Buried With Christ

gospel song written by T. Ryder
commentary by:
P.B. Mistretta III

 

Here at “ringthebellsoffreedom.com,” as stated in our opening page, we seek to deliver the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Jude exhorts us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto to saints.” “The faith” speaks of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not, however, an Apologetics Ministry, which is “a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity.” Many in this field tend to spend too much time on the errors of a particular group without giving an answer. Even though we are aware of the false religions of the world and the false teachings that are even amongst the Christian churches, our focus remains on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 

The one thing that every false religion, cult, and Christian false teaching has in common is that they are not proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and the only thing that is the answer for everyone involved in a false religion, cult, or false teaching, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  One can defend the Christian faith against the false teachers and still fall short of proclaiming the Gospel.  Everything that one says about a particular group may be correct and scripturally sound, and yet if you do not give the answer, you have still missed the mark.

 

The answer is at the very heart of the Gospel and it is freedom from sin.  I do not think that I have to go through the list of all of the world religions, cults, and yes even Christian denominations and churches and leaders, who are not preaching freedom from sin.  Freedom from sin is the one thing that false teachers cannot produce and cannot talk about.  It is a foreign concept to them.  The preaching of the blood and cross of Christ and freedom from sin is the one thing that separates every false teaching from the true saints of God.  Even though false teachers cannot preach of this, we are not saying that if one is not preaching freedom from sin that they are a false teacher.  Surly there are some who love the Lord and yet do not have the revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as pertaining to freedom from sin.  There are some who may be living a life that is free from sin, and do not know how to articulate such.  However, this is where the danger lies.  If one does not know the truth of the gospel, he is in danger of losing his soul. There is so little preaching of the truth of the gospel of Christ in our modern churches.  Many today are even denying the truth of the gospel and the effectual working of the blood of Jesus Christ by saying that a child of God is still a sinner. This is a false teaching.  It denies the power of the cross to crucify the sinful nature, and denies the power of the blood of Christ to sanctify the believer by cleansing him from even any residue of sin.  

 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer.  The Apostle Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.”  It is faith in what He accomplished for us in His death, burial, and resurrection that is the answer for all of mankind.  It is the preaching of the Gospel that is the answer for the soul of man.  It is the only answer for the struggle that lives in the heart of man.  It is the only answer for the religious man struggling with sin, for the drug addict craving his next fix, and for the poor and broken soul looking for something real in this wicked world.  The cross and blood of Christ and freedom from sin is the message that we as Christians are to be proclaiming to a lost world.  Anything short of that will, in many cases, only bring arguments and disputations.  

 

This gospel song reveals what happened in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many people have a concept of the Gospel that goes something like this: “I believe Jesus died on the Cross, was buried, and resurrected. If I believe on him and repeat a prayer, he will forgive me of my sins.” The Gospel that was revealed to the Apostle Paul and later to the other apostles, goes like this: “I believe that my old man was crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, and a new man with His very nature was resurrected with Christ. It is faith in the finished work of Christ that frees me from sin.” Which Gospel would you rather believe? Would you rather believe in one that only forgives you of your sins and yet leaves you in your struggle, or one that frees you from your sinful nature and gives you the very nature of Christ?

The believer of the Gospel is crucified “with” Christ, buried “with” Christ, and resurrected “with” Christ in heavenly places. This is impossible for the natural mind to understand. This even sounds foolish to the natural man. The Apostle Paul said that, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18) ”

The death, burial, and resurrection of the believer “with” Christ is the message of this gospel song.



Vs. 1     Buried with Christ and raised with him too, What is there left for me to do? Simply to cease from struggling and strife, Simply to walk in newness of life.

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” (Romans 6: 3-5)

The Apostle Paul asks a question in the third verse that is very important to the child of God. Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, is not speaking of water baptism in this verse. He is speaking about the death of Christ. Jesus, in Luke 12:50, says, “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” Jesus was speaking of His death on the cross, of His baptism unto death. Paul, sometime after his salvation, received the revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ that not only was Christ baptized into death on the cross, but that the believer of the Gospel was baptized with Him. We were buried with Him by the baptism of His death. 

The believer of the Gospel was also resurrected with Christ. Paul seems to accept this as an obvious conclusion by his wordings in these three verses of Scripture. He links the death and burial with Christ and the resurrection with Christ as an inseparable complete act. The songwriter also quickly makes this point, as he opens with, “Buried with Christ and raised with him too.” The Apostle also uses the term “planted together.” The Greek word “sumphutos” is used for the word translated “planted,” and it is only used this one time in the Scriptures. It means, “grown along with, closely united to: - planted together.” 

It is obvious that man cannot produce this. This work of redemption has to come from the Father through faith in the finished work of Calvary. There is nothing that man can do to plant himself with Christ’s death and resurrection. It is impossible with man. It must be the work of the Lord, and it is a finished work. The prophet Isaiah records, in Isaiah 61, a prophecy of the coming Redeemer Jesus Christ. Isaiah, speaking of those who would be saved calls them, “…trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)” Also, in Isaiah 60:21, it says, “Thy people shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” This great salvation from sin is a work of the hand of God. Religion always says that man must do something. This salvation is by faith, not of works that any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:9) As Christians, if we are to boast, we are to boast in the Lord, as Paul says. We were helpless and slaves to sin. We could not help ourselves and were without God and without hope. (Ephesians 2:12) As He began to reveal the truth is us, we could do nothing but have a heart of repentance toward God, and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:21) 

The conclusion that one must come to, after God does this work of redemption in him, is “simply to walk in newness of life.” This is also the evidence that one has been planted in His death and resurrection. The evidence is not whether one has joined a church, attends services regularly, been baptized in water, repeated a “sinner’s prayer,” etc. The evidence that one has been to Calvary and has been planted in his death and resurrection is that he is a new creation. II Corinthians 5:17,18 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away (dead and buried); behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ…”



Vs. 2     Risen with Christ, my glorious Head, Holiness now the pathway I tread; Beautiful thought while walking there-in, He that is dead is freed from all sin.

