IDENTIFIED

 

WITH

 

CHRIST

 

 

 

A 3 dimensional study of 28 Greek

 

words showing the Past, Present,

 

and Future relationship of the

 

believer with the Lor Jesus Christ

 

 

 

 

by

 

 

Robert C. Brock

 

 

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PREFACE

 

An important aspect of Christian teaching for the believer in Christ is that

of being identified with Christ. This relationship to Christ is not usually emphasized

in the teaching process. This truth is not to be limited to the past work

of Christ, as it is so frequently taught. Identification with Christ covers the past,

the present, and the future of the individual believer in Christ.

There are no less than 28 Greek words in the New Testament that belong with identification truth. Twenty six of these words are prefixed with the preposition SUN, which means 'with” or 'together with'. The 27 th word is SUN itself, used separately as a proposition. The 28 th word is HAMA, which also means 'together with', and is used twice in this respect.

Seventeen of these words are used only by the Apostle Paul, and one word is used of the Holy Spirit. They describe unique doctrine that is related only to saved people of this present Dispensation. Words that describe human relationships, such as working together, praying together, etc. have been left out. Maybe some of these relationships could have been added, since they are a result of being saved, but my purpose in writing is to emphasize the God-ward aspect of this work of God, and how the believer enters into the marvelous truth of being identified with Christ.

I used the King James Version of the Bible in the quotation of Scripture verses. Words in parenthesis are the italicized words of the KJV. I took the liberty of capitalizing the personal pronouns when referring to Deity. The literal translations are my own, being based on the Received Text from which the KJV was translated.

I kept the technical aspects of Greek grammar to a minimum. They can be rather boring if too much is included.

I want to than two brothers in the Lord, Pastor Otis Wasson and Mr. Robert O. Hume, for their valuable contributions to the manuscript.

Word studies such as this are a very important method of Bible Study. The Holy Spirit has inspired the words of the Bible in the original manuscripts, and He uses these God given words to help us to understand the truths of God.

I hope the truth contained herein will enlarge your thinking and help yo to see the tremendous relationship we have with our wonderful Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus the Lord.

 

 

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Preface

Chapter 1 Past Identification

 

1-3 Crucified with Christ

4 Buried with Christ

5 Quickened with Christ

6 Raised with Christ

 

Chapter 2 Present Identification

 

7 Living together

8 Joint heirs with Christ

9 Joint understanding

10 Being knit together

11 Being fitted together

12 Being built together

13 Rejoice with

14 Fellow citizen

15 To suffer with

16 To suffer hardships with

17 Joint partner

18 Joint partaker

19 Joint body

20 God working with

21 Fellow worker

22 The Holy Spirit helps

 

Chapter 3 Future Identification

23 A Similiar body and image

24 Seated with Christ

25 Glorified together

26 Reign with Christ

27 With – the preposition SUN

28 Together – the adverb HAMA

 

Conclusion

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CHAPTER 1 ---PAST IDENTIFICATION

 

CRUCIFIED WITH

 

There are six Greek words associating the believer with past identification with the Lord Jesus Christ , and three of these words deal with our Lord's death.

 

1 The first Greek word is SUSTAUROO, which means 'to crucify along with', and is used only 5 times in the New Testament. It is used 3 times in the four Gospels of the thieves who were crucified along with the Lord on the cross ( Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:32, John 19:32). This doesn't mena they were crucified with Christ on the same cross, for they had their own crosses, but that they were crucified at the same time as the Lord. This crucifixion was an actual , physical crucifixion that took place on Golgotha.

The other two uses of this word are found in Romans 6:6 and Galatians 2:20.

Romans 6:6 – 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”.

Galatians 2:20 - “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 I live by the faith of the Son of

God Who loved me and gave Himself for me”

 

These two verses speak of an actual, literal, spiritual crucifixion that also took place at the same time on the same cross as our Lord's. Believe it or not, God reckoned every believer in Christ during this Age of Grace as having been on the cross with Christ, spiritually speaking. This is the difference between the thieves being crucified with Christ and the believer being crucified with Christ.

The word crucified is a verb, and the tense of the verb is very important. In Romans 6:6 the verb is in the Aorist tense, which is the simple past tense of the Greek language. The King James Version used the present tense 'is' which is CRUCIFIED WITH ( Him). This verse states the fact of our co-crucifixion with Christ, and makes it personal with the use of the word 'our'. The old man is another name for the sinful human nature that we are born with. Both Romans 6:6 and Galatians 2:20 make this crucifixion a personal one. It is MY old nature which was crucified, and all members of the Body of Christ can say the same thing.

In Galatians 2:20, the verb is in the Perfect tense. The perfect tense is actually related to two time periods, the past and the presen. It signifies action done in the past with the results continuing on into the present time. It speaks of endurance, that the death of Christ in relation to believers endures forever, as we shall see when we come to the future aspect of identification with Christ.

So then, the translation fo this tense in Galatians 2:20 is by the words 'have been', so that the beginning of this verse should be translated 'I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST'.

We can see, then, that these two verses complement each other. Romans 6:6 deals with the past and Galatians 2:20 carries the truth a step further by bringing it into the present.

2 The second Greek word that teaches identification with Christ in His death is SUNAPTHNESKO, which means 'to die together with', and is used only 3 times in the New Testament ( Mark 14:31; 2 Corinthians 7:3; 2 Timothy 2:11). Only 2 Timothy 2:11 concerns us here.

2 Timothy 2;11 - “ It is a faithful saying: FOR IF WE BE DEAD WITH HIM, we shall

also live with Him”

 

The tense on the verb, here, is the simple past tense, the Aorist tense. And this verse states a fact, not a possibility, for the 'if' has the force of 'since' , and it should be translated: “For since we died together with Him, we will also live together with Him.

The fact of co-crucifixion with Christ was preached and taught by Paul all through his ministry, for it is contained in his first epistle ( Galatians) and in his last epistle 2 Timothy as well as being mentioned in other epistles. So when we preach and teach about our Lord's death, it is important that our part in it be emphasized and what it means to Christian living.

 

3 The third Greek word that teaches identification with Christ in His death is SUMPHUTOS, which means 'planted' together, untited together, born together with, or joint origin'. It is a unique word used only once in the New Testament, in Romans 6:5

 

Romans 6:5 - “For if WE HAVE BEEN PLANTED TOGETHER in the likeness of His

death, we shall be also ( in the likeness) of His resurrection”

 

This verse also states a fact, for the if should be translated since. Teh verb is in the Perfect tense, which means tat it signifies present results based on a past work, so it is a repeat of Galatians 2:20 with some added meanings given by this Greek word. It would seem that the dath of Christ is te seed-bed from which we spring into life. Our Lord said something like this in John 12:24 - “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit”. We have been planted together with our Lord in His death.

In a sense we were like seeds, having been planted and spru. One of the sprung up into eternal life when we believed. One of the results of the death of Christ is eternal life. If He hadn't died, no one would have eternal life. Our Lord would have abided alone, as John 12:24 states.

The significance of the perfect tense is that we are growing up into Him as we daily live in His will for us ( Ephesians 4:15). We are to grow in grace and become spiritually mature adults.

There are then, three Greek words teaching us that believers have died with Christ. This is doctrinal teaching.

These verses provide the foundation for some very important relationships in the Christian life, and this is where practical teaching comes in. This is where the perfect tense fits in- the results continuing on into the present time.

Now there has to be a reason why were crucified with Christ; and when we study Paul's epistles closely, we find that there are four reasons why God's children were crucified with His Son.

 

     The first reason is the FLESH. According to Galatians 5:24, we have crucified the flesh: “And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lustst”. The flesh is one of our worst enemies. In fact, most believers have more problems with the flesh thatn they do with anything else. And the Bible has much to say about the flesh. The Greek word is SARX, and in reading some of the verses where this word appears in the New Testament we notice some important facts. The flesh refers to the whole person – the body, the sinful human nature, the reason- apart from the Holy Spirit. Notice what the Word of God says:

A The first is born of the FLESH is FLESH; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”

John 3:6

B “......with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but the FLESH the law of sin”---

Romans 7:25

C “for they that are after the FLESH do mind the things of the FLESH.... For to be

FLESHLY minded is death...... Because the FLESHLY mind is enmity against God, for

it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the

FLESH cannot please God” - Romans 8:5-8

D “This I say then, walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the FLESH. For the

FLESH lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the FLESH. And these are

contrary to one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” - Galatians

5:16-17.

E “For I know that in me, that is , in my FLESH, dwelleth no good thing....” Romans 7:18

F “Now the works of the FLESH are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication,

uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath,

strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkeness, revellings, and such like....

Galatians 5:19-21

 

          Romans and Galatians have more to say about the flesh and the sinful human nature we

are born with thatn any other epistles. We notice from these 6 passages of Scripture that ther is NOTHING GOOD about the flesh. The flesh is ALL BAD. We also notice that ther is a constant warfare going on in the believer's life with the flesh and the Holy Spirit. The flesh and the Holy Spirit are opposites, and in order to win this war and live a victorious life, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit and His power which comes to us because we have been crucified with Christ. God has done everything to make it possible for us, His children, to live pleasing to Him, and yet the sad story is, many believers fail to grasp this mighty truth of co-crucifixion with Christ and would rather live their lives in the sphere of the flesh rather than in the sphere of the Spirit.

