DEAD, BURIED, RAISED & SEATED

When Jesus was crudified, yo were crucified with Him; and it did not stop there.

Many people say they are “preaching the gospel” whenever they are preaching or teaching from the Bible.

While that may not be totally incorrect, it is a rather broad statement, which doesn’t actually ring true.

Paul gives us a concise explanation of what the gospel actually is 1 Cor. 15. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (1Co 15:3-4)

Plain and simple, the gospel is the culmination of what Jesus did while on earth. While it may include the stories of His miracles, those are not necessary to the presentation of the gospel.

Presenting the true gospel to people causes them to respond one of two ways—they will either reject it or accept it. Rejection, of course, comes in many forms. They can vehemently oppose what is said, ignore it altogether, or take time to consider how it may apply to them.

For those who accept the good news, we know that their life begins to change. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2Co 5:17)

There are two different words in Greek which are translated as new. The word which is used here refers to that which is new in quality. It is of a better quality than the old creation that you were once a part of.

This new creation brings with it new realities. These realities are now apart of who we are, and the way we live.

This new reality is expressed as something that is concurrent with the gospel reality.

The gospel reality is that

Jesus died, was buried, was raised, and is now seated.

And our reality is that we died with Him, we were buried with Him, we were raised with Him, and we are seated with Him.

Of course, this poses a problem for our minds and experience which are both time and space bound. However, as you begin to contemplate the reality which is beyond your experience, things in your experience will change.

So, let’s take a few moments to see what the Holy Spirit declares about your current reality.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Rom 6:3)

This verse explains the symbolism behind your baptism.

However, Paul continues the symbolism as something that directly affects our life on this plane. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Rom 6:4-5)

In the sacrament of Baptism—especially if you were immersed—there is a raising up out of the water, which symbolizes your resurrection in Christ.

This is plainly stated in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. …having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. (Col 2:12 ESV)

The coming up out of the water symbolizes your new life. You were buried. You were raised.

And even as Jesus had a new body after His resurrection, so too do we have a new life. This new life may not yet be your experience, but I assure you, it is available to you.

As is the case with most everything, it is something of which we must become aware before we can fully enter the experience.

This is one of the aspects of Paul’s statement in Romans 12:2

“…Be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

It is important that our mind be changed from our limited, finite understanding bound by our physical existence and experience, into having the mind of Christ.

That is why I am sharing these thoughts with you. I have found them helpful in my walk with the Lord, and want the same thing for you.

Continuing with the baptism theme, we read about our resurrected life in Galatians. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Gal 3:27)

This is a statement of fact even though it may be contrary to your perceived experience. Not only have you put on Christ, you have also been blessed with the mind of Christ.

But we have the mind of Christ.
(1Co 2:16b)

We have the mind of Christ. What does that mean? How does that thought affect your life? Can it begin to change the way you think about yourself?

There is one more very powerful verse of scripture that deals with our having died with Christ. There are others, but this is one everyone should know and have in their consciousness, for it helps to direct our life. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

This is your present reality.

You are living in two realities—an earthly one and a heavenly one.

You are crucified, which means dead; but you are alive. However, even though you may think you are alive, the reality is that it is Christ alive in you.

And the life you think you are living as you read this, or tomorrow morning when you wake up—the life you are living is because Christ is living in you.

We have seen that we have died with Christ in His crucifixion. We have seen that we were buried with Him in our baptism. And we have also seen that we have been raised with Him in His resurrection.

There is one last aspect of the risen Christ which also applies to us, and that is the fact that we are seated with Him in heavenly places. …and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:6)

He is seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting until all things are restored and put in order in subjection under Him. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. (Heb 10:12-13)

We are seated with Him while He is waiting the fulfillment of all that the Father has planned from the foundation of the world.

Being seated is a place of relaxation.

We can relax, knowing that God has everything under control.

Now, all of what I have said may seem like just so much warm fuzzy theology; but there is a reason why we should know with our minds these realities of being dead, buried, raised and seated. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. …For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Rom 6:8, 10-11)

Jesus died because of sin, for sin, and to sin. This was accomplished for our benefit, so that we may experience the same reality.

Again, though, this is something with which we must grapple with our mind. We must consider ourselves dead to sin; and not only dead to sin, but alive to God.

