Dead with Christ

by Dr. Ken Matto

(Rom 6:8 KJV) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

I am sure we have all been to a funeral and at the end of the service is the committal service at the graveside. It is a short ceremony and is the final goodbye to the one that is about to be committed to the ground. It is a sad time because it may be a loved one or close friend that we must say goodbye to. If they are an unbeliever, then the sadness is doubled, for the Christian knows with certainty what that person will be awakening to. If that person is a Christian, then there will be a certain level of sadness but within that sadness will be a level of joy, since we know that person has put off the body of flesh and is now in the presence of the Lord enjoying an eternity without the present hardships which we still have to face on this earth.

On Monday of this past week, I was driving up to Sullivan County Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, NY to visit with brother David Berkowitz. I was in the car with another brother and we were discussing the present state of Christianity and how sad it must be for the Lord to see many of His children walking in false teachings and following preachers and teachers instead of following the Lord and looking to His word for guidance. I don’t know how the subject of funerals come up but I had mentioned to him as we have the committal service to place someone in the ground, each Christian must have a spiritual committal service to seal a final death to sin.

The Christian is pure in their spirit because of the transformation by and regeneration from the grace of God. It is the body that still lusts after sin. We see this great contrast in Romans 7 with the struggle that Paul had in his own body. He wanted the believer to know that the sin question had been settled at Calvary but the sin struggle still continued. In our verse above we see it speaking of being dead with Christ. In the previous verse we read. (Rom 6:7 KJV) For he that is dead is freed from sin. This is not only speaking of being physically dead, but it speaks of one of the great tenets of the Christian faith. The unbeliever is alive unto sin but dead to the things of God but the Christian is dead to the things of the world and alive to the things of God. This is the principle that the Bible is giving us. The Christian need to be dead to the things of the world system.

Whatever held our fancy when we were in the world, we are to be dead to it now. Let us say that drinking parties once held our attention as we lived for the weekend, but now if we receive an invitation to go to one, we need to refuse it, in other words, be as a dead person is. We need to be dead to the things that would trip us up and cause us to stray. The Bible gives us this principle in another verse. (Gal 6:14 KJV) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

This verse teaches us that a Christian needs to be crucified to the things of this world but not only are we to be crucified to things of the world, we need to view the world as being crucified to us. In other words, we see the Christian being dead to the things of the world, in addition, we see the world is dead to the things of God. This is why we cannot expect anything spiritual or Christian friendly to ever emanate from a system which is hostile and dead to God. The world has engaged its committal service to the things of God and the Christian must now have their spiritual committal service to the things of the world. If you die to the world system, then you will live strongly unto God in a world that is crucified unto Him. There must be a separation between the world system and the Christian.  (7/11/03)