         Now , in getting back to Galatians 5:24, we find that the words ' have crucified' are in the simple past tense, the Aorist tense. Paul used the fact of co-crucifixion with Chrsit as a foundation for putting to death (spiritually speaking) those pasts of the body which commit the most sins. Galatians 5:24 is in a practical section of Scripture, and this truth is also taught in Colossians 3:5 and in Romans 8:13. For example , we know from James 3:5-10 that the tongue is a world of iniquity ( sin), and defiles the whole body. But the tongue can be curbed by the power of God, and can be used to glorify Christ and our speech cn minister grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6). The same can be done with other parts of our body-- our eyes and our ears, our legs and our arms. Too. So then, I hope you can see why the flesh has been crucified, and that you can understand what our responsibility is before the Lord.

2 The second reason is because of the WORLD. According to Galatians 6:14, the WORLD has been crucified unto me: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the WORLD is crucified unto me and I unto the world”.

The word 'crucified' is in the Perfect tense and should be translated 'the world has been crucified unto me', with the results continuing into the present time. This verse also complements Galatians 2:20.

Now the world mentioned here, is the world system that is in the possession of the devil, satan. He owns all the kingdoms of this world system ( Matthew 4:8-9). Of course, this is by the permissive will of God, but this ownership is actual, nontheless. Satan is the prince of this world ( John 12:31). all the writers of the New Testament have the same attitude toward this world system---it needs to be shunned, and believers are to be separated from the world as much as possible. Not that we should be monks and live in monasteries, but that we should not let the world system run our lives and be the source of all our pleasures. The apostle John tells us what the world is – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life ( I John 2:16). James stated very strongly that whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God ( James 4:4). Paul wrote that we are not to be conformed to this world ( Romans 12:2), and this is a command to the Body of Christ. So you see, then, why we have been crucified to the world. The world system and the flesh are BAD.

3 Because we have been crucified with Christ, we have become DEAD to sin. “Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be DEAD indeed unto sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord”( Romans 6:11). “.......How shall we that are DEAD to sin live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:2). “For he that is DEAD is freed from sin” ( Romans 6:7). The word 'freed' is in the Perfect tense, which means that this freedom persists all through our Christian experience.

Paul is the only writer who teaches that the believer is dead to sin. What does this mean – dead to sin? The word 'sin' is in the singular, and refers to the old sinful nature we are born with. ( The word 'sins' refers to the fruit of that sinful nature- the sins we commit). We are dead to our sinful nature by being in Christ and by possessing a Divine nature that God implants within each believer at the time of salvation. Therefore, each believer has two natures – the new one given to him at the time of salvation and the old one he was born with. The practical portions of the Word of God for Christian living are programmed for the new nature, and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to live accordingly as we study the Word of God. However, we must always keep in mind that the old nature is still with us and very active, and as we grow in grace our sinning should be less thatn when we were in our unsaved condition. As we become mature in Christ, we gradually shift from the old nature to the new nature in our daily living.

Please notice the teaching of other verses. We are not to let sin reign in our life ( Romans 6:12); sin is not to have dominion over us ( Romans 6:14); we are made free from sin ( Romans 6:22); we are free from the law of sin and death ( Romans 8:2); and our Lord condemned sin in the flesh ( Romans 8:3).

We can never be perfect in this life while living with a sinful human nature. But we can sure try to cut down on our sinful ways by trying to cultivate Christ honoring habits found in His Word.

4 Because we have been crucified with Christ, we have become DEAD tot the Law of Moses. “Wherefore, my brethren, ye aslo are become DEAD to the law by the Body of Christ......”( Romans 7:4).

This truth affected Paul more than we today because Paul spent the first 33 years of his life under the Law ( the Gentiles were never given the Law). But when Paul was saved in Acts 9, he was transferred from the Law of Moses to the Law of Christ under grace ( Galatians 6:2), and he lived the rest of his life under Grace.

One of the purposes of the Law was to show the individual under it that he was a sinner, that he couldn't keep it and so had to trust in Jehovah God for his salvation. The Law in relation to the Gentiles is summed up in Romans 3:19 with the phrase “.......and all the world may become guilty before God”. If the Jews couldn't keep the Law neither coulf the Gentiles keep it if it would heve been given to them. Both Jews and Gentiles descend from Adam; human nature is the same in all races of people. So all people are guilty.

During this age of Grace, the believer in Christ is not supposed to live according to the Law of Moses. The risen Christ has revealed new truth that concerns the Grace of God, and that is why Paul could write in Romans 6:14 that we, members of the Body of Christ, are not under the Law but are under Grace. This is why we must distinguish between Law and Grace in the Bible.

But it is so sad when we come across believers trying to live according to the Law of Moses. I am thinking in particular of Jews who have recognized Jesus Christ as the Saviour and have accepted Him into their lives. They profess to be saved, an yet think that they can go back to their heritage in the Old Testament and live according to the Law of Moses. But this effort on their part is not of the Holy Spirit, for we read in Galatians 5:18 that “if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the Law”. Nothing could be plainer than thi. The believer, whether Jew or Gentile, has become dead to the Law because of the death of Christ ( Ephesians 2:15 states that His death abolished the Law), and all saved people need to recognize this important fact of Scripture

 

BURIED WITH CHRIST

 

4 The next area of identification with Christ is being buried with Christ. The Greek word for this is SUNTHAPTO, which means 'to bury together with'. It is used only twice in the New Testament, the verses being Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12.

Romans 6:4 – “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”.

Colossians 2:12 - “BURIED WITH HIM in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him

through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead”

The verb tense in both verse is the Aorist tense, the past tense. The translation of Romans

6:4 should be “Therefore WE WERE BURIED TOGETHER WITH HIM....”, and the translation of Colossians 2:12 should be, HAVING BEEN BURIED TOGETHER WITH HIM....”

There are a number of important points, here. The 'we' and the 'you' refer only to people saved in this Dispensation of Grace. It is the Body of Christ collectively, but pronouns are used

to make it personal, so that each one of us can say that he was buried with Christ, spiritually speaking of course. God has reckoned it judicially done.

The baptism mentioned here is the work of the Holy Spirit of God. He has baptized every believer into Christ Jesus Romans 6:3; I Corinthians 12:13. This is the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5. And because we are so closely identified with Him, we do share in His death, burial, and resurrection. This experience, which is based on fact, not on feelings, took place at the time of salvation, and is never repeated in the believer life.

 

QUICKENED WITH CHRIST

 

5 The next step in the identification process is that of being quickened with Christ. This Greek word is SUZOOPOIEO which means 'to make alive together with, quicken'. It is used only twice in the New Testament, in Ephesians 2:5 and in Colossians 2:13.

Ephesians 2:5 - “Even when we were dead in sins, HATH QUICKENED US

TOGETHER WITH Christ, by grace ye are saved.

Colossians 2:13 - “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh

HATH HE QUICKENED TOGETHER with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses”.

 

In both verses, the verb is in the Aorist tense – the past tense. The translation of Ephesians 2:5 should be Even when we were dead in sins, HE MADE us ALIVE TOGETHER WITH Christ...”. The us is in parenthesis because it is not in the Greek. The tranlation of Colossians 2:13 should be “....the uncircumcision of your flesh, HE MADE ALIVE TOGETHER with Him...”

This work of God in making people alive spiritually is basic to God's plan of salvation because it enables us to believe the gospel message. Before we were quickened we were DEAD in sins. We could not respond to God's Word, for the natural man cannot receive nor respond to the things of God I Corinthians 2:14. This quickening becomes absolutely necessary, and proves that saving faith does not originate with man but with God alone Galatians 2:16.

A number of Scripture verses show that the Holy Spirit has the prominent part in making believers alive. “It is the Spirit who quickens (makes alive); the flesh profits nothing; the words that I speak unto you are spirit and are life John 6: 63. Our Lord was quickened by the Holy Spirit 1 Peter 3:18. Again, in 2 Corinthians 3:6, the alst part of the verse, it says that 'the Spirit gives life' quickens. See also Romans 4:17.

RAISED WITH CHRIST

 

6 The last part of past identification is that of being raised with Christ. This is the Geek word SUNEGEIRO, which means 'to raise up together'; and is used only 3 times in the New Testament.

Ephesians 2:6 - “And HATH RAISED us TOGETHER, and made us sit together in

heavenly places in Christ Jesus”.

Colossians 2:12 - “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also YE ARE RISEN WITH

Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead”

Colossians 3:1 - “If YE then BE RISEN WITH Christ, seek those things which are

above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God”

In each verse, the vers is in the Aorist tense- the past tense. The translation of Ephesians 2:6 should be “and RAISED us UP TOGETHER and ----”. The translation of Colossians 2:12 should be “.... wherein also YOU WERE RAISED UP TOGETHER through the faith of the operation of God....” The translation of Colossians 3;1 should be “Therefore, since YOU WERE RAISED UP TOGETHER WITH Christ....” The if is in this; verse means since for it is a fact that we have been raised with Christ.

The resurrection of Christ is the most important truth in the Bible. According to 1 Corinthians 15:14-19, everything we are and have depended on the resurrection of Christ. If He had not been raised from the dead, not one individual from the human race would have had any hope. But our Lord was raised from the dead, and when he arose, the whole Body of Christ arose spiritually with Him. This is a marvelous fact and a blessed truth. And it is interesting to notice that only Paul wrote about this wonderful truth. Bein identified with Christ is a Pauline doctrine, and the Holy Spirit guided Paul in using unique Spirit inspired words to describe some of the wonderful works of God for His own people in the Age of Grace.

There is a progression of truth to be seen in Ephesians. In Chapter 1, verse 20, it is stated that Christ was raised up and sat down on God's right Hand in the heavenlies. In Chapter 2 verse 5, it is stated tht we are also included in this tremendous act. What a marvelous work of God!

