The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 44 of 249
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Meta indicates "proximity", but sun indicates "conjunction", and implies something in
common union, and the compound verb sustauroo "to crucify with" meets us for the
first time (Matt. 27: 44; Mark 15: 32; John 19: 32).  Be it noted, this same word
sustauroo is used by the Apostle Paul to indicate the first of a series of links that unites
the believer for ever with His Lord: "I am crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2: 20), "Our old
man is crucified with Him" (Rom. 6: 6).
At the birth at Bethlehem Christ became Emmanuel, "God with us", where meta
indicates the limits of this blessed proximity of God to man, but at the cross, the believing
sinner becomes one "with Christ" and now the preposition of union and oneness is
employed, sun.
From this initial union there arises a wonderful doctrine, found only in the epistles of
Paul, the first rung of the ladder being "crucified with Christ", the last being "manifest
with Him" in glory. The Emmanuel aspect of Christ's association with man was by
"birth", but the closer union at the cross was by "reckoning".  The same word is
translated "numbered" in Mark 15: 28, and "reckoned" in Luke 22: 37.  It is the
Greek logizomai. The only way in which the Holy Spotless One could be "one" with
sinful men was being "reckoned" so. The only way in which corrupted sinful man could
be "one" with Christ, was by being "reckoned" so. Apart from James 2: 23, I Pet. 5: 12,
the Gospels and Acts 19: 27,  logizomai is found thirty-five times in Paul's epistles.
The epistle of this reckoning is Romans, where logizomai occurs nineteen times.
In the fourth of Romans we read "It was counted unto him for righteousness", a
reward not being "reckoned of grace" but of debt, and God is seen "imputing"
righteousness without works, and  "reckoning"  faith for righteousness.  In the
sixth chapter the whole blessed teaching is found expressed in two verses: The new
bond of union "crucified WITH" (6) and the link "reckon ye also yourselves to be dead"
(11). Because He was sinless, He could only be reckoned with (meta) sinners, but
inasmuch as His sacrificial death put away our sin, we, the sinners, can be reckoned with
(sun) Him, not in His birth, but in that new relationship made possible first by reckoning
and then by substitution. At present our union with Christ is by reckoning only, for we
are still in ourselves mortal and sinful. However, in resurrection, what is ours only by
reckoning will be ours in glorious reality. All barriers to complete union will then have
gone and we shall indeed be One.
After what we have seen, it will be misleading to pursue this new line of teaching
under the heading "Emmanuel, God with us", we shall have to adopt a new title and
commence a new series, but the reader will not forget that had the Lord never
condescended to the birth at Bethlehem, He could never have descended further to the
death of the Cross. He became "God with us" in order that it might be possible for us to
be made one "with God".