Note how these blessed doctrines are linked together in God’s Book. We quote Romans 5:10 and 11:
“FOR IF, WHEN WE WERE ENEMIES, WE WERE RECONCILED TO GOD BY THE DEATH OF HIS SON, MUCH MORE, BEING RECONCILED, WE SHALL BE SAVED BY HIS LIFE. AND NOT ONLY SO, BUT WE ALSO JOY IN GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BY WHOM WE HAVE NOW RECEIVED THE RECONCILIATION.”
And Romans 6:3 and 4:
“KNOW YE NOT, THAT SO MANY OF US AS WERE BAPTIZED INTO JESUS CHRIST WERE BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH? 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.”
Believers are reconciled to God by the death of Christ. They have received “reconciliation” by Christ. At the very moment they are reconciled by Christ they are baptized into His death, buried with Him and raised to walk in newness of life.
Note, concerning the believer in Romans 6:6 and 8, “our old man was crucified;” “we be dead with Christ;” “we shall also live with Christ.”
So in Romans, chapter five, Christians have reconciliation, justification and eternal life by, and through, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Roman’s chapter six, Christians are new creatures, identified with the Lord Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
Following the proclamation of reconciliation in Romans 5:10 and 11, we read, in Romans 5:12, “By Adam.” Then in Romans 5:14 to 21, we read “by Adam,” and “by Christ.” By Adam “sin,” “condemnation,” “alienation,” “death.” By Christ “righteousness,” “justification,” “grace,” “eternal life.”
We shall consider these contrasts presently. But now let us note how “reconciliation,” “the new creation” and “identification” are linked together in the fifth chapter of II Corinthians. Note in Romans 5:14, “we thus judge, that if One died for all, then all have died.” Believers have died with Christ.
Then note Romans 5:17 to 19:
“THEREFORE IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATURE; OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW. AND ALL THINGS ARE OF GOD, WHO HATH RECONCILED US TO HIMSELF BY JESUS CHRIST, AND HATH GIVEN TO US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION; TO WIT, THAT GOD WAS IN CHRIST, RECONCILING THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM; AND HATH COMMITTED UNTO US THE WORD OF RECONCILIATION.”
The new creature in Christ Jesus is dead: “How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” “For He that is dead is freed from sin.” Romans 6:2 and 7 “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3. “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?” “Dead with Christ”—“Dead unto sin”—“Crucified unto the law”—Galatians 2:20. “Crucified unto the world.” Galatians 6:14.
Note the former condition of saints: “And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” Colossians 2:13 “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye saved).” Ephesians 2:5.
The unbeliever is dead IN sins; the believer is dead TO sins. The believer is alive unto God.
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:11. “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.”
Now note again Ephesians 2:5 and 6:
“Even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ (by grace are ye saved) and hath raised us up together in the heavenlies in Jesus Christ.”
What identification! The believer is seated with Christ in the heavenlies “far above.” Note again Ephesians 4:15 and 16: “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ: 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.” “ And not holding the Head, from which all the Body by joints and bands have nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” Colossians 2:19.
This is indeed “identification.” Note again Ephesians 5:31 and 32 and I Corinthians 12:12:
“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.” Ephesians 5:31 and 32.
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many. are one body so also is Christ.” I Corinthians 12:12.
Note again Ephesians 2:21 and 22: “In Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto all holy temple in the Lord: In Whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
Oh, what wonderful truth! And what a blessed experience most Christians have missed; that is, the doctrine and the joy of the experience of “identification.”
There have been literally thousands of arguments and controversies by religious Christians over the question of water baptism—“yes” or “no,” in the sixth chapter of Romans. But very few messages concerning the blessed doctrine and experience of “identification.”
The baptism of Romans Six produces the “identification” of Romans Six and if there is any water there, it is meritorious and efficacious.
Note the statement in Colossians 1:20 and 21, also Ephesians 2:16 and 17.
“AND HAVING MADE PEACE THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS, BY HIM TO RECONCILE: ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF; BY HIM, I SAY, WHETHER THEY BE THINGS IN EARTH, OR THINGS IN HEAVEN. AND YOU THAT WERE SOMETIME ALIENATED AND ENEMIES IN YOUR MINI) BY WICKED WORKS, YET NOW HATH HE RECONCILED.” Colossians 1:20 and 21.
“AND THAT HE MIGHT RECONCILE BOTH UNTO GOD IN ONE BODY BY THE CROSS, HAVING SLAIN THE ENMITY THEREBY.” “AND CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHICH WERE AFAR OFF, AND TO THEM THAT WERE NIGH.” Ephesians 2:16 and 17.
“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” Ephesians 4:18.
WHEN DID GENTILE RECONCILIATION BEGIN?
“FOR IF THE CASTING AWAY OF THEM BE THE RECONCILING OF THE WORLD, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Romans 11:15.
Here we have the story of before” and “after.” Before—“alienated from the life of God”—“alienated by wicked works”—“afar off from God.” After—“reconciled because Christ made peace by the blood of His cross”—“reconciled unto God in one Body by the cross.”— “reconciled Gentiles when and because Israel was cast away.”
Note this last fact—“Gentiles reconciled when and because Israel was cast away. “ “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief.” Romans 11:30.
Note Acts 13:46. Paul was preaching God’s message to the Jews, “Lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” He had said to them, in Acts 13:40 and 41: “Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.”