I hope you have noticed that all of these 6 verbs are in the past tense, that GOD HAD DONE all of this for His children. It is like Romans 8:30 where predestination, calling, justification and glorification are all in the past tense. They are as good as done, even thoug we haven't been glorified yet. These are very good reasons for the eternal security of the believer.

Being raised up together with Christ is proper language for a heavenly people. And because we are a heavenly people, we are commanded to SEEK those things which are above, the joys and blessings and pleasures of the Lord Psalm 16:11. This is the walk in newness of life! Romans 6:4.

 

LIVING TOGETHER

 

7 The first word in this category is SUZAO, which means to live together with, to be alive with, and is used only 3 times in the New Testament.

 

Romans 6:8 - “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that WE SHALL also LIVE

With Him”

2 Timothy 2:11- “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, WE SHALL also

LIVE WITH Him”

2 Corinthians 7:3 - “I speak not this to condemn you: For I have said before, that ye are

in our hearts to die and LIVE WITH you”

The if in Romans 6:8 and 2 Timothy 2:11 has the meaning of since, and should be translated since because these two verses express facts, not possibilities.

2 Timothy 2;11 is basically a repeat of Romans 6:8. That is why the two Hims are added. They are not in the Greek like they are in Romans 6:8.

You will notice that present identification is based on past identification; that is, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is the foundation upon which we are presently identified with Him.

Also, Romans 6:8 and 2 Timothy 2:11 are in the Future tense, which seems to be contradictory because we are studying the present identification aspect. But there are many verses in the New Testament where the whole life after being saved is viewed as being future in respect to the time of salvation. Take for instance Romans 1:17- “........the just SHALL live by faith”. Is this to be relegated to the life after death, which of course is future, or does it cover the whole life after salvation? The answer is obvious – we live our whole life by faith. And I believe that is what is meant by using the future tense, here. The present aspect is to be included, and is seen in Romans 6:10,11,13.

The believer is not alone. He is living with Someone 24 hours a day, and that Someone is the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The minute we are saved, the Lord takes up residence in our bodies.

He can do this because He is God and possesses the attribute of omnipresence. Therefore, in all areas of our life, HE IS THERE! We don't feel it nor do we see Him but the Word of God distinctly declares it.

And the verse that clearly states this wonderful truth is one of the greatest verses in the Bible- Galatians 2:20. This verse says that 'Christ lives in me' ( this is the only place where this truth is found in the Bible); and the verb live is in the present tense. Every believer can put his or her name in this verse. This is a personal , present identification with Christ, a vital union with no seperation ( Romans 8:1, 38-39).

Our present life is to be lived be faith Galatians 3:11; 2:20. This faith is the fatih of the Lord Jesus Christ Galatians 2:16. This is the faith that saaves us and keeps us Ephesians 2:8, Colossians 2:7. This faith can overcome the problems that come into our life, but most of us do not take advantage of God's Grace, love, and mercy that would so enrich our lives and solve our problems, and we so willingly listen to it than to the Holy Spirit who speaks to us through the Word of God.

But Christian friend, never forget that christ is always PRESENT and ready to help when crises arise in you life.

In going over the three verses at the beginning of this section, you can see that 2 Corinthians 7:3 is the practical illustration of this wonderful doctrine. Even though Paul had to deal with the Corinthian saints very harshly at times, yet there was a rapport, a camaraderie between him and those believers that was centered in Christ. They all belonged to the same Savior and all were members of the same Church – the Body of Christ. And if it meant dying together, they would do it, and if it meant living togethe, they would do that also.

 

JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST

 

8      The second Greek word in this section is SUGKLERONOMOS,  which means  a fellow heir, a joint heir, and heir with. It is used  4 times in the New Testament ( Romans 8:17; Ephesians 3:6 Hebrews 11:9, 1 Peter 3:7). Only two verses concern us here. 

         Romans 8:17 -  "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God and JOINT HEIRS WITH Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, 

         that we may be also glorified together"

         Ephesians 3:6 -  "That the Gentiles should be FELLOWHEIRS,  and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in 

         Christ by the gospel"

         Romans 8:17 is divided into two parts - the first hals is in the Greek indicative mood of fact, the first if should be translated since; and the second half is in the Greek subjunctive mood of possibility, the second if is translated correctly. Other comments on the significance of this are made under words # 15 and #25. 

         Twice it is said that we are joint  heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ. According to Hebrews 1:2, our Lord has been appointed heir of all things, and Titus 3:7 states that we have become heirs according  to the hope of eternal life. This is one of the benefits of salvation. It is wonderful to be an heir of your parents estate when they die, but it is more wonderful to be a joint heir with Christ in spiritual things that pertain  to eternity. God has a future prepared for us that we cannot begin to comprehend. 

         Now if the meaning of this Greek word SUGKLERONOMOS  is to be understood the same way in Romans 8:17 and in Ephesians 3:6, then Ephesians 3:6 should teach that the Gentiles are being joint heirs with Christ rather than the Gentiles being joint heirs with Israel, as it is usually taught by Bible teachers. A false impression is made when we say that the Gentiles are joint heirs with Israel.This makes many think that the Gentiles will inherit along with Israel the promised Land and the Kingdom. But Israel is not een in the context of Ephesians 3. Romans 8:17 included saved Jews and Gentiles as being joint heirs with Christ while the emphasis in Ephesians  3:6 is put on the Gentiles being joint heirs with Christ. The Greek word for Gentile is used three times in Ephesians 3 verses 1, 6,8. 

         When you speak of someone as being an heir, immediately you think of an inheritance. The two ideas go together, and Paul reveals truth concerning our inheritance in the epistle of Ephesians. In Ephesians 1:11, we read that we have obtained an inheritance. The Greek word for we have obtained an inheritance is KLEROO, and means to determine by lot, to assign by lot; it is in the Aorist tense and translated we were assigned an inheritance. The we refers not only to the Body of Christ collectively but to each member  of the Body. god has assigned each member a share in His inheritance. 

         Now look down at verse 18, and we read about where this inheritance  is located. The King James reads, ".....the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints". this phrase neer made much sense to me- that the saints were God's  inheritance. It should be the other way around. God doesn't  inherit anything. He already owns  everything. He has bought us with a price, the precious blood of His dear Son 1 Corinthians 6:20. It is us who are heirs.

        The problem is solved when you look at the word saints more closely. The Greek for  the saints is TOIS HAGIOIS, which is plural, masculine and neuter. HAGIOS is the Greek word for Holy, and when it  is used of people , it means holy view here. HAGIOS is also used of the land of Palestine- the holy land, and also of the Jewish temple- the holy temple. In Hebrews 8:1,2 we have HAGIO|S used of a specific place, and this throws light on Ephesians 1:18.

         Hebrews 8:1,2 -  "Now of the thingss which we hae spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest who is set on the 

         right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of THE SANCTUARY and of the true tabernacle which 

         the Lord pitched and not man"

         In verse 2, the Greek words for the sanctuary are TON HAGION, a plural form of HAGIOS, and is either masculine, feminine or neuter. I do not  beliee that people are in view here, either. The correct rendering should be a minister of the holy places or minister of the sanctuaries. The plural should be used in the translation. 

         Now where is our Lord seated? At the right hand of the throne of Majesty IN THE HEAVENS. This is where the holy places are, and this is where our inheritance is also located - in one of these holy places or sanctuaries. That there is more than one holy place in God's heaven is important, for there are different groups of the redeemed in the Bible, and each will have its own heavenly sanctuary in which to worship Jehovah God for eternity. 

        So if we read Ephesians 1:18 in this light, that it should be translated the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the holy places, then it makes sense and becomes a wonderful spiritual blessing for us to rejoice in. 

        It is  a thrill to know that ll of this is due to the fact that we are closely identified with Our Lord Jesus Christ now! 

 

JOINT UNDERSTANDING

 

9       The next word for our consideration is the Greek word SUNESIS. Thayer's Lexicon gives as its basic meaning a running together. a flowing together; and Homer in hsi Odyssey used it of two rivers flowing together. It eentually came to mean 'understanding', referring to the mind as it understands. It is closely connected with the mind. It is one of four Greek words translated understanding in the King James Version. 

         SUNESIS is used only 7 times in the New Testament ( Mark 12:33; Luke 2:47; I Corinthians 1:19; Ephesians 3:4; Colossians 1:9, 2:2; 2 Timothy 2:7. The basic meaning brings out a beautiful truth concerning how God works in our minds so we can understand  spiritual  things. It will surely benefit us to look at five of these verses, and also at how this word is arranged in the New Testament: 

A  Mark 12:33  - all understanding

B  Luke 2:47-    our Lord's understanding

C  1 Corinthians 1:19  - the understanding of the unsaved

D  Ephesians 3:4  - the understanding of the Mystery

E  Colossians 1;9 -  spiritual understanding of the saved

F  Colossians 2:2  - riches of the fulness of understanding

G  2 Timothy 2:7  -  understanding of all things

          In this kind of outline, the Aa members either balance each other or form a contrast to each other; likewise the bB and the Cc members, with the middle  member D being the central one. Much can be learned from this type of outline. 

          Let's begin with the central member D, Ephesians 3:4 - "Whereby when ye read, ye may understand my KNOWLEDGE in the Mystery of Christ". SUNESIS| was translated knowledge by the KIng James translators. Ephesians 3:3 states that Paul received by revelation from Christ the truth of the Mystery that he had written about earlier in his other epistles, namely I Corinthians 2 and Romans 16. He wanted the Ephesian believers to understand  the relationship he had with the risen Lord Jesus Christ as being His spokesman for the Gentiles in this Dispensation of Grace  Ephesians 3:2. 

