The most important truth in all of Christianity is stated right here: We are made alive together with Christ. Notice that Paul says our life is “with Christ:” We are “made alive with Christ.” We are “raised up with Christ.” We are made to sit with Him. He has come to live in us. He has joined Himself to us and we are one person with Him. That is the most important fact upon which to build all the rest of Christian faith and experience —this great, tremendous statement that we are made alive with Jesus Christ.
Jesus Himself taught that. He said, “I am the vine. You are the branches (John 15:5a).” We can’t tell where the branch ends and the vine starts. They are one plant, sharing one life together. So, from here on our identity is no longer “in Adam” but it is “in Christ.” We are no longer just ordinary human beings. We are new creations, linked with the life of Jesus Christ.
Later in this letter, Paul likens the Church to a body, of which Christ is the head. As we examine our bodies, we note that every part is tied to the other; they share the life of the body. They are not attached by any mechanical process, but rather they are an organic part. These figures are all given to us to show us the intimate way we are united to Jesus Christ, to tell us that He is our life.
We must never think of ourselves in any other way, because the whole work of the enemy is to get us to reject that and to go back to thinking that we are just ordinary individuals, struggling on through life, trying to make it the best way we can, needing to mobilize all our human resources to try to get ahead of the other fellow and to achieve as much of the fulfillment of life as we can. Any time we believe that, we go right back to acting as we once did—back to the misery, back to the heartaches. We escape that when we stand firmly on this central truth—we are alive in Jesus Christ!
Finally, notice that these verbs are all in the past tense. This is something that has happened, not something that is going to happen. It has already occurred when we surrendered to Jesus Christ. We don't have to work toward it. It is not something that great saints achieve after years of effort. It is something that is already true, and every Christian has this experience. We were made alive in Jesus Christ. We can’t be the same again. Even if we try, we won't be able to.