For if we have been planted together - Συμφυτοι γεγοναμεν . Dr. Taylor observes, that our translation does not completely express the apostle's meaning. Τα συμφυτα are such plants as grow, the one upon and in the other, deriving sap and nourishment from it, as the mistletoe upon the oak, or the scion upon the stock in which it is grafted. He would therefore translate the words: For if we have been growers together with Christ in the likeness of his death, (or in that which is like his death), we shall be also growers together with him in the likeness of his resurrection; or in that which is like his resurrection. He reckons it a beautiful metaphor, taken from grafting, or making the scion grow together with a new stock.
But if we take the word planted in its usual sense, we shall find it to be a metaphor as beautiful and as expressive as the former. When the seed or plant is inserted in the ground, it derives from that ground all its nourishment, and all those juices by which it becomes developed; by which it increases in size, grows firm, strong, and vigorous; and puts forth its leaves, blossoms, and fruit. The death of Jesus Christ is represented as the cause whence his fruitfulness, as the author of eternal salvation to mankind is derived; and genuine believers in him are represented as being planted in his death, and growing out of it; deriving their growth, vigor, firmness, beauty, and fruitfulness from it. In a word, it is by his death that Jesus Christ redeems a lost world; and it is from that vicarious death that believers derive that pardon and holiness which makes them so happy in themselves, and so useful to others. This sacrificial death is the soil in which they are planted; and from which they derive their life, fruitfulness, and their final glory.
For if we have been planted together - The word used here σύμφυτος sumphutosdoes not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It properly means sown or planted at the same time; what sprouts or springs up together; and is applied to plants and trees that are planted at the same time, and that sprout and grow together. Thus, the name would be given to a field of grain that was sown at the same time, and where the grain sprung up and grew simultaneously. Hence, it means intimately connected, or joined together. And here it denotes that Christians and the Saviour have been united intimately in regard to death; as he died and was laid in the grave, so have they by profession died to sin. And it is therefore natural to expect, that, like grain sown at the same time, they should grow up in a similar manner, and resemble each other. We shall be also - We shall be also fellow-plants; that is, we shall resemble him in regard to the resurrection. As he rose from the grave, so shall we rise from sin. As he lived a new life, being raised up, so shall we live a new life. The propriety of this figure is drawn from the doctrine often referred to in the New Testament, of a union between Christ and his people. See this explained in the notes at John 15:1-10. The sentiment here inferred is but an illustration of what was said by the Saviour John 14:19, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” There is perhaps not to be found a more beautiful illustration than that employed here by the apostle of seed sown together in the earth, sprouting together, growing together, and ripening together for the harvest. Thus, the Saviour and his people are united together in his death, start up to life together in his resurrection, and are preparing together for the same harvest of glory in the heavens. In the likeness of his resurrection - This does not mean that we shall resemble him when we are raised up at the last day - which may be, however, true - but that our rising from sin will resemble his resurrection from the grave. As he rose from the tomb and lived, so shall we rise from sin and live a new life.
We shall be also - We shall be also fellow-plants; that is, we shall resemble him in regard to the resurrection. As he rose from the grave, so shall we rise from sin. As he lived a new life, being raised up, so shall we live a new life. The propriety of this figure is drawn from the doctrine often referred to in the New Testament, of a union between Christ and his people. See this explained in the notes at John 15:1-10. The sentiment here inferred is but an illustration of what was said by the Saviour John 14:19, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” There is perhaps not to be found a more beautiful illustration than that employed here by the apostle of seed sown together in the earth, sprouting together, growing together, and ripening together for the harvest. Thus, the Saviour and his people are united together in his death, start up to life together in his resurrection, and are preparing together for the same harvest of glory in the heavens.
In the likeness of his resurrection - This does not mean that we shall resemble him when we are raised up at the last day - which may be, however, true - but that our rising from sin will resemble his resurrection from the grave. As he rose from the tomb and lived, so shall we rise from sin and live a new life.
As a Christian submits to the solemn rite of baptism, the three highest powers in the universe—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—place Their approval on his act, pledging Themselves to exert Their power in his behalf as he strives to honor God. He is buried in the likeness of Christ's death, and is raised in the likeness of His resurrection.... RC 107.2Read in context »
Those who have been truly converted have been buried with Christ in the likeness of His death, and raised from the watery grave in the likeness of His resurrection, to walk in newness of life. By faithful obedience to the truth they are to make their calling and election sure (Manuscript 57, 1900). 6BC 1115.2
6 (ch. 2:7; see EGW on Matthew 3:16, 17; Luke 17:10; Ephesians 1:20, 21; Hebrews 4:15, 16; 9:24). Exalting Christ's Character—The most gifted men on the earth could all find abundant employment, from now until the judgment, for all their God-given powers, in exalting the character of Christ. But they would still fail to present Him as He is. The mysteries of redemption, embracing Christ's divine-human character, His incarnation, His atonement for sin, could employ the pens and the highest mental powers of the wisest men from now until Christ shall be revealed in the clouds of heaven in power and great glory. But though these men should seek with all their power to give a representation of Christ and His work, the representation would fall far short of the reality.... 6BC 1115.3Read in context »
Wherever the word of God has been faithfully preached, results have followed that attested its divine origin. The Spirit of God accompanied the message of His servants, and the word was with power. Sinners felt their consciences quickened. The “light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” illumined the secret chambers of their souls, and the hidden things of darkness were made manifest. Deep conviction took hold upon their minds and hearts. They were convinced of sin and of righteousness and of judgment to come. They had a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah and felt the terror of appearing, in their guilt and uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. In anguish they cried out: “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” As the cross of Calvary, with its infinite sacrifice for the sins of men, was revealed, they saw that nothing but the merits of Christ could suffice to atone for their transgressions; this alone could reconcile man to God. With faith and humility they accepted the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. Through the blood of Jesus they had “remission of sins that are past.” GC 461.1
These souls brought forth fruit meet for repentance. They believed and were baptized, and rose to walk in newness of life—new creatures in Christ Jesus; not to fashion themselves according to the former lusts, but by the faith of the Son of God to follow in His steps, to reflect His character, and to purify themselves even as He is pure. The things they once hated they now loved, and the things they once loved they hated. The proud and self-assertive became meek and lowly of heart. The vain and supercilious became serious and unobtrusive. The profane became reverent, the drunken sober, and the profligate pure. The vain fashions of the world were laid aside. Christians sought not the “outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but ... the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3:3, 4. GC 461.2Read in context »
The Sign of Entrance to the Kingdom—Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Before man can find a home in the church, before passing the threshold of God's spiritual kingdom, he is to receive the impress of the divine name, “The Lord our righteousness.” Jeremiah 23:6. Ev 307.1
Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan, and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. They have obeyed the command, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, ... and touch not the unclean thing.” And to them is fulfilled the promise, “I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.—Testimonies For The Church 6:91 (1900). Ev 307.2
The Christian's Oath of Allegiance—As Christians submit to the solemn rite of baptism, He registers the vow that they make to be true to Him. This vow is their oath of allegiance. They are baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Thus they are united with the three great powers of heaven. They pledge themselves to renounce the world and to observe the laws of the kingdom of God. Henceforth they are to walk in newness of life. No longer are they to follow the traditions of men. No longer are they to follow dishonest methods. They are to obey the statutes of the kingdom of heaven. They are to seek God's honor. If they will be true to their vow, they will be furnished with grace and power that will enable them to fulfill all righteousness. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.—Letter 129, 1903. Ev 307.3Read in context »