         This is seen in the Greek word SUNESIS, which shows us that Paul's mind was flowing together along with the mind of Christ Who spoke to him. The risen Christ revealed God's purpose and plans for the human race during this age to Paul, and guided by the Holy Spirit (inspiration), were written down in his epistles to teh Body of Christ. This is what is called the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the Mystery in Romans 16:25. This is what constitutes Christianity and this is what every member of the Body of Christ should know and believe.

          This truth of the Mystery was revealed by Christ to Paul exclusively, and the Holy Spirit revealed it to others as Paul preached and taught it. This is one of the main reasons for Paul's missionary journeys. 

          Even Peter came to know about teh Mystery, as he implied when he wrote in 2 Peter 3:16, "As also in all his epistles Paul's , speaking in them of these things; in which are some things HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction. The Mystery was hard for Peter to understand because it was so different from Judaism and its Gospel of the Kingdom. 

          God's will for the human race has not been the same all through the ages, and the  truth concerning the Mystery proves this to be so. God has given three standards of righteousness in the Bible:

           1  THE LAW OF MOSES - was revealed to Israel through Moses ( Exodus20), and was done away with by the cross of 

               Christ  Ephesians 2:15, Colossians 2:14. There is no need for it now. 

           2  THE NEW COVENANT - was promised to Israel in the past Jeremiah 31:31-34 but will not be fulfilled until the

               Millenium. Is not applicable for today. Spiritual blessings for the Body of Christ come from the Mystery and not from

               the New Covenant.

           3  THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY Romans 16:25 - is for the present time, and reserved only for this Age of

               Grace. Contains complete rules for Christian living just like the Law of Moses contained complete rules for the Nation

               of Israel. A knowledge of the Mystery throws abundant ligth on God's dealings as described in the whole Bible. 

         So the use of SUNESIS in Ephesians 3:4 instead of one of the other three Greek words used for understanding is very 

important in perceiving Paul's knowledge of Divine truth. 

         Ephesians 3:4 is a doctrinal verse, but the next three verses are practical, being based on Ephesians 3:4. Notice:

         Colossians 1 - For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and to desire that you 

         might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual UNDERSTANDING. 

         SUNESIS is translated understanding in this verse. Colossians 1;9 is governed by the subjunctive mood as seen in  the word might. This means that it is possible for every believer to be filled with accurate knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and

spiritual understanding. The new nature in the believer has the capacity for accurate knowledge ( the Greek word used for knowledge in this verse is EPIGNOSIS, which means accurate knowledge. But only a small percentage of believers actually have an accurate knowledge of this kind, and even this is limited because of our lack of ability to remember truth that we have studied and heard from other. But we should remember the basics of Pauline theology, and this is what SUNESIS signifies. When we study the Word of God, our minds ( and I am only referring to those who are saved) FLOW ALONG TOGETHER WITH the mind of God, and the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual truth through this channel of learning. This is how we arrive at TRUE UNDERSTANDING, when  our thoughts are in harmony with His thouhgts. According  to Isaiah 55:8,9, God's ways and thoughts are higher and heavenly in contrast with the thoughts and ways of man. The gap between God and man has been bridged by the person of Christ Who lives within each believer Galatians 2;20; and His mind flows along with our mind as we study His inspired Word. 

          I like what the Expositor's Greek Testament has to say about SUNESIS on page 499 of Volume 3, in its comments on Colossians 1:9 - "SUNESIS is the special faculty of intelligence or insight which discriminates between the false and the true, and graps the relations in which things stand to each other". How true! 

         Now in order to be a good workman for the Lord Jesus Christ certain rules have been ladi down by Christ to be faithfully obeyed. A number of different kinds of disciplines are recorded for us in 2 Timothy chapter 2. In that chapter you have the teacher ( verse 2); the soldier ( verse 3-4); the athlete ( verse 5); the farmer ( verse 6); and the workman ( verse 15). Every one of these vocations involves strict rules and regulations in order to fulfill their purpose. Both the teacher in verse 2 and the workman in verse 15 involve the Word of God, and in dealing with God's Word the cardinal rule of right division of the Bible is expressly mentioned so that we will not forget to do it. 

        One who fails to rightly divide the Word of truth will be ashamed before God, and will be rewarded accordingly at the Judgment seat of Christ  2 Corinthians 5:10,11. Right division of the Bible does result in true understanding of God's plans and purposes for the human race. 

        Now ook at Colossians 2:2 - That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love and unto all riches of the full assurance of UNDERSTANDING, to the acknowledgement of the Mystery of God, and of the Father and of Christ. SUNESIS is translated understanding. 

        Notice teh words that qualify understanding- riches and full assurance. These words also mean wealth and fulness, so that we can translate the phrase into all the wealth fo the fullness of understanding, showing us the abundance of truth that can be learned when our minds are flowing together with God's mind. And all of this is in the context of accurate knowledge EPIGNOSIS and of the Mystery made known to Paul. And verse 3 syas that all the treasures fo wisdom and knowledge are hid in Christ. We can know the truth as Paul knew the truth. We can have the same insight into Christian truth that he had. We need to dig down deep into Paul's epistles adn learn about the deep things of God that will make us strong and happy in the Lord. We need to rely more on the teaching.

       Also in this connection is 2 Timothy 2:7 - Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee UNDERSTANDING in all things. SUNESIS is translated understanding.

      Paul commanded Timothy to consider what he had just mentioned, and then adds, like a benediction ( this verse is in the Optative mood - might, may), the truth that the Lord Jesus  Christ may give you true understanding in everything. Our minds are to be running together with His mind. We are to think as He thinks; and then this heavenly wisdom will guide our lives in all areas. We will be able to handle the problems that come our way.

      The last verse we should look at where SUNESIS is used is Luke 2:47 - "And all that heard Him were astonished at His UNDERSTANDING and answers".

      When our Lord was 12 years old, His parents took Him to Jerusalem to keep the passover. On the way home after the feast, they missed Him and went back to the city to find Him. After looking for Jesus three days, they found Him in the Jewish temple with the teachers of the Law. They were amazed at His understanding. Why?  Because our Lord's mind, even when He was 12 years old, was flowing together with the mind of His heavenly Father. He was so closely identified with Jehovah God that He thought as God thought; He did as God wanted Him to do. 

    It is wonderful that we are closely identified with Him, too. Our minds are to be one with the mind of Christ I Corinthians 2:16

       

BEING KNIT TOGETHER

 

10    The next word we need to look at is the Greek word SUMBIBAZO, which means  'to join or knit together, to put together, unite'. It is used 6 times in the New Testament ( Acts 9: 22 - proving; Acts 16:10- assuredly gathering; I Corinthians 2:16- instruct; Ephesians 4:16 compacted; Colossians 2;2,19- knit together). Only three verse concern us here

        Ephesians 4:16 -From whom the whole body fitly joined together and COMPACTED by that which every joint supplieth, 

        according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself

        in love. 

        This Greek word translated 'compacted'is a Present passive participle, and since the Greek present tense contains the sense of continuous action, we can translate being continually knit together. 

        Two things in the context show that the body, here, is the Body of Christ, God's Church in this Age of Grace. The Body of Christ is mentioned in verse 12, and Christ as the Head of this Body is mentioned in verse 15. 

        The formation of this church is much like the formation of the human body as it grows eventually into adulthood. The Church needs Divine food in order to grow, just like the human body needs fruit, vegetables, and meat. The Divine food is the Word of God, the milt and meat of the Bible ( Hebrews 5: 12-14; and we are encouraged to styudy it every day. We are to meditate on it as we read  it, so that we can grow in grace. 

        In Ephesians 4:16, the emphasis is on God's part in this formation of His Church. Divine power is used in forming all the parts of the Body into one whole. He produces the growth as each person is saved and placed into it by the Holy Spirit ( I Corinthians 12:13). And every part of the Body is surrounded by His love. 

        Colossians 2:2. This verse was quoted earlier but notice the phrase being knit together in love. It is in the Aorist tense, the past tense, and should be translated  having been knitted together in love, showing that God has closely joined us together in the Body of Christ in the realm of Divine love. But there should b e a practical  outworking of this close union  in believer's lives in their association with other believers. We should show others that we are identified with Christ. 

       Colossians 2:19 - "And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered

       and KNIT TOGETHER, increaseth with the increase of God".

       This is in the companion verse to Ephesians 4:16, and the Present tense is used here, indicating tha tbelievers are being joined to the Body at the time of salvation; and as this is being done by the Holy Spirit, the Body of Christ grows toward completion. 

       There are two other Greek words which are related to SUMBIBAZO in their teaching. 

BEING FITTED TOGETHER

 

11    The first is SUNARMOLOGEO, which means  'to join closely together; to frame togehter, and this unique word is used only twice in the New Testament, in Ephesians 2:21 and 4:16. This word is regarded as an architectural term. 

        Ephesians  2:21 - "In Whom all the building FITLY FRAMED TOGETHER groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord"

        Ephesians 4:16 - "From  whom the whole body FITLY JOINED TOGETHER and compacted..."

        The Greek is the same in both verses, and the present tense is used, so the translation  can be being continually joined or fitted or framed together. God is in the contruction  business, building the Body of Christ as souls are being saved and become members of it. he is joining, fitting, framing together parts fitted to each other, and everything is done perfectly by HIm. God's Church is not oly a Body but also likened to a building so the analogy fits. See also I Corinthians 12:12-27, a passage which shows that each saved indivitual has a definite place in the Body of Christ, and that we should be satisfied with that position. 

