Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 2, 1950

How Can Men Be With Christ?

J. A. Thrasher

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed," asked the prophet Amos. Ostensibly, they cannot. But if two be agreed they can walk together. We are informed that both Enoch and Noah "walked with God." This means that they were in agreement with God, and the only way a man can be in agreement with God is for him to obey God.

We are more or less familiar with the use of certain prepositions which show men's relationship to Christ, such as in, into, unto, etc. Perhaps we have not stressed the use we find the New Testament makes of the preposition "with" as much as we should have. Paul uses it in several passages, and it is to some of those I wish to call your attention.

When is one said to first have this relationship with Christ? "We are buried with him by immersion" (Rom. 6:4), and "buried with him in immersion" (Col. 2:12). If a man is with Christ in immersion, could he be with him in a different act performed in lieu of this burial? Or could he be with him in not performing any act at all? Jesus authorized immersion, not only in giving the Great Commission, but through his inspired apostles. Thus when one submits to that which Christ authorized, one can be regarded as being with Christ—they are in agreement. To be with Christ is the very antithesis of being without him.

"Our old man is crucified with him (Rom. 6:6). "I am crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20). "In whom ye are also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in immersion" (Col. 2:11, 12). Thus under the imagery of circumcision and crucifixion Paul shows that in immersion one puts off the sins of the flesh. And this is done with Christ.

"Wherein also ye are risen with him" (Col. 2:12). That is, risen from that burial—immersion. Since ye are "risen with Christ, seek those things which are above for you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:14). "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory" (ib). "And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17). "And so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:17). "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne" (Rev. 3:21).

Thus this thing of being with Christ has a starting point, and a perpetual continuance into the eternal world. That beginning is in immersion, and its ending is on the throne of Christ. "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted." It is humbling for most people in these days of pride and haughtiness to go into the water for such a burial, and may look so unnecessary to the philosophical. Yet one cannot begin to be with one's Redeemer in any other way or place.