Can you see now why knowing Gal. 2:20 is so important? I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

The conclusion of the matter, then is stated in Col. 3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1 ESV)

Whatever we do in our daily life should be directed by our consciousness of being in union with the Father through the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

GALATIANS 2:20 EXPLAINED

What is the meaning of being “crucified with Christ?” Simply put—His death was our death. His faith is our faith.

Gal. 2:20 has long been a favorite verse for many, but truly understanding its importance has left many outside the reality.

The main emphasis on the concept of faith during the past 50 years has been on the necessity of one’s exercise. “You gotta have faith!” “Be it unto you according to your faith.” (Matt. 9:29)

This has brought much condemnation to the Body of Christ because of the emphasis on the person’s level of faith. If they have “tried to believe” for healing, for instance, and it doesn’t happen, then it is because they didn’t have enough faith.

This carried over into one of the most despicable aspects of the Charismatic Movement, especially in the Word of Faith camp. If the man of God prayed for you and you were healed, it was because of “God’s man of faith and power for the hour.” But, if you did not receive a healing when prayed for, it was because YOU did not have enough faith. That is a total and complete line of nonsense which results in condemnation.

The source of our faith is Jesus Christ

This hypocrisy denies the reality of the source of our faith—JESUS CHRIST. To make my effort at believing to be the source of ‘results’ is to place me at the level of being supreme commander of my life.

This is not possible with a cruciform theology, where everything is centered and flows from the cross of Jesus. There is nothing man-centered in this view.

If that is true (and it is), then even our faith must be considered from a different perspective. As Steve McVey said, “It is the faith OF Christ, not IN, which is necessary for a solid cruciform theology.” This distinction between “of” and “in” is of more importance than most can realize. Yes, they are each a two-letter preposition, but the impact is monumental.

Again, let’s consider how the Bible presents this idea.

  • [Gal 2:20 ESV] I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

I underlined the word ‘in’ twice, though it is used three times in the verse. The first two times the word is used in our English translation, there is a corresponding prepositional word in the Greek text. In the third instance there is not such a correspondence.

It is necessary to note that ALL translations are interpretations of the original language text. These interpretations are affected by the bias of the translators. A word-for-word literal translation would be so ‘wooden’ that it would be nearly unreadable for the average high-school graduate.

Thankfully, we have modern tools at our disposal which enable us to see past any particular bias if we are willing to do the work.

The third use of ‘in’ with “in the Son of God” is an example of bias affecting translation. The bias here is that of thinking that the faith necessary is something that we must do. Most of evangelical Christendom has now gone in this direction.

However, there is no corresponding preposition in the phrase from the original Greek text, although a preposition is necessary to make sense of the three words “faith, Son, God.” Those three words, if left to stand alone as they are in the original, would make no sense.

Each of those words are in the genitive case, which gives rise to an interpretation that can be translated into another language. The genitive case in the Greek language has two basic meanings—either possession or source. Our English language only uses the possessive case, as in “John’s book”, which would translate the “book of John” if there were only the two words in the genitive case. “Of” is added because of the genitive usage.

The so-called ‘literal’ translation, then, would be “the faith of the Son of God,” which is how the King James Version and a few more have it. Most of the modern translations (ESV, NIV, NASB, CEV, etc) have taken the route of using ‘in.’

The difference is monumental! Using “IN” indicates that it is by my effort to believe, whereas using the word “OF” puts the whole thing on Christ, the Son of God.

Some may think that this is a stretch, that I am making this up to suit my own bias. That would be a legitimate charge, except for more plain language from Paul.

“…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Phl 2:13)

He states that our ability to do anything is the result of God’s working in us. Jesus said the same thing as recorded in John 15:5—I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Paul let us know that it is all a gift of God—our salvation, the faith for salvation, grace—in another place. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” (Eph 2:8)

There is one verse which puts both the faithfulness of Jesus and our faith together as a synchronous work.

“…yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” (Gal 2:16)

This verse brings both the objective aspect and the subjective experience into a single place. And the KJV gets it right, showing again that our effort is encased within the faithfulness of Jesus.

[Gal 2:16 KJV] Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Our justification before God is a ‘done deal,’ because of Jesus, and we can enjoy the benefits of this justification when we exercise the gift of faith that He has given us.