 

BEING BUILT TOGETHER

 

12    The second is SUNOIKODOMEO, which means  to build together. It is used once in the New Testament, in Ephesians 2:22.

        Ephesians 2:22 -   "In Whom ye also are BUILDED TOGETHER for an habitation of God through the Spirit"

        The tense of the verb is the Present tense, passive voice, and can be translated being continually built together. The Body of Christ, as a building  verse 21, is God 's dwelling place on earth. The Body of Christ is the holy temple of God during this age. This is a tremendous truth - that God is dwelling  in bodies made of clay, but bodies that have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and therefore have been rendered habitable. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit live within each member of the Body of Christ. 

         In I Corinthians 3:10, the Apostle Paul called himself a wise masterbuilder. Now a wise masterbuilder is really a skilled architect (Greek), and so it is fitting that he would use language like this in describing the formation of the Body of Christ. 

         So we have three Greek words that show that God is very busy in building up His Church. And we are identified with Him in this because we are the ones these verses are speaking of. 

 REJOICE WITH

 

13    This truth is contained in the Greek word SUNEDOMAI, which means to rejoice together with, and is used one time in the New Testament.

         Romans 7;22 - For I DELIGHT in the law of God after the inward man

         This is in the Present tense, and is a special word that signifies that our new nature -the man within- rejoices together with God, from Whom we received our new nature at the time of salvation. We rejoice  together in the Law of God, a term that is used only three times in the New Testament, all by Paul and all in Romans ( 7:22,25; 8;7). This law of God does not refer to the Law of Moses, for Paul taught that the Law of Moses had been abolished by the cross of Christ  ( Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14). The Law of God could refer to the whole Bible but the New Testament was not completed at the time of the writing of Romans. Because of the knowledge we have from Paul's epistles, we can and do rejoice in the whole Bible. We can use typology to bring out truths from the Old Testament. We contrast God's ways with Israel with His ways with the Gentiles in this Age of Grace. But the best way to understand what law he is talking about is to refer it to the revelations of truth Paul received from the risen Christ. Why can't the Revelation of the Mystery be called the Law of God? In Galatians 6:2, he called it 'the Law of Christ". 

        You see, truth regarding the new nature is found only in Paul's epistles. he is the only writer who writes about the new man, the new creation, the man within. And when we study the deep thruths found in Paul's writings, a gold mine of blessings will be the result. 

        So let me ask you a question. Don't you rejoice inwardly when you discover a spiritual truth that thrills your soul? Don't you rejoice  with the Lord when you find an answer to a seemingly difficult question? Of course you do and so do I. We have been blessed with eery spiritual blessing Ephesians 1:3, and finding out from the Word of God these blessings brings joy to the heart and we rejoice with God our Saviour in the Law of God. This is another inidcation of our present identification with Christ. 

 

FELLOW CITIZEN

14    Here is another word tha tis unique, being used once in the New Testament. Is is the Greek word SUMPOLITES, which means possessing the same citizenship with others, a fellow citizen. It is used in Ephesians 2:19

        Ephesians 2:19 - Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners but FELLOWCITIZIZENS with the saints and of 

        the household of God. 

        The word with is not in the Greek, and it should read fellow citizens of the saints. But this presents a problem. How can one be a fellow citizen OF the saints? Cen we be fellowcitizens of each other? I believe the solution lies in the Greek words TON HAGION of the saints, which can be translated of the holy places or sanctuaries like I suggested in Ephesians 1:18. Saints is included in the phrase household of God, so we are not left out of the picture. Then the last part of this verse can read but fellow citizens of the holy places and of the household of God. 

        Because of being identified with Christ we are fellow citizens NOW present tense while we are awaiting this to become a reality when the Lord comes. Our Lord is a citizen of heaven and we are fellow citizens  with Him as well. 

        One of the great truths of the Ephesian letter is the fact that we have been assigned an in heritance  1:11; that it is located in the holy places in heaven 1:18; that we are seated there 2:6; and are fellow citizens of that heavenly place 2:19. Ursing the words holy places for HAGION rather than the word saints brings out a whole new dimension of truth in regard to our heavenly home and what is up there for us. 

        The fact that we are citizens of the holy places agrees with Phillipians 3:20, which read in part, For our citizenship ( conversation in the KJV) is in heaven ......." The Greek word for citizenship is POLITEUMA, a state or commenwealth. We hold rights as citizens of heaven. Our legal residence is up there! This sholws that heaven is a definite place rather than being a state of mind as taught by many religions. The Body of Christ is a heavenly people, and we should live as citizens of heaven while on our earthly pilgrimage Philippians  1:27

 

TO SUFFER WITH

 

 15      The next Greek word involved with present identification is the word SUMPASCHO, which means 'to suffer evils in like manner with another'. It is used twice in the New Testament, in Romans 8:17 and in I Corinthians 12:26.

          Romans 8:17 -  "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if so be that WE SUFFER WITH 

          (Him), that we may be also glorified together"

          1 Corinthians 12:26 - "And whether one member suffer, all the members SUFFER WITH it; or one member be honoured,

          all the members rejoice with it". 

          The evils are troubles and persecutions that arise when serving Christ, for He is the One included in the word together. 

Christ lives in us, and our duty is to serve Him. Some times this will bring persecution  from believers  and non- believers alike. It is suffering with Christ ( Colossians 1:24). It is not mere suffering  which is brought on us by our carelessness, bad habits, foolish accidents, etc. We need to be very careful in determining wha t kind of suffering is caused by preaching the Word or taking a stand for our wonderful Saviour. This is the suffering that counts. 

           Paul suffered much for preaching the Gospel of the Grace of God. Just look at the list he penned in 2 Corinthians 11;23-28. It is hard to realize that one man could endure all that, and he knew that others would suffer for Christ, too. And so there is a promise given to those who are faithful, that they will share His glory in a special way that is denied those who do not suffer for Him. See comments on word # 25. 

            Some of the secular Greek authors used SUMPASCHO in a medical sense of suffering pain together; and this could be the meaning of this word in I Corinthians 12:26. 

TO SUFFER HARDSHIPS WITH

 

16         This category is similiar to the last one, but the Greek word is different. It is SUGKAKOPATHEO, which means  to suffer hardships together with one; and is used once in the New Testament. 

           2 Timothy 1:8 - "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but BE THOU 

           PARTAKER OF THE AFFLICTIONS of the gospel according to the power of God"

           Here suffering si associated with the gospel message. We learn from a number of Scriptures, notably Galatians 1:16 "that I might preach Him' can also be translated 'that I might preach Him as the gospel'. Without the Lord Jesus Christ there would be no gospel. Suffering comese because fo taking a stand for the person and work of our Lord, and we are not to be ashamed of the Apostle Paul, either. 

           The church is prospered when it suffers for the sake of Christ. The church becomse fat and powerless when it goes along with the thoughts and ways of the world system. 

            The Greek word KAKOPATHEO, without the addition of SUN, is used 4 times in the New Testament; and is translated 'endure hardness' in 2 Timothy 2:3; 'I suffer trouble' in 2 Timothy 2:9; endure affliction in 2 Timothy 4:5; and is afflicted in James 5:13. The Holy Spirit gives us Divine  power to endure tribulations brought about by the gospel. Suffering for Christ is a major emphasis in the New Testament, there being about 10 different Greek words used for persecution, tribulation, suffering, etc. The epistle  of 2 Corinthians  is the epistle  that helps in comforting believers who undergo sufferings for the Lord Jesus Christ. 

           An illustration of this kind of suffering is given in Hebrews 11;25 where a different Greek word is used SUGKAKOUCHEO. Moses identified himself with his people choosing rather TO SUFFER AFFLICTION WITH the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures fo sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.....'

          There is a tremendous lesson, here. Why don't we have the same attitude as Moses had? Why don't we love the Lord and His Word enough to suffer for it? Why are we so bogged down in the things of this world? These are important questions for the believer to answer. 

 JOINT PARTNER

 

17      The Greek word that presents this truth is the word SUGKOINONOS, which means 'participant with others in anything, joint partner. It is used 4 times in the New Testament in Romans 11:17, I Corinthians  9: 23, Philippians 1:7 and Revelation 1:9. The verse in Philippians is the verse associated with present identification. 

          Philippians 1:7 - Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as                both in my bonds and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are PARTAKERS of my Grace"

          The Philippians thought much of the apostle Paul. Many were led to the Lord through his ministry. They were in his heart while being in prison, and they prayed about the gospel and the results of spreading God's Word. They exhibited this interest because of the Grace of God that was with them; they were joint partners of God's Grace. 

          The Grace of God is a wonderful subject of the Bible. Paul has more to say about God's Grace than any other writer of Scripture. Truth relating to God's Grace is either doctrinal or practical, and here it is practical. 

          According to I Corinthians 1:4, the Grace of God is given to every believer by the Lord Jesus Christ. This is confirmed by Ephesians 4:7; and Paul commanded Timothy to be strong in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus 2 Timothy 2:1. We are saved by Grace Ephesians 2:8 and we are to live by Grace Titus 2:11,12. The Grace that was given to Paul is the same Grace that is given to us, today!  God's Grace is inexhaustable. 

          Our wonderful Lord is full of Grace and truth John 1:14-17, and He is at the throne of Grace dispensing Grace to His Heavenly Church, the Body of Christ. So we need not despair. There is plenty to go around. This fact should give us a positive outlook on life and make us positive thinker. 

