The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 95 of 207
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The force of "into" here is fully realized in the sequel; such have "put on Christ" and
so are "in Him". So real is this death, and so real is this identification, that just as surely
as Christ died and was buried, so surely must burial be included as one of the blessings
that follow union with the Lord.  When once this baptism "into" Christ Jesus is
mentioned, there follows the fact that the believer is "in Christ Jesus" (6: 11, R.V.;
8: 1).
The burial of Christ forms one feature of the apostle's gospel (I Cor. 15: 4); it is the
evidence and assurance that the person in view is really dead. No words have the sense
of finality about them as these, "Dead and buried". The little gathering of mourners have
paid their last tribute. Prayers and willing service have been rendered while the battle for
life lasted, but when "dead and buried"! what more is to be done? The next movement
must come from God, and that is the apostle's thought here.  I Cor. 15: 3, 4 says that
"Christ died" and that He was "buried", but it does not stay there; it goes on to say that
He was "raised" from the dead:--
"That like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we
also should walk in newness of life" (6: 4).
The walk in newness of life is our experimental answer to His resurrection. The full
truth is that when He died, we died: when He was buried, we were buried; and being
dead and buried our hope both now during the life which we live in the flesh (Gal. 2: 20),
and in the future glory in the life to come, is entirely dependent upon Him. If that risen
life is also ours, then even now we may "walk". If it is not--being dead and buried--we
can do nothing but wait amid a groaning creation for the redemption of the body.
The first note in the chord of sanctification has now been struck. Instead of "living in
sin" we who have died to sin may "walk in newness of life". This is more than "a new
life", for the abstract word kainoteti conveys the idea of "newness". There are two words
in the Greek for "new": kainos (that gives us "newness" in Rom. 6: 4) and neos. Both
come together in Col. 3: 10: "And having put on the new man (neos), being renewed
"In other words, we have put on the new, young, rejuvenate man, fresh, vigorous,
prime, with all the glorious future stretching out in its limitless possibilities by the grace
of God, and have been renewed with a life that standing beside the empty tomb looks
back at the past, dead, buried, excluded, finished. Neos turns our faces toward Christ, the
last Adam; kainos looks back to the first Adam. The one says `life has begun', the other
`that life has finished'." (Volume XV, page 138).
As we proceed, we shall see that the dominion of sin and death is manifested by the
fact that men are their slaves (servants). These slaves have been set free. Grace reigns
where sin once reigned, and they are now free, free to serve another, and so, "Walk in
newness of life" finds its sequel in "Serve in newness of spirit" (Rom. 7: 6).