Blogtext: "Together with Him"

"If you have been raised with Him.."


Why the question mark? Well throughout the history of the Christian Church the members have been drilled in responding to a formal creed and once you have learned to repeat them then you are 'in'.  The Creed sums up the basic tennets of that faith. A series of statements are made and if you give your assent to them, then you are considered in the know of what it is all about. If citing a creed is all that matters, that is.

    So the illusion has been deeply entrenched that if you believe these statements to be true in some sense, then all is well with you for time and eternity. However, what a formal creed of the Church is impotent to do, is to actually create the life of which the Creed is a mere abstract. Whether you believe in the existence of God, The Son and the Holy Spirit and a dozen doctrinal statements is of no account unless that belief has brought the very Life of Christ to you.

    If the life of Jesus Christ is not the life principle governing the believer, then conversion and salvation are only words on paper.  Here is the proof text:

Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection. We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.) Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

    If, you see, big if! When you join a group of God's people in any church then you enter the company of people who have died to themselves, and who have been raised in the very life that Jesus Himself laid down, and took up, resulting in His death for us, and His life in us. You could 'go to the same Church' for forty years and not receive the slightest whiff of anything like that. Why? Because the Church is only trusting Jesus for a future in heaven, not for a life on Earth.

    We will now pursue a special feature of the teaching of the Holy Spirit through the men who were commissioned to write what we are told to see as the word of God. The word, the logos, 'with' is a connecting particle of the language which in the Greek is joined to whatever it is we are said to be 'with' in one word. English will use 'to live with him' as four distinct words, but in Greek that is ONE WORD,  (syzen) so the very language used by God for spreading the gospel embodies a closeness between the believer and the Lord which is made almost invisible by the structure of English. So a looking behind the scenes is needed. In the English language we are familiar with some of these compound words. Symphony is from 'syn' - together and 'phone' - sound. Sounds in harmony are sounds fitted together. Sympathy from 'syn' and 'pathos' - caring involvement. Synergy from syn and ergos - power. The list could be extended. But in the treasure chest of faith the list is different and even more far reaching.

Here is a portion of the glorious list:

A "We will live with him"  Rom 6:8, And 2 Corinthians 7:3 "
I do not say this to condemn you, for I told you before that you are in our hearts so that we die together and live together with you. (Greek Syzen, from zoe, life and  Synapothanein. From thanatos, death.) The believer is inextricably joined in life and death to Christ and to the body of Christ.

B "And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)—if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:17.  Three times over Paul here constructs these consequences of what follows from the above. We are said to synkleronomos, i e be coinheritors with Christ, provided that we sunpaschomen, i e join in his passion, suffer with him, in order to also syndoxasthomen, i e be glorified in him, praise with him, share His glory. Joining a church and joining Christ are two vastly different things.

C "We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin." Rom 6:6.  To be crucified with him is 'synestauronthe'. No man or woman can be educated to become acceptable to God. It is not the natural man that can be improved on in order to become a saint. Unless you share in the crucifixion you will not share in the resurrection.

D "
Having been buried with him in baptism, you also have been raised with him through your faith in the power of God who raised him from the dead."  Col 2:12 gives the compounded words 'syntaphentes' as 'put in the same grave as, being buried together with' and 'synegerthete'  awaken, be raised with.  Not merely an intellectual awakening but a far more radical being made alive from a total death to the previous life.

E "This saying is trustworthy: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him. If we endure we will also reign with Him. If we deny Him, he will also deny us. If we are unfaithful, He will remain faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."

To live with him as the parallell in Rom 8:17. To reign with him is  'symbasileusomen', literally, 'becoming king with him in His rule'.  What in the life of the modern church signifies the slightest attempt to prepare for that? It is echoed by Peter in his first letter. "
But you are a chosen racea royal priesthooda holy nationa people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."

F "
And even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions. To be made alive with him is 'synezopoieo'. If he lives we shall live, we are alive only as a consequence of His life. (If Christ is not risen from the dead, neither are we.)

G .."
that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members (sussomos: one with the same body.) of the body, and fellow partakers (symetochos i e equal partakers in the inheritance.of the promise in Christ Jesus."

    Did you know that all this is what belongs to the one who is truly a Child of God. Is this part of your creed? Is this what the celebration of Easter is about? Does Pentecost come into the picture as more than a looking back on a past event? This  is what 'being Church' is all about, this totally embracing completeness of satisfaction in Him. Because all these things are only available to them who have died to themselves, even as Church members, and become alive in Him.

    If going to Church does not bring you to a life changing understanding of what this creed means, then it fails in its God given purpose. And you might well ask: what then is the point of all the confessions of faith if they are impotent to produce what so eminently is  portrayed as the logical outcome of the good news of Jesus Christ.

    If not with Him, then without Him. Without life, but full of human activity designed to impress God and the world? Spectacular failure.

Christianity without Christ is mere religion. And is unable to save a single hair on my head.


Teddy Donobauer  August 25th 2021 Doncaster


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