JOINT PARTAKER

 

18.     The Greek word is SUMMETOCHOS, which means  'partaking together with one, a joint partaker'. It is used twice in the New Testament, both times in Ephesians.

          Ephesians 3:6 - That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and PARTAKERS of His promise in Christ

          by the gospel"

          Ephesians 5:7 - Be not ye therefore PARTAKERS WITH them"

          In these two verses, we have doctrine and practice. First , the doctrine. We find out that we are joint partakers of His promise through the gospel. What promise is that? 

          The Greek word for promise - EPAGGELIA - is used of different promises in the Bible. There are promises that belong to Israel's covenants ( Ephesians 2:12), and our Lord came to confirm these promises Romans 15:8. This word is used in a title of the Holy Spirit- the Holy Spirit of promise Ephesians 1:13 because the Lord Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come John 7:37-39 which He did on the Day of Pentecost Acts 2:2-4. 

          But I believe that the promise meant in Ephesians 3:6 is the one mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:1 - the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus. The gospel message gives us this Divine life at the time of salvation. It is a promise that we do not inherit, like Israel  will in regard to its promises, but we share this promise as joint partakers of it. We share this promise with Christ, for it is His life -resurrection life - which we possess and will have for eternity. 

          The practical application of SUMMETOCHOS is found in Ephesians 5:7. We are commanded not to be joint partakers of the sins of the unsaved which are mentioned in Ephesians 5: 3-6. We are not to talk like them and we are not to commit those sins of the flesh. Salvation has made us new creations in Christ, and we are to act accordingly. 

 

JOINT BODY

 

19     The Greek word here is SUSSOMOS, which means belonging to the same body, joint body. It is used once in the New Testament, in Ephesians 3:6. 

         Ephesians 3:6 -   "That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, adn of THE SAME BODY, and partakers of His promise in 

         Christ by the gospel. 

         This is the third time that reference has been made to this verse because of the truth it contains  concerning being identified with Christ. I believe it would help our understanding by giving a literal translation of this verse: Ephesians 3:6 - the Gentiles are being joint heirs and MEMBERS OF A JOINT BODY and joint partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel . SUSSOMOS has been rendered members of a joint body because  this word is in the plural. The plural does not refer to many joint bodies but refers to those who are saved in the joint body, which is another therm for the Body of Christ. The Gentiles were not joined to a body that already existed, that is, of the Jewish church of Acts 2, btu were joined to the risen Christ to bring abotu a brand new organism of which He is the Head. Believing Jews and believing Gentiles are joined to Christ to form the Body of Christ through the preaching of the Gospel of the Grace of God during this Dispensation  of Grace. 

         The idea of a 'joint body' is a unique concept that is related only to this Dispensation. It is a vital part of the Revelation of the Mystery that was committed to the Apostle Paul. It is widely acknowledged that only Paul  mentions this joint body in his writings. Therefore, consistency and accuracy would teach us that only in his writings can we find the truth concerning this wonderful  Divine undertaking. 

         We should realize something else, too. The Holy Spirit, by coining  a new word, described something that had never existed before. You cannot find it in the Old Testament. The Nation  of Israel  was organized into 12 tribes with a King over them plus a priesthood for worshipping Jehovah God. This is far different from what we have today. 

         The joint body is a living organism in which each member is on equal terms with every other member. There is complete equality in the Body of Christ, and this fact can be seen in Galatians 3:28. I am giving a literal translation because the Greek text is stronger than the KJV. "There cannot be Jew nor Greek, cannot be bondservant nor free, cannot be male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus". 

         Only by the Holy Spirit indwelling all believers is this unity and equality possible. 

 

GOD WORKING WITH

 

20     This truth is contained in one of the most beloved verses in the Bible, Romans 8:28. The Greek word is SUNERGEO, which means to work together, help in work, be a partner in labor, to put forth power together with and thereby to assist. This word is used but 5 times in the New Testament Mark 16:20; Romans 8:28, I Corinthians  16:16; 2 Corinthians 6:1; James 2:22.

            Romans 8:28 - "And we know that all things WORK TOGETHER for good  to them that love God, to them  who are called

            according  to His purpose. 

           This verse is controlled by the Present tense which implies contineous action, and a literal translation will help us see the beauty of God's work on our behalf. "But we know that to the ones loving God, HE IS WORKING TOGETHER all things  for good, to the ones being called  according  to purpose. 

            SUNERGEO is a verb. It is in the Present tense and is 3rd person singular - he. It would  not be totally incorrect to translate God is working  together all things, for according to one Greek scholar - Lachmann - God  THEOS is used a second time in the verse. However, God is referred  to in the 3rd person singular of the verb. So we learn, then, that God is not only working all things together but is also working these things with us in our daily lives. God assists us in our Christian  living. He supplies  us with power to fulfill our Christian  responsibility in pleasing Him at all times. 

           You see, God gets all the credit and all the glory. And please notice something else. The word love is also in the present tense. God is working in the lives of believers who are CONSTANTLY LOVING HIM. He is working in the lives of believers who have a desire to go on to spiritual  maturity, to grow in the grace and knowledge of our risen Lord Colossians 1:9-10. Growing in grace is a God-ward work through the Holy Spirit. He is not working in the lives of those believers who are backslidden and have no desire to follow Him or who are disinterested in spiritual things. 

           So it is wonderful to know we have help, that we do not have to do it all by ourselves. It is wonderful to be identified with Christ during our present experience. 

 

FELLOW WORKER

 

21       The Greek word for this is SUNERGOS, a noun meaning a companion in work, fellow worker. It is used 13 times in the New Testament, but only I Corinthians 3:9 is associated with identification truth. The other verses have to do with believers working with each other. 

            I Corinthians 3:9  - For we are LABOURERS TOGETHER WITH God; ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building"

            This verse is in a very important section dealing with Christian service, and the reward we will receive at the Judgment seat of Christ if we have followed the rules. Paul said in verse 10 that he laid the foundation ant other build on it, "but let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon". 

            The works that we do for the Lord are going to be tested by fire, and we will receive a reward for only those works that will survive the test. So we need to be in harmony with God's ways and plans that He has revealed for us in His Word. We work with God as God works with us. If this were not so, the Holy Spirit would have used a different word that would not have been prefixed with SUN- with. Doing the Lord's  work is a joint project. We must remember this. 

            One who works with God should have the same motives and desires that God has. Of course, you realize that only a saved person can do the Lord's work. Too many unsaved , religious people think they are doing the Lord's work but really are not. Satan has mislead them into thinking they can serve God ans repudiate the major doctrines of the Word of God. Satan is the spirit that works in the lives of unsaved people Ephesians 2:2.

            On page 603 of Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, in remarks on I Thessalonians 3:2 ( one verse where SUNERGOS is used), a SUNERGOS is one whom God employs as an assistant, as it were, a fellow worker with God. This is very suggestive. An assistant is one who carries out orders form his superior, the one in charge. We, as laboers with and for God, carry out orders from the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and these orders are contained in the Bible, the Word of God, and more particularly, in Paul's epistles written to the Body of Christ. Let us make sure that our works will stand the test by fire in the coming Judgment day. 

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS

 

22       The third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, also plays a direct role in our identification with Christ. This is seen in the Greek word SUNANTILAMBANOMAI, which means  to lay hold along with, to strive to obtain with others, help in obtaining, jointly help's with. it is used twice in the New Testament, and there are contrasts between these two verses. 

           Luke 10:40 - But Martha was cumbered about much serving and came to Him and said, Lord, dost thou not care that

           my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that SHE HELP me"

           Romans 8:26- Likewise the Spirit also HELPETH our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: 

           but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 

Notice the contrasts between these two verses: 

           1a  Luke 10:40 took place during our Lord's earthly ministry.

             b  Romans 8:26 takes place now during the Spirit's ministry on behalf the believers. This ministry of intercession is one

                 of more than 20 different ministries of the Holy Spirit during this Age of Grace. In Romans 8:34 we read of the 

                 intercession  of Christ for us, so that in effect, the believer is surrounded by the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit

                 and of the Son of God, Praise His Name! 

           2a  It is not stated that the Lord did what Martha wanted Him to do.

             b  The Holy Spirit does take it upon Himself to help us in our weaknesses.

           3a   Martha asked the Lord for assistance

             b   We do not have to ask the Holy Spirit for assistance. He takes the inititive. It is God Who takes the first step, and for 

                  this we should be very thankful. 

            We should be praising the Lord for this wonderful truth of present identification with Christ. We should never forget the 

wonderful union and fellowship we have with our risen Lord and Savior. 

 

           

CHAPTER 3 FUTURE IDENTIFICATION

There are six Greek words that teach future identification with Christ, as we are involved with Him in God's final realization of His glorious purpose for the Body of Christ.

A SIMILIAR BODY AND IMAGE

 

23    The first Greek word in this section deals with the resurrection body. It is SUMMORPHOS, a nound meaning having the same form  as another  similiar. This word is used twice in the New Testament, in Romans 8:29 and in Philippians 3:21. 

        Romans 8:29  - For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be CONFORMED to the image of His Son , that 

        He might be the firstborn  among many brethren. 

        Philippians 3: 21  - Who shall change our vile body, that it may be FASHIONED LIKE unto His glorious body, according to 

        the working  whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself. 

        Because of the subject matter here , I believe it would be enlightening to give a literal translation of these verses, using the 

first mean having the same form as:

        Romans  8:29   _ "Because whom He foreknew, He also foreordained to HAVE THE SAME FORM AS the image of His 

        Son in order for Him to be the firstborn  among many brethren

        Philippians 3:21  -  Who will transform the body of our low estate to HAVING THE SAME FORM AS the body of His glory,

        according  to His superhuman energy, to be able even to arrange the all things to Himself. 

