The Berean Expositor
Volume 44 - Page 206 of 247
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We must be careful, too, that the truth of identification with Christ is not mis-used.
The "raising together" of Eph. 2: 6 (sunegeiro) is not physical resurrection, but is
positional, IN Christ Jesus (6), and is how God sees us now in Christ in our glorious
standing. It is no more physical than our present being "seated together in Christ Jesus"
(same verse) is physical. On the other hand anastasis `resurrection' is never used in the
N.T. except in the literal bodily sense, but that word does not occur in this context.
Moreover, if identification with Christ teaches that the out-resurrection occurs at death or
soon after, then it proves too much, for the Pentecostal church was likewise seen to be
raised with Christ (Rom. 6: 3-5), and if this means literal resurrection, then away goes
the uniqueness of the out-resurrection as applied to the Body.
It is important to realize that the out-resurrection is not the prize, but the gateway to it,
just as in Rev. 20: the first or former resurrection is not the prize for these overcomers,
but the necessary introduction to it, that is, reigning with Christ in His millennial
kingdom. It is the sharing of this glorious reign which is the crown or reward for these
faithful believers, not this resurrection taken by itself.
So with the Body, it is the reigning with Christ in the heavenlies, symbolized by the
word `prize' or `crown', which is the abiding reward for faithfulness and endurance:
"If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign
with Him . . . . ." (II Tim. 2: 11, 12, R.V.),
and this is introduced by the out-resurrection of Phil. 3:
There is no need to be concerned with the gap between death and this resurrection.
However long or short this may be, in experience it will be death and sudden glory. The
fact that `sleep' does not occur in the Prison Epistles proves nothing. Sanctification is not
mentioned in Ephesians or Colossians. Are we to deduce from this that the truth of
sanctification does not apply to the Body of Christ? What has been settled as basic truth
in earlier epistles does not need repetition. And if the prize winning believer is only in
the grave for three days (as some assert), would not this be `sleep'?
We cannot help feeling that if, instead of clinging to the time element and unscriptural
inferences and wishful thinking, we paid more attention to the stringent conditions for
obtaining the prize or crown, it would be much wiser. What is the use of arguing about
the exact time it will be realized if we are not fulfilling the conditions for obtaining it?
Specially when we remember that the cunning adversary is always waiting for an
opportunity to divide the saints on doctrinal points if he possibly can and so spoil that
unity which the Lord has made, and which we are charged to guard (Eph. 4:). The evil
doctrine that the Apostle Paul so solemnly warned Timothy about did not so much deny
the resurrection of the believer, but asserted that it was `past already', and so overthrew
the faith of some (II Tim. 2: 18). It was the time element that was wrong. Resurrection,
with was yet future, Hymenaeus and Philetus taught as being already attained by some,
and this was spreading like a `gangrene', upsetting other believers and giving place to the
devil. It was part of `profane and vain babblings'.