When we think about the resurrection its easy to do so in a way that leaves us inured to it or at best overly familiar with it so that it becomes merely a part of our Christian vocabulary and not something that changes our lives. As Ron said on Sunday we can in a sense be ‘vaccinated’ to the gospel. In other words we get just enough of it to make ourselves immune to it. The gospel is something that is to effect our entire being and radically change us.
As Ron shared on Sunday, in Rom. 6:1-18 we read Paul’s account of the effect the resurrection should have on all of us. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought of yourself as a slave before, but that is exactly what Paul says we all were before Christ. Slaves to sin. One of the first effects of the reality of the resurrection in the life of a believer is fact that through the resurrection we are no longer slaves to sin. Now this looks different for all of us. Not all were drug addicts, or murderers, or terrorists. In fact most weren’t. But in the same way we all responded to life sinfully even if it looked nice on the surface. David Powlison points out that we all go thru the same basic process in responding to life; it goes like this; We desire something...then we start to demand it...our demand turns to need...then we expect it...then we are disappointed when we don’t get it...and finally we punish others for our perceived hurts. This is the basic pattern of sinful response before Christ is Lord. This is where the power of sin is broken. We don’t have to respond this way anymore. We can live differently. Its not like we are never susceptible to this pattern anymore, but now we can be aware and resist the enemy's lies. We are, in effect, choosing a different master. As Paul says, we are going from slaves to sin, to slaves to righteousness. Now our pattern of behavior leads us to desire righteousness. We are living by truth, not by what our feelings tell us
The second effect of the resurrection is that we are united to Christ. As Ron pointed out Sunday, the word for ‘united’ Paul uses here in Rom. 6 is a botanical word that means to be planted together, or be together from the point of birth. This is not just the mixing of two things, this is the complete and utter combination of two things. We are one with Christ. All he is and has is ours. Ron used the illustration of a wealthy man who marries a poor woman. She is now the owner of everything. She has access to all the wealth the man has. What if she felt bad and refused to use it...felt guilty or unworthy? It doesn’t change the fact that she still has access to it all. In fact its even more significant than that. Think of it like this; not only did the man have wealth, but he amassed it with his future wife in mind. He fully intended for her to have it all. This is how Christ has treated us. He not only brings all his treasure into a relationship with us, but his plan all along was to prepare a treasure specifically for us! We are united with Christ. We are his bride. He loves to give us all that he is and has.
How should this effect how we live our lives? Does the truth of this glorious gospel actually effect how you live? Well...the effect should be both of these things; we should “consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God” (Rom. 6:11), and live in the reality that all he is and has is ours. “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”(vs. 5). We are united!
So....let's believe it, and live in the reality of it!