        These are the two great verses, and there is much spiritual  food in them for us to digest. Notice two things  that are mentioned about the resurrection  body of the believer:

        1   It is to have the same form as the IMAGE of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is inward.

        2   It is going to have the same form as the BODY of His glory. This is outward. 

 

        Let us look to the image , first.

        In the very beginning, Adam adn Eve were created in the IMAGE of God  Genesis 1:26-27. We read in 2 Corinthians 4:4 and in Colossians 1:15 that our Lord Jesus Christ is the IMAGE of the invisible God. This means  then, that our first parents were created in the IMAGE of Christ. Adam and Eve had a sinless body and a sinless nature. They were perfect, for no sin had been committed by them. Their soul and spirit were in perfect communion  with their Creator, and they did everything right until satan appeared on the scene. They listened to the tempter with his enticing words, and you know what  happened. 

      When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost the image they were created in. Genesis 5:3 says that Adam's son Seth was created in the image of Adam, not in the image of God. Our first parent's communion was cut off from God; they became sinners with a sinful nature, and sin began to work in the human body. 

      Now, lo and behold, when we study Paul's epistles, we learn the wonderful truth that the IMAGE of Christ is to be restored to those individuals who accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. These saved people become a new creation, a new race of people who have been given a new nature, which is renewd in knowledge after the IMAGE of Him that created him Colossians 3:10. This had been planned by God in the past, and the complete and full manifestation of the IMAGE will be  realized at the rapture, when we will bear the IMAGE of the heavenly One 1 Corinthians 15:49. 

      You see, even though we have a new nature now, it does not completely control our lives because we still have the old nature we were born with. But when we receive our resurrection body, then our new nature, the IMAGE of Christ, will completely control our beings in eternity. And this is all because of being identified with Christ.

      Now the resurrection body.

      Philippians  3;21 deasl with the resurrection body. It tells that Christ is going to transform our bodies so that they will look like His body of glory. What is a body of glory? We have to go back to Matthew 17:1-8 to get a glimpse of our Lord's body of glory. This section needs to be taken literally.  Verse 2 states that His face did shine as the sun and His raiment was white as the light. This happened when our Lord was transfigured before Peter, James and John. This  brightness was the majesty of our Lord 2 Peter 1:16. His glory shone forth from within Him to the extent  that His whole being was clothed in brightness as bright as the sun. This is a body of glory. 

      But this was the only manifestation of this body of glory that our Lord gave. After His resurrection, His glory was still veiled because when He walked on the road to Emmaus, as recorded in Luke 24:13-35, there is nothing said about Him having a bright or shining face or clothes. The two who walked with Him didn't see anything different with the Man who was walking with them. And this is the same  with the other appearances of the Lord after His resurrection until His ascension into heaven in Act 1:9. This is what may be called phese one of the resurrection body. 

     Phase two of the resurrection body is the body of glory that Paul mentioned in Philippians 3:21. Our resurrection bodies are going to be like His body of glory that he assumed when He went into heaven. We will not experience  phase one of the resurrection body. Paul said in Romans 8:30 that we are going to be glorified, and this is in reference to our resurrection bodies. 

      The revelation that the risen Christ gave to the apostle Paul contains much truth concerning the glory of God. The gospel we preach is also called the gospel  of the GLORY of the blessed God 1 Timothy 1:11., and the gospel of the GLORY of Christ 2 Corinthians 4:4. This is the way the Greek reads in both verses. Glory is used of heaven  in Colossians 3:4. The Mystery revealed to Paul was revealed for our glory 1 Corinthians 2:7. There is going to be revealed to us so much glory Romans 8:18 that it is mind boggling just to think about it; and for us to live in the presence of God, we will need bodies of glory. God's superhuman power, the power that made the universe, will change our earthly bodies into bodies of glory just like our wonderful Savior has now. It is wonderful to be identified with our risen Lord Jesus Christ. 

        

SEATED WITH CHRIST

 

24     The Greek word that teaches this truth is SUGKATHIZO, which means to cause to sit down together, place together, and is used twice in the New Testament, in Luke 22:55 and in Ephesians 2:6. I believe the Holy Spirit has used this unique word to show us some contrasts in how this word is to be understood.

         Luke 22:55 - "And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall and WERE SET DOWN TOGETHER, Peter sat

         down among them"

         Ephesians 2:6- "And hath raised us up together, and MADE us SIT TOGETHER in heavenly places in Christ Jesus

         The verb in Ephesians 2:6 is in the past tense, which means  that as far as God is concerned, this act is as good as done, even though we have not experienced it yet. This certainly teaches that believers are secure in Christ.

         Now let us look at the contrasts.

         Our Lord was led into the home of the high priest Luke 22:54. They were all gathered together in the hall verse 55. The Greek word for hall means court; and in the houses of large. According to Matthew 26:71, this particular court contained a porch. It is implied that Jesus was seated with His followers at this particular point during His illegal trial. 

         We know from Ephesians 1:20 that Christ sat down on the right hand of God in the heavenlies; and that Ephesians 2:6 supplies the added truth that we also are going to be seated with Him in the heavenlies. We have seen earlier that the heavenlies contain more than one holy place or sanctuary Hebrews 8:2; Ephesians 1:18, and the holy place where we are going to be seated corresponds to the earthly court of high priest's home.

        Our Lord was with His followers during His trial. So it will be in the future - our Lord will be with His Church, the Body of Christ, and htere will be no more trials of any kind. Praise the Lord! 

        The Greek word here, is a compound word as most of them are made up  of SUN and KATHIZO. Even though KATHIZO means to sit, it is generally associated with authority, as can be seen in Matthew 23:2, John 19:13, and in Matthew 19:28. Since this is so, then the Body of Christ will be invested with Divine authority because we will be seated WITH Christ in the heavenlies. This is unique, and indicates that God's purpose in this Age of Grace includes the highest standing and position of any of God's redeemed from the human race. What a privilege to live during this Age and to be redeemed by His Grace! Praise His wonderful Name!  

GLORIFIED TOGETHER

 

25     This Greek word is SUNDOXAZO, which means to glorify together. It is used once in the New Testament, in Romans 8:17. 

         Romans 8:17  - And if children , then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that 

         WE MAY BE also GLORIFIED TOGETHER. 

         As stated earlier inour discussion of word 8, Romans 8;17 can be divided into two parts. The second half is controlled by the subjunctive mood of possibility, but this is no way detracts from the truth fo the first half of Romans 8:17 - that of being heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. A literal translation would help us to see the distinction.

         Romans 8:17 - And since children , also heirs: heirs indeed of God, yet joint heirs with Christ; if possibly that we suffer 

         together in order that also WE MAY BE GLORIFIED TOGETHER.

         The suffering and the glorifying go together. What we have here is a special honor given to those who suffer for the sake of Christ. There are two stages fo glorification for member of the Body of Christ: 

         1 According to Romans 8:30, every member of the Body of Christ is going to be glorified. All those whom God has called 

            and made righteous will some day be glorified when we receive our resurrection bodies of glory. Romans 8:30 is in the

            past tense, which means that this event will definitely take place. Regardless of how bad or how good we lived the 

            Christian life, the day of glorification awaits us. 

          2 According to Romans  8:17, those who have taken a stand for the Lord Jesus Christ and suffered because of it, will be

             given a special honor in the presence of all the redeemed. This is also the teaching of 2 Corinthians 4:1, "For our light

             affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of GLORY". Glory is 

             associated with affliction. Our Lord suffered much during His life on earth, especially during His three years of ministry 

             to Israel. The Apostle Paul has much to say about suffering for Christ, and those who are so privileged will be so 

             honored. Many have been martyred for Christ. 

REIGN WITH CHRIST

 

26         The Greek word that presents this truth is SUMBASILEUO, which means to reign together. It is used twice in the New Testament, in I Corinthians 4;8 and in 2 Timothy 2;12. It is composed of SUN - with, and BASILEUO - to reign, to exercise kingly power. The verse related to identification truth is 2 Timothy 2:12. 

             2 Timothy 2;12  - "if we suffer WE SHALL also REIGN WITH Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us"

             There are two facts we should learn from this verse:

             1  The mood of the verb SUMBASILEUO shows that this is a definite fact - members of Christ's Body will definitely reign

                 with and for God in eternity. There is no doubt about it.

             2  Perservering, holding fast to the faith, is the idea here, for the word suffer and endure in verse 10 is the same Greek 

                 word. There are a number of exhortations in the New Testament to hold fast, to hold on to the truth of the Word of

                 God 2 Thessalonians 2:15; Galatians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 16:13; Philippians 1:27; 4:1;  I Thessalonians 5;21. Every 

                 one who has been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ persevere to the end, even though the quality of persevering for 

                 the Lord will be different. Terhe is no thought of losing your salvation in 2 Timothy 2:12. All believers are eternally 

                 secure in Christ. 

            Reigning with Christ in eternity is a fascinating subject, and all of us should be interested in it. A little light is given us in 

Paul's first epistle to the Corinthian church, about what we are going to do in eternity. 

            I believe that the Body of Christ is going to rule over the universe. The verse that teaches this is I Corinthians 6:2 "Do 

ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? ......." The word judge KRINO also means govern. Those who judge are those who govern. The word world KOSMOS can also mean universe, and even though teh King James Version does not use this meaning for KOSMOS, the Greek scholar Weymouth, in his translation of the New Testament, used universe in Acts 17:24 for KOSMOS. Other Greek scholars, notably W.E. Vine and professor Grimm Thayers Lexicon, agree on this matter. The meaning of universe in Romans 1: 20 for KOSMOS can certainly fit. 

