Christians often speak as if they have merely made a decision to follow their religion for the rest of their lives. Paul wanted them to realise that something much greater has happened in their lives. They only made the simple decision to invite Christ into their lives. However, Christ accepted that invitation (Revelation 3:20), and he is changing them completely (1 John 3:2).
That change began when they accepted a relationship with him. They accepted that Christ died for them (5:8). They chose to receive the benefits that Christ gained for them by his death (Isaiah 53:4-6). Paul says that they were united with him in his death. In other words, they have the closest possible relationship with Christ at his death. They even accept the end of their former lives so that they can begin a new life with Christ (Romans 6:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Paul does not want anyone to think that this new life is just for the rest of their life on earth. That period of time is only the beginning of their relationship with Christ. Peopleís lives in this world are short, but Godís wonderful plans for his people will never end (Romans 8:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 22:3-6).
Christ became alive again after his death. In the same way, even during their present lives on earth, Godís people have a new kind of life (6:4). However, God will do much more for them in the future. Their spirits will never die, but go to be with God in heaven. Of course, their bodies may die. However, even as Christís body became alive again, so God will cause their bodies to be alive again (1 Corinthians 15:12-21 and 15:35-49). This will happen at the end of the present age, when Christís rule over all things is complete (8:18-23).
Next part: God changes peopleís lives (Romans 6:6-7)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.