A common error in the translation of the Scriptures is to make many things mean sometime in the distant future when we die. Here is an example.
Romans 6:8 (ASV) But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him;
The translators want Paul to support their understanding which they have grown up learning from traditions of their fathers. Those traditions teach of a faraway God in a place called Heaven that believers will go to when they die. In that place called heaven believers will finally get to see and know God as He really is. They will be able to sit and talk with this God who went away to the Father long ago. They will finally be with Jesus for it is obvious that He is not really here.
So in reading Romans 6:8 we are led to believe that Paul was supporting this faraway God view….that we believe that we shall(in the future, one day)live with Him(in heaven). But there is no justification for putting “shall” in the sentence.
Thayer: G4800 συζάω
1) to live together with one
1a) of physical life on earth
1b) to live a new life in union with Christ, i.e. dedicated to God
Part of Speech: verb
Vines NT words: 2. sunzao (G4800), “to live together with” (sun, “with,” and zao, “to live”),
Romans 6:8 like many verses written by the inspired Paul speak about our full union with Jesus HERE AND NOW. But the translators could not perceive this having been a product of at least 1000 years of faraway god theology. Therefore they translated according to their faraway one day in heaven views.
Romans 6:8 should say
But if we died with Christ, we believe that we also live with him;
WE DIED WITH HIM…WE LIVE WITH HIM.
WE DIED WITH HIM….WE LIVE WITH HIM!! NOW!! and ALWAYS!!..but especially now, because NOW is all there is. Tomorrow never comes, thus saying “shall live” with Him puts off to tomorrow what God wants you to enjoy and know today.
Paul backs this up by saying “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin,(NOW) but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(NOW) Rom 6:11
We are dead to sin now…we are alive to God now…we died with Christ now….we live with Christ now. To always be thinking about dying so that we can go to heaven to be with Jesus is not what Scripture is teaching.
Whether we live or die we are the Lord’s –that is true. But it is in knowing our union with Life Himself here and now that we are exhorted to rest our faith fully upon.
In verse 5 Paul does in fact allude to a future resurrection
Rom 6:5 ForG1063 ifG1487 we have beenG1096 planted togetherG4854 in theG3588 likenessG3667 of hisG848 death,G2288 we shall beG2071(G235) alsoG2532 in the likeness of his resurrection:G386
The word used here for “shall be” is the future tense of “I am” or “I exist”.
esomai – will be.
This is all saying that we are dead to sin, are alive from the dead…but also our physical body will be resurrected at some future time —unless of course that resurrection happens in a twinkling of an eye while we yet live.
But for now we call ourselves alive unto God.