           If the meaning fo world is the right word for KOSMOS in I Corinthians 6:2, then our sphere of governing would be limited to this planet earth. But I believe that our sphere of influence for Christ will be greater than this. So the first part of I Corinthians 6;2 cn be translated like this - or know you not that the saints will govern the universe? 

           The Corinthian saints were beset with all kinds of problems, and in chapter 6 Paul reprimanded them for taking their specific problem before an unsaved judge rather than settling the problem among themselves. For , he implies that the church has a higher calling, and that they will someday govern all of God's creation. It seems that Paul had taught this to them and they had forgotten if and did not apply this teaching to their Christian living. A heavenly people should not go to an earthly court to solve their spiritual problems. We are supposed to find the answer among ourselves among whom lives the indwelling Christ and the Holy Spirit. 

           We are going to govern the universe. What a tremendous revelation. We are going to be given responsibilities that defy description. We are going to be very busy for our wonderful God. The creation is so large that we cannot comprehend its size; and our earth , in comparison, is like a drop of water in an ocean. 

           But i can hear somebody say, I've been taught that the church, the Body of Christ, is going to rule and reign with Christ on earth during the Millenium. Is this not so? Doesn't Revelation 20:4, '........and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years relate to the church? '

          Not really, because the Church, the Body of Christ, si not found in the book of Revelation. The last book of the Bible si the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, and the Body of Christ is not found in Old Testament prophecy. Even though the word church is used 20 times in the book of Revelation, a close examination  of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 will show that the 7 churches are Jewish assemblies that will be on earth during the Tribulation period. God will have a believing remnant on earth during that dreadful time. 

         Now I believe that we will have access to this earth in our resurrection bodies fo glory during the Millenium, but I do not believe that we are going to help redeemed Israel rule the earth during our Lord's reign here. Many, many Old Testament saints will be raised up at the resurrectin when their Messiah comes back at His second coming. Included at this time will be those who ministered with Him during His earthly ministry, such  as the 12 Apostles, and those who belonged to the Messianic assembly after His resurrection. They died while still believing  in the hope of Israel. The promise of Matthew 19;28 will be fulfilled. And we must not forget those who will be martyred in the Tribulation period. There will be more thatn enough believers from the Nation of Israel to take care of God's government on earth during the Millenium. I do not believe it is right to take away that responsibility from those saints and give it to the Body of Christ. god has grander plans for His heavenly church. 

       The resurrection body of glory that members of the Body of Christ will receive at the time of glorification also rules out the possibility of reigning with Christ on earth. The body of glory is not made for earth. It is made for heaven, for heaven is a place of glory Colossians 3:4. The resurrection bodies of the Old Testament believers and of those who were saved during our Lord's  earthly ministry and of those in the early chapters of the book of Acts will be able to lve in hte Millenium because their bodies will belong to phase one, that of our Lord's resurrection body that he had before ascending into heaven in Acts 1:9. Phase one of the resurrection body will be able to live on earth, as our Lord demonstrated for 40 days. Only members of the Body of Christ will have resurrection bodies of glory. Philippians 3:21 does not include the Old Testament saints. 

        Something else that is revealed is the fact that we are tohave authority over the holy angels. This truth is found in I Corinthians 6:3, "Know ye not that we shall judge KRINO govern angels? ....". Thre are different categories of angels with different responsibilities in God's government of His creation. According to Colossians 1:16, there are thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers in heaven, and it is generally believed that these are references to different classes of holy angels (the fallen angels will be in the Lake of fire - Matthew 25:41). Having authority over the angels means that we will be exalted higher than them. The holy angels will work us in carrying out the business of running the universe with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

        You may ask, How can the Lord Jesus Christ rule on earth ant at the same time rule the universe?  The answer is simple. The Lord Jesus Christ is God, and He posesses the attribute of omnipresence, that is, He can be everywhere at the same time. This Divine attribute is being exhibited today, for Christ is in every believer's body Galatians 2:20, and believers are scattered all over the earth, yet seated in the heavenlies. 

        You also may ask, Does god need help in running His creation? Can't the Father and the Son do the job by themselves? Are they getting tired of it?  The answer is, is that we should not take this kind of attitude and question the wisdom of God. If he has  included us in His overall plans of running His creation, so be it. Above all, let us thank Him and praise Him for a wonderful  salvation that includes a future that is beyond our finite grasp. 

        Now all I have said implies an idea you might not have thought of - our God is an organized God. It is stated in I Corinthians 14:33 that God is not of confusion or disorder, as the Greek word means. Anything that is not organized is in a disorderly or confused condition, as the Corinthian church was in relation to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But our God has everything arranged according to His will. 

        Everything in the universe works in an orderly way. All the laws of God in relation to the planets and stars are orderly. The holy angels are arranged in their respective classes. God's dealings with mankind are in an orderly way, as we can see from reading the Bible. it is when man doesn't understand God's ways that they then become confused. A good passage of Scripture that shows the oderliness of God is I Corinthians 15;23-26, in which the works of God will take place as they are arranged. 

        I believe God has it all worked out for us what wel will do in eternity. God keeps records of every one who has ever been born into the human race; and that, in particular, He is keeping an account of everything members of the Body of Christ do for Him, as well as all the redeemed from all ages. We know from Revelation 20:12 that Divine records are kept in books, and I assume that the angels  are doing the secretarial work. You see, all fo this teaches organization, and our reigning with Christ in eternity over His creation will be an organized affair. What we do for Him surely counts.

        Praise the Lord for these wonderful truths. Praise His Name for our three dimensional identification with Christ - past, present and future.  

WITH

 

27    In the Greek language of the New Testament, there are two prepositions that have with as their main meaning. META is the most common one, it being used 3 times as much as SUN in the New Testament. Both prepositions involve fellowship, but the fellowship that SUN denotes is far closer and more intimate than META.

        For example, if I go to a shopping mall and walk around the mal with other people, people I don't know, I would use META. But if I went to a Bible conference with Christian friends, I would use SUN because SUN is used where a more personal relationship exists. I know these believers and have fellowship with them. However, both META and SUN are used of God and Christ in their relationships to individuals, and it is good to know what these propositions stand for, and what the Greek language intends to convey to us. 

        We have been studying Greek words that begin with the preposition SUN. SUN is also used by itself in 10 verses that are a part of identification truth. Since many of you may not have a concordance, it is only fair to quote these 10 verses from the King James Version of the Bible. 

        1 Romans 6:8 - Now if we be dead WITH Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him

        2 2 Corinthians 13:4 - For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God.

           For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live WITH Him by the power of God toward you.

        3 Philippians 1:23 - For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be WITH Christ, which is far better.

        4 Colossians 2:13 - And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together

           WITH Him, having forgiven you all trespasses. 

        5 Colossians 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.

        6 Colossians 3:3 - For ye are dead, and your life is hid WITH Christ in God

        7 I Thessalonians 5:10 - Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together WITH Him

        8 Colossians 3:4 - When Christ, Who is  our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear WITH Him in glory

        9 I Thessalonians 4;14 - For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God 

           bring WITH Him. 

        10 I Thessalonians 4:17 - Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet

             the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be WITH the Lord

         You will notice that these verses complement those verses we have already studied. In Philippians 1:23, the with teaches a very close relationship with Christ ( this is why it is far better), which agrees with 2 Corinthians 5:8, absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. The with here is PROS, which means a close proximity to. In Colossians 2:13, there is  a double emphasis on identification, quickened together and with Him. 

         But the last three verses, numbers 8,9, and 10, deal with the coming of Christ for His Church, the Body of Christ, commonly known as the Rapture. Three times the preposition SUN is used to emphasize the future identification of those who have died and of those who are still alive when our Lord and Saviour comes in the air. I Thessalonians 4;14 shows that the spirits of those who have already died in Christ will be brought with Him to meet those who are alive. And I Thessalonians 4:17 coupled with Colossians 3:4 emphasizes the fact that we are always going to be with Him in glory. We should always thank Him for this wonderful relationship we have with our Lord Jesus Christ.
                

TOGETHER

28    There is one other Greek word that is associated with identification truth. It is the adverb HAMA, which means  at the same time, at once, together. It is used 10 times in the New Testament, and twice in relation to being identified with Christ. The two verses are 1 Thessalonians  4;17 and 5:10. 
        1 Thessalonians 4;17 - Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up TOGETHER with them in the clouds, to 

           meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord

        1 Thessalonians 5:10 - Who died for us , that whether we wake or sleep, we should live TOGETHER with Him

         Having just noticed that with is SUN, which also means together with, you have a double emphasis in both verses on being TOGETHER WITH Christ as a result of His salvation. The Thessalonian believers needed this kind of Divine assurance, and as verse 11 shows, we are to encourage and build up one  another with thes words of hope.

 

CONCLUSION

        In summing up all that we have read, we ahve learned that each believer in this Age of Grace has been crucified, buried, made alive, and raised with the Lord Jesus Christ is a spiritual sense. Now, as we live every day for Him, He lives with us; and as we serve Him in the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, He works with us as the Body of Christ is being built up in Grace and in numbers. Then we can look forward to a great future with a glorified body and a God given responsibility as we fellowship with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit according to His eternal purpose. Praise His Name for choosing us in Christ before the foundation of the world Ephesians 1:4.