This had not yet happened. Then they rejected and despised and Paul said, “seeing ye put it from you. LO, WE TURN TO THE GENTILES.” Acts 13:46.
Why did God turn Paul to the Gentiles? Because Israel put it from them. Why was mercy shown the Gentiles? Because of Israel’s unbelief. Then the message of Ephesians 2:13: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” The Jews were near. The Gentiles were afar off. They were both reconciled unto God in one Body by the precious blood of Christ.
But note I Timothy 2:6 and 7: “Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.”
We must not fix the Gentiles “due time of reconciliation” before the act of God described in Romans 11:1 to 15. Let us quote Romans 11:15 in this language “The casting away of the children of Abraham brought reconciliation for the other children of Adam.”
ABRAM—AND THE GENTILES
When God called Abram, about 1900 B.C., as recorded in Genesis 12:1 to 5, and gave him the covenant of circumcision, twenty-four years later, as recorded in Genesis 17:3 to 15, God cast off, or cast away, the other children of Adam. The giving up of the Gentiles was according to Romans 1:21 to 31.
Then Divine blessing was conditioned upon circumcision and associated with the children of Abraham. Some of the children of Adam, who did not descend from Abraham, became circumcised Jews by religion, or proselytes. Note that many Persian Gentiles became Jews. Esther 8:17. Read the covenant of circumcision in Genesis 17:5 to 18.
When the Lord Jesus’ ministry was recorded in-the first Book, Matthew, the Holy Spirit began, “The Book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” Then note Luke 2:21— Luke 4:16—Romans 15:8—Luke 19:9—Luke 13:16—Acts 3:25 and 26. In these verses we learn that Jesus Christ was circumcised, that He attended the Jewish synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath, that He and His twelve apostles were ministers to the circumcision. Christ, the circumcised Son of Abraham, was the Minister to the circumcised children of Abraham. Romans 15:8.
Note the condition of the Gentiles while Jesus Christ was among the Jews: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands.” Ephesians 2:11. And note Christ’s specific command to His twelve messengers
“These Twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying. Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 10:5 and 6. Go to no children of Adam who are not children of Abraham.
To the children of Abraham Jesus Christ said, “Ye must be born anew.” In the ministry of reconciliation to the other children of Adam the Holy Spirit said, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision. but a new creature,” “A new creation.” “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
THE CHILDREN OF ADAM, THE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM
We learn in Romans 1:21 to 31 that when God called Abraham He cast away the other children of Adam, or we might put it this way, when God cast away the other children of Adam, He called Abram and then cut off all the nations with the covenant of circumcision.
Then in Romans 11:15 we learn that when God cast away the children of Abraham (as a nation) He sent a message of reconciliation to the other children of Adam. Paul was the “reconciliation” apostle. We may call Matthew 28:19 and 20, “the great commission” but II Corinthians 5:18 to 21 is a greater commission, so far as members of the Body of Christ are concerned. The unmixed reign of grace did not begin until Israel was set aside. The dispensation of grace began with the ministry of reconciliation.
Before that time Gentiles were alienated from God and from the commonwealth of Israel. Ephesians 2:12—Colossians 1:21—Ephesians 4:18.
Alienated from the life of God in Adam and by Adam—“In Adam all die.” Note Romans 5:10 and 11:”
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Then note the connecting “wherefore” in Romans 5:12 – “RECONCILIATION”; “Wherefore by Adam.”
The Lord Jesus Christ on earth was the Minister of the circumcision. Adam was not circumcised. “Jesus Christ, the Son of Abraham.” Matthew 1:1. Christ made no reference to Adam. He was sent only to the children of Abraham. Matthew 15:24.
The twelve apostles were sent to the children of Abraham. Matthew 10:6. After the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the first nine chapters of Acts, the Twelve preached to the children of the covenant. Acts 3:25. They made no reference to Adam. They preached repentance and restitution, “baptism unto repentance for the remission of sins.” Acts 2:38.
But with the casting away of Israel, “reconciliation,” “the new creation,” and “Adam” are mentioned together years after the day of Pentecost. It is interesting to note that with the first mention of “Adam” and “Reconciliation,” in Paul’s ministry, there is no further record that any Gentile received water baptism. Divers baptisms were included with circumcision and carnal ordinances and meats and drinks, in Israel’s religious program. Hebrews 9:10. Israel was God’s religious nation. Israel was not cast away at the cross. That casting away was some years later. There was an overlapping of God’s religious and “sign” program until after Israel was set aside. God was through with religion when He was through with His religious nation.
With the ministry of “reconciliation” the Lord’s apostle of “reconciliation” proclaimed the “death” baptism of Romans 6:3 and Colossians 2:12, the one Divine baptism of Ephesians 4:5.
Then Paul wrote concerning “THE DISPENSATION OF THE SECRET”—“THE JOINT-BODY”—“THE MYSTERY OF GOD’S WILL”—“THE MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES”—“GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE”—“THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL.”—“THE ONE NEW MAN.”
All of these blessed truths reveal the hidden purpose of God concerning members of the Body of Christ, chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, seated with Him in the heavenlies and blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies.
Blessed identification with the glorified Christ far above, Head of the Church which is His Body, THE FULNESS OF HIM THAT FILLETH ALL IN ALL. Ephesians 1:19 to 23. All of this is by the one Divine baptism of Ephesians 4:5. There were several baptisms during the “Acts” period. But one baptism for members of the Church of the Mystery.”
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.