would go to the Gentiles.
I know a lot of people don’t understand this, but all the way from Genesis Chapter 12 to the Apostle Paul there were precious few Gentiles that had access to Salvation. There were a few exceptions, such as the city of Nineveh, Ruth, the Moabites, and Rahab, but for the most part it was Jew only, and Paul makes that plain in the Book of Ephesians Chapter 2. In fact, let’s look at it for a moment so I can show you what I’m talking about. Again Paul is writing to the Gentile believers at Ephesus, and in that area of the world.
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands (in other words, the Jew would refer to the Gentiles as uncircumcised); That at that time (when God was dealing with the Circumcision only, the Jew, and the Circumcision had no time for the Gentiles in spiritual things) ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (that left them out of the Covenant promise of Israel) and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”
Now that was the lot of those Greeks. But they weren’t without hope, because what was soon to take place? His death, burial, and His Resurrection, and then as He would come forth from the grave just like that wheat that would grow up, it wouldn’t just come up with one kernel, but many. So this is the whole concept of Scripture, and that is this whole idea of death, burial, and Resurrection, and I think that is why God has saturated nature with it. Every place we look we are reminded of death, burial, and resurrection. As we live in a temperate climate the seasons speak of it, we go into winter, and everything is dead, and dormant. But come springtime we have new life. See, that’s resurrection life, and I think that’s the reason The Lord planned to have Easter, as we call it, in the springtime. And of course that’s what gave Satan the option to adulterate Easter, but nevertheless we’re to look beyond the adulteration of Satan, and look at the truth of Scripture that everything is wrapped up in His death, burial, and Resurrection. Now come back to Romans Chapter 6, and completing verse 6:
“Knowing this, that our old man (old Adam or sin nature) is crucified with him (that’s when our old Adam was crucified, and that was when Christ was. A lot of people can’t understand what we have to do with Someone who died 2000 years ago, and that’s a logical question. But it has everything to do with us today, because you see it was God Himself Who was there on the Cross. And God’s eternal. With God 2000 years is like a snap of the finger. So far as He’s concerned, His death, burial and Resurrection was almost contemporary with us), that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
The thought I want to leave as we wind down this lessons is this. Every believer of all the ages God saw in Christ. I mean that’s one of the miracles of Scriptures. This is one of the miracles of Salvation, that regardless of whether it was Adam or the last person that will find Salvation at the end of time as we know it, everyone of them God saw in the person of Christ as He hung on that Cross.