The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 148 of 202
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With regard to the next list--the occurrences of nekros (substantive)--it will suffice
for the moment to say that the word means a corpse, a dead person, or body, and that all
the references are to be taken literally. In the following list, however, where nekros is
used as an adjective, the word is employed doctrinally. Just as Christ was raised from out
of the dead, literally, so likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be as a dead body, a
corpse, unto sin. Without the law and its incitements sin was corpselike and inactive, and
8: 10 applies the truth one more, declaring that if Christ be in us the body is like a
corpse, so far as sin is concerned, but alive because of the Spirit. In other words, the
resurrection of Christ from the dead is re-enacted in the case of all who are united with
The word thnetos, "mortal", appears here as a corrective. Identification with Christ in
His death and resurrection, while it has immortality as its goal (I Cor. 15: 51-54), does
not render this corruptible body, inherited from Adam, immortal here and now. We must
all be changed, either by this mortal putting on immortality, or by this corruptible putting
on incorruption. Only in resurrection will the full fruit of identification with Christ be
"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; It is raised in
incorruption . . . it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body" (I Cor. 15: 42-44).
It will mean disaster if we assume that "this mortal body" is no longer for us, and that
we have attained a "spiritual body" of "resurrection glory". Nevertheless the dominion of
the law of sin and death has been cancelled, and we may, even now, in mortal bodies,
prove the truth of the victory of Christ. Once again the two references are distributed
according to theme, that in chapter 8: being the application, the present power of life
operating in mortal bodies by His Spirit--"the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the
faith of the Son of God."
The next list speaks only of death itself. All the references in chapter 5: refer to the
actual result of Adam's sin. Three succeeding references as surely refer to Christ's death,
and our baptism, burial and "planting together" into it. Thus, being joined together with
Him in His death, and learning that death hath no more dominion over Him, we rejoice to
know that we, too, have passed out of its dread dominion. We stay but for two other
references in the long list, viz., 7: 24 and 8: 2  They express utter need and
complete supply, the prayer and its answer:--
"Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom. 7: 24).
"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin
and death" (Rom. 8: 2).
All these passages will come up again for fuller exposition as we come to them in
order of the chapters: the foregoing analysis is but to prepare the way and indicate the
trend of the subject. It is not now possible to attempt any further study of the subject or
attempt to apply what we have seen. As to practice, it is entirely beyond the power of
anyone to do more than assemble the facts. It is the work of Him Who is the Spirit of all