3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
He doesn’t like NASB because of verse 6 which tells us that our old self was crucified with Him so that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin, and prefers a translation that says, “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”
He makes his point under the heading: AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION [my book, page 27, near the bottom]. I don’t think either translation is bad, but DM has a problem with Wesleyan Holiness Theology, I think, and wants to avoid that tangent. The real problem is when he ‘solves’ the problem by understanding that we, as Christians, have a new identity [now in Christ, and no longer in Adam], but retain the sin nature and as proof is the idea that we still are tempted.
This understanding of new-identity-but-old-nature is, imho, a direct result of mixing FH and NH and speaks to a misunderstanding of the nature of man at his core. We have, as unsaved man, the nature of Adam and this nature, being the same, is what identifies us with him. So when we are born again, we get a new heart, and a new spirit and now are of Christ, not Adam, a new man, a new creature and a new nature that corresponds to our new identity.
Sometimes when a postal 204b steps back into her clerk job and stops supervising, and though her identity has changed from a boss to a worker, her mind set doesn’t. She isn’t a new creature with a new heart simply because her identity has changed. What i am clunkily trying to say is that there is a huge difference between the saved and unsaved in their nature, as well as their identity. that in this temporal way of living, nature does not change when we switch identities, but in the spiritual world it most certainly does.
Well, despite my feeble effort there, let me move on. Our nature is tied to our identity or to our spiritual disposition for once we were children of the earth but now we are children of God. We have been born again. Really!
So why are we still tempted? Jesus was tempted. But why do we still fall? Think of man as a body, mind and spirit. Salvation when complete will render us new completely, but we know that our bodies aren’t renewed until the resurrection. What does it mean to say that we are new creatures now? It means that our spirit is no longer of Adam but of Christ. But our minds, how we think, are not just wiped cleaned and reprogrammed so we walk as perfect men, but rather we keep our minds and are told to renew them, Romans 12:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect..
That as we walk in Christ, we are being conformed in thought and therefore deed, to be like Jesus, Rom 8:
It is there, in our minds, that the battle takes place, our wills, so that there we crucify the old desires, and put on Christ. And we can do so because that is who we are by nature, the children of God. The key, many times, as Bob Birney says, is to remember whose you are -identity. In NH terms, the nature of the progeny is the same as the nature of the offspring. Cats do what cats do, dogs do what dogs do, and sons of Adam sin. But sons of God are to live lives of holiness. In another place [Hebrews] we are told that Jesus had to learn obedience as a son. So we, as the children of God, need to learn how to walk as His children, turning away from sin and worldliness, and turning towards God and obedience.
In quoting the passage from the book, i added verse 11: 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Compare this to verse 7:
for he who has died is freed from sin.
Are we dead to sin or not? Are we alive to God in Christ Jesus , or not? We are, we are!
We are dead to sin, but we need to fight the good fight by consistently reminding ourselves that we are dead to sin, that it has no real power over us, or as DM’s translation says: our old body was crucified that it might be rendered powerless. But if our nature is till a sin nature, then it is only in name [nominally] that the old man is powerless for in reality it is our very nature!
But that is not so. FH by its own nature is a nominally based perception of reality. We are in Adam, FH says, because of decree. We are in Christ because of decree. So of course the reality hasn’t changed, we still have a sin nature….
But oops, how did we get that sin nature in the first place?
Rather, we inherited the sin nature in a spiritual sense from our spiritual forefathers, and when we become new, we get a new nature from our new Father. Identity follows nature, they are only separate in a nominal system where reality is divorced from understanding.
I mostly like what DM is saying in chapter 5 and I want to share these good things with you, so don’t let this point made in this post distort your perception of how i see chapter 5.