- Published: 12 December 2010
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Colossians 2:12 to 3:4
Probably it would be better to define the term after we have seen its use in the Scriptures. Yet, we do not find the term itself in the Bible. But it very well sums up a great deal of serious teaching of the Word. And the examples will help to define the term.
1. Col. 2:1 Buried with Him in baptism. Buried signifies death. So this is the believer's identification with Christ in His death. Died with Him. No unbeliever has this experience.
2. Col. 2:12. Wherein also ye are risen with Him. Resurrection is very closely connected with the death. We cannot think of Christ's death without going on to the resurrection. He did not stay dead. And so there must be a resurrection for one who is identified with Him in death. You cannot separate these.
3. Col. 2:13. And you...hath He quickened together with Him. The word quickened shows identification when used with together. It is being made alive. It is a life in which there is awareness of surroundings. It is the opposite of being dead in trespasses and sins.
4. Col. 2:20. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances? If a person is dead to something, he is not aware of it, does not notice it. So, if being identified with Christ and having our eyes on Him, how can we see and respond to sin? Ordinances or rules have to do with things that ought not be done, sins. Even in a past dispensation, a believer could be justified by faith, even tho under law. But if we have died to all these things, there is no need for justification. We have passed into pure grace.
5. Col. 3:1. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. We are beginning to see that identification has to do with a position with Christ. So it would be natural for one so identified to seek the things associated with it on the right hand of God. This is reasonable.
6. Col. 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. We have died with Him, and therefore risen with Him. Satan may try to find the believer, but he is hid. Of course hid is the opposite of manifest and some day the believer will be manifested with Him in glory. But hidden now, for it is a part of the great secret or mystery.
7. Col. 3:4 When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. This answers the questions what? and where? Christ was God manifest in flesh and received up into glory 1 Tim. 3:16
This identification is further shown by the example in the garden. An animal was killed instead of Adam and Eve. And they were clothed with the skin. This was a further idea of identification and benefits of the sacrifice.
1. Crucified with Christ. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh ! live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me Gal. 2:20. Paul's life is entwined with that of Christ. This is identification.
2. Dead with Him. For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him 2 Tim. 2:11 If we are ever to live with Christ, we must be identified with Him in death, being dead to the world and to sin. One not identified with Christ is as the beast of the field. Psalms 49.
3. Baptism. Buried with Him in baptism Col. 2:12. Here death is spoken of as a baptism. And baptism means identification. And of course burial follows death. These great truths of identification are so far above water baptism, that we cannot take time to explain, except to say that water baptism was a ritual, a cleansing in connection with worship, and rituals have no place in the dispensation of the mystery.
4. Quickened together with Christ. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5). In verse I we see that those who were dead to trespasses and sins were filled with the fulness of God (1:23). These are the ones quickened or made alive at His call. They will hear His voice. But this is all reckoned as being a reality now.
5. Raised with Christ, .And hath raised us up together (Ephesians 2:6). Although the root meaning of raised is roused, yet on being roused, one raises up. And here the reckoning is that we have been roused and raised to heavenly places. This may take some word study, but we have the gist of the matter. The emphasis is that we were roused or raised together with Christ. Some would use the word ascension in this place, and no doubt that is included.
6. Made to sit together. And made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). We have been enthroned with Him. This is the implication. This is reckoned as being true right now (de juro) and fulfilled later in resurrection (de facto). Those dead in Christ, Abraham for example, are considered as alive here and now. These are certainties.
7. Manifested with Him in glory. When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4). Appear means manifest, the shining forth in glory in the place called glory. God was manifest in the flesh...received up into glory (1 Timothy 3:16). This answers the question where.
These are a comfort and a shield against the darts of the evil one. We can rest assured that we are objects of His care, that He is at hand, at our side Phi. 4:5