The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 210 of 249
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The Second Reckoning, "To have died with Christ".
pp. 125 - 129
The Scripture teaches that "the wages of sin is death", and this is the testimony not
only of the epistles of Paul, but of the early chapters of Genesis. For our salvation Christ
was born, was attested to be without spot, suffered the contradiction of sinners,
manifested the Father, was numbered with transgressors, was crucified; yet had He not
gone to the end and become "obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" we should
still be without a Saviour. "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." "In due
time Christ died for the ungodly"; such is the testimony of the apostle Paul. We have
pondered the grace that is made manifest in the fact that He the Righteous One, should be
"reckoned with the transgressors" and how this self-same reckoning enables the believer,
though sinful and condemned, to be reckoned among the righteous, but this supposes that
what was commenced on the cross, was taken to its end in death and the grave, and still
on to the glorious sequel of Resurrection. We must therefore consider this next great step
in the upward movement from reckoning to reality, namely the identification of the
believer with his Saviour in the death of the cross.
First let us observe what is actually written concerning that death and how it is
associated with ourselves and our deliverance. "Christ died FOR the ungodly"; "while
we were yet sinners, Christ died FOR us". "Christ died FOR our sins"; "if One died
FOR all, then all died" (Rom. 5: 6, 8; I Cor. 15: 3; II Cor. 5: 14). Into this aspect of the
Saviour's gracious work we cannot enter. When He bore our sins He bore them alone,
and in the very nature of things, it could not be otherwise. He not only died "for" our
sins as our Substitute however, He died TO sin as our Representative also, and it is in this
aspect of His wondrous work that "reckoning" makes us one.
The compound word sunapothnesko occurs but once in the epistles of Paul in
reference to the work of Christ, namely in II Tim. 2: 11, the other occurrence, namely
II Cor. 7: 3 being personal to the apostle. It is interesting to note that the apostle waited
until he was writing his last epistle before he actually used the full expression "to die
with". When he does employ the term it is not in order that he may introduce and explain
the doctrine, but in order that he may make it a basis of appeal to Timothy that he should
go on to perfection.
"It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him"
(II Tim. 2: 11).
We will not go into the question that awaits us in the context concerning "suffering"
and "reigning", "denying" and "being denied", our business is with this initial reckoning
that must without peradventure issue in life. Reigning and Crowning belong to another
category. The death of Christ FOR us ensures our forgiveness, justification and peace; it
also obtains for us the grant of newness of life, and this is received and entered by
"reckoning" ourselves to have died with Him.