Tuesday, April 25, 2006

According to Cranfield, there are 4 different senses to απεθανομεν τη αμαρτια, dead to sin: juridical, baptismal, moral and eschatological. Let's take a look and see how it can be squared off with the fact that we are still being influenced by sin.

Juridical Sense
We died to sin in God's sight, when Christ died on the cross for us. This is a matter of God's decision to take our sins upon himself in the person of his Son. It is in God's perspective that we are in fact dead to sin as Christ is dead to sin once and for all, on the basis and only on the basis of his work on the cross. So even though we live in the influence of sin coming on to us from every side, Christ has already died to sin and so have we on his account.

Baptismal Sense
We are buried into death through baptism and raised up into life through his resurrection. This dying to sin is a ratification of our own acceptance of God's decision. We regard Christ's death for our sins as our death and His risen life as our life. Through this baptism into his death, we declare ourselves dead to sin. Therefore, even though we live in the influence of sin, we take the decision of dying to it through Christ's death.

Moral Sense
We are called and have been given the freedom to die daily and hourly to sin by the mortification of our sinful natures, and to rise daily and hourly to newness of life in obedience to God. So even though we live in the influence of sin, we work it out to die to it every hour and every day and rise up to live a holy life in obedience to God.

Eschatological Sense
We will die to sin finally and irreversibly when we actually die, and will - equally finally and irreversibly - at Christ's coming be raised up to the resurrection of life.

I think I have reconciled it now. I think ...

Picture by João Estêvão A. de Freitas

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