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Volume 25 - Page 73 of 190 Index | Zoom | |
Life hidden and manifested (3: 3, 4).
pp. 144 - 148
In our last article we considered the exhortation of Col. 3: 1, 2. We must now go on
to consider further features of great importance, which are presented in the next two
Verses 1 and 2 open with the word "if, the "if" of argument. Verses 3 and 4 open with
the word "for". It is obvious that any of whom it can be said, "Ye are risen" must have
previously died. The new life presupposes a death to the old life. This death has been
before us in Col. 2: "Circumcision", which puts off the body of the flesh, implies death
and resurrection. "Burial", too, is the sequel of death, and is immediately followed by the
operation of God Who raised Christ and His believing people from the dead. Death with
Christ from the rudiments of the world not only means exemption from their dominion,
but a new life in a new sphere. The apostle does not elaborate the thought of the death of
the believer with Christ in Col. 3: 3. He states it, in order that he may proceed
immediately to life--life that is at the moment "hid", but soon to be manifested:--
"For ye died and your life hath been hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3: 3).
The A.V. translation, "For ye are dead" seems to suggest, to a modern ear, that such
are still dead. But the word apethanete refers to what has already taken place: "Ye
died"--which leaves room for the newness of life which is the sphere of all spiritual
growth and activity.
In our study of Col. 3: 1, 2 we found the Epistle to the Hebrews a useful
commentary. In our present study we shall find similar help in Rom. 6: and 7:, which
provides a commentary upon the words "For ye died". We will not take it for granted
that every reader is familiar with these fundamental chapters, and we therefore draw
attention to their emphatic statements concerning the doctrine of death with Christ to sin,
its sphere and dominion:--
"How shall we, that died to sin (apethanomen), live any longer therein?" (Rom. 6: 2).
"For he that dieth (apothanon) is freed (Gk. justified) from sin" (Rom. 6: 7).
"If we died with Christ (apethanomen), we believe that we shall also live with Him
. . . . . for in that He died, He died unto sin once, but in that He liveth, He liveth unto
God" (Rom. 6: 8-10).
But there is something further and deeper yet to be seen in these statements. Look at
Rom. 6: 10 once more, and observe that the words "He died to sin" are a translation of
the dative case. It is utterly impossible that these words could be rendered "He died in
sin". Yet, when we come to the A.V. of Eph. 2: 1 and Col. 2: 13, the same dative case
is so rendered as applied to the Lord's believing people: "And you hath He quickened,
who were dead in trespasses and sins."