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. (Romans 6:6,7)

"The old man,’ and ‘the body of sin,’ in Romans 6:6, ‘the body of this death,’ in Romans 7:24, and ‘the body of the sins of the flesh,’ ” in Colossians 2:11, are all synonymous terms for the fallen sinful nature of man. This was what was destroyed at the Cross of Christ. He did not kill us, but he killed the sin in us. That is how he freed us from sin – by destroying our sinful nature, thus separating us from its hold and power. The “new man” that is raised with Christ has the very nature of Christ. He is a partaker of “the divine nature, having escaped the corruption of this world through lust,” as Peter says in II Peter 1:4. The divine nature is the very nature of Christ and is holy just as He is holy. 

A few months ago, while in prayer, I heard the words in my heart, “separate from sin.” This term puzzled me. I knew some of what was accomplished at the cross for me, but I did not think that I had ever heard that term before. Later on that day, I was reminded of the scripture in Hebrews 7:26, which states, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” The previous verse states that, “he is able also to save to the uttermost that come to God by Him.” John says, “as he is so are we in this world. (1John 4:17)” If we have been crucified, buried, and resurrected with Christ, then we are saved to the uttermost and are holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens, just as He is. Our sin was nailed to the cross with Christ, where we were separated from it, as our new man was resurrected with Him. Going back to my story, the next Sunday morning, we were talking to our Pastor after service and he was talking about what was accomplished at the cross for us, and he said, “He separates us from sin.”

I would like to quote now a paragraph from a lecture entitled “Death to sin through Christ,” written by Charles Finney.

“Being dead to sin must obviously be the opposite of being dead in sin. The latter must undeniably be a state of entire sinfulness – a state in which the soul is dead to all good through the power of sin over it. But right over against this, being dead to sin, must be to be indifferent to its attractions – beyond the reach of its influence – as fully removed from its influences as the dead are from the objects of sense in this world. As he who is dead in the natural sense has nothing more to do with earthly things, so he who is dead to sin has nothing to do any more with sin’s attractions or with sinning itself.”



Vs. 3     Living with Christ, who dieth no more, Following Christ who goeth before; Not under law, I’m now under grace, Sin is dethroned and Christ takes its place.


“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:8-11)

Verses two and three of this gospel song are very similar in dealing with Christ being the Head of our salvation, so I will comment on parts of both verses in this section first. The songwriter says, “Risen with Christ, my glorious Head,” in verse two and, “Following Christ, who goeth before,” in verse three. Where are we to follow Christ? While still on this earth he said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19)” Also, before Calvary, he said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34)” Where was Jesus going that we were to follow him? He was going to the cross. After Calvary, as Paul was talking about the believer being sanctified through the blood of Jesus as he was crucified “without the gate,” or outside the wall of the city of Jerusalem on Mount Calvary, he says in the very next verse, “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.” (Hebrews 13:12,13) Jesus said that he was “the way” and “the door” of the sheepfold. The way, or the “holy path-way that we now tread,” has its entrance door and it is through the cross of Christ. As we follow Christ in death, burial, and resurrection, we become the firstfruits unto God. In Revelations, it speaks of the redeemed at the throne of God and says, “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” In Colossians 1:18, it says, “And he (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” The word “preeminence” in the Greek means to be first in rank or influence. He was the firstborn from the dead, and “our glorious head” also brought us in with Him. “He died unto sin once,” and He was raised and now “liveth unto God.” Likewise, or in the same way, are we “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The songwriter says, “Sin is dethroned and Christ takes its place.” A very common doctrine in the modern church is that a believer has the divine nature of Christ, but also the sin nature at the same time. This is a spiritual impossibility. No one can be dead with Christ, buried, resurrected, and seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and still have a sinful nature. There are those who even preach the blood and cross of Christ, yet concede that a Christian can still struggle with sin, even sexual immoralities. This is an abomination. It has no basis in Scripture, and there is no Scripture given when one defends this position, only experience. There is, however, an avalanche of Scriptures that prove that a child of God is free from sin, its nature, its power, and from sinning itself, not through his strength, but through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I don’t know about you, but I choose to believe the Word of God. I choose to believe the Holy Scriptures, and I believe everything that a believer is in Christ, not by my positive confession or works, but by faith in the finished work of Christ, who is “my glorious Head.”



Chorus:     Buried with Christ and dead unto sin; Dying but living, Jesus within; Ruling and reigning day after day, Guiding and keeping all of the way.

“For by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)

When sin entered the world through Adam’s transgression, spiritual death came upon all men. Sin and death reigned in the heart of every man. But, thank God, to all those that come to Christ, they receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. Notice, he says abundance of grace. There are three “much more” verses in Romans the fifth chapter, showing that the grace of God in Christ is much more powerful than the reign of sin. The power of sin is broken by the power of God invested in the blood and cross of Christ. Those that are “reconciled in the body of His flesh through death,” are presented “holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” (Colossians 1:22)

He is also able to keep you from falling. (Jude 24) There is, however, a contingency factor for the child of God. Paul goes on in the next verse in Colossians by saying, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” As long as the believer, remains and “abides” in Christ, the Holy Vine; as long as he continues to believe and is moved not away from the hope of the gospel; as long as he continues to walk in newness of life; the abundance of grace keeps him in Christ and also keeps him “dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”