5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
John Piper says....
Paul is saying is that our death with Christ and our future resurrection with Christ are not identical with Christ's death and resurrection, but very much like them. Christ died as a sinless sacrifice for us; our death with him is not identical to that. And Christ rose as the death-destroying first fruits of a great harvest; our resurrection with him will not be identical to that. Rather our dying and rising are like his, but not identical....But the main point of verse 5 is that all of Paul's talk in this chapter about our dying and rising with Christ is owing to a union with Christ.
God creates this union by His grace and we accept and experience it by faith. What does this union do for us?
1 Corinthians 1:30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
§ In this union Christ becomes wisdom for you and this overcomes your blinding, deadening ignorance.
§ In this union Christ becomes righteousness for you and this overcomes your guilt and condemnation.
§ In this union Christ becomes sanctification for you and this overcomes your corruption and pollution.
§ In this union Christ becomes redemption for you and this overcomes in the end all the miseries and pain and futility that come from sin and guilt – like sickness and death
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Because of our union with Christ we became righteous and He became sin. He was sinless and God put our sins to his account. We were sinful and God put Christ's righteousness to our account.
Why? Because we are in Him.
Galatians 2:17 says we are justified in Christ, Romans 8:1 says there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ, Ephesians 2:10 says we're God's workmanship in Christ, created to do good works (sanctification), 2 Corinthians 5:17 says we're new creatures in Christ.
Our unity with Christ is truly amazing.
We are dead to sin. We are risen to walk in newness of life. One day we will be united with Him in resurrection. We need to believe that, and then walk in it - experience it as a reality in our lives.
In his following sermon, Piper adds....
Verse 6: "Our old self was crucified so that we would no longer be slaves us sin." How so? How does death with Christ free us from slavery to sin. The answer of verse 7: it goes first to the deepest root of slavery – not the lure of sin, but the blinding and hope-destroying guilt of sin, and says, "He who has died is justified from sin." The guilt is taken away before the lure is broken.
Which means this in summary: In overcoming the power of sin in our lives we are not first given the moral ability to break sin's allurement; we are first given the personal legal right to break the despair that I cannot be forgiven and declared righteous. We call this justification. To put it another way, justification is the foundation of sanctification which, in turn, is the certification that we are on our way to a resurrection with Christ in union with him.
MacArthur adds this thought....
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Romans 6:8-10