Romans 6:3-5 What is meant by being baptized into Christ Jesus and being baptized into his death?

Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All

$5.00

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot

Romans 6:3-7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death4 Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified together with him, in order that the body[1] of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed[2] from sin.

Edward D. Andrews writes,

When a person is anointed with the Holy Spirit, they are then united with Jesus Christ and are joined with the other anointed ones to form the congregation that is the body of Christ. Jesus is the head of the body, the congregation.[3] (1 Cor. 12:12, 13, 27; Col. 1:18) This is their being baptized into Christ Jesus. The anointed Christians are also baptized into his death, sacrificing their lives to God, renouncing themselves, and becoming slaves of Jesus Christ. “Jesus adopted a servant’s role (John 13:4–5; Mark 10:45; cp. Phil. 2:7) and indicated that His disciples should also (Matt. 6:24; 10:24; 24:45–46; Luke 17:10; John 13:12–16). Paul referred to himself as a slave or servant of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:10; Phil. 1:1), as did James (1:1), Peter (2 Pet. 1:1), and Jude (1).”[4] The anointed’s metaphorical use of being baptized into Christ Jesus’ death, with no ransoming value, is a sacrificial one.

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST by Stalker-1 The TRIAL and Death of Jesus_02 THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1

Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier write,

Paul said in Romans 5:12 that “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” Then he said that in the same way that all were made sinners by one man’s actions, “the many will be made righteous” (5:19) by another man’s action. The solidarity of mankind in sin was replaced by a new solidarity (for those who would receive it)—a solidarity of righteousness in Christ. Part of the human race—all who have exercised faith toward God—would become a “faith race” and find a new solidarity in Christ. The reason that this is possible is that Christ died a death to sin for all humankind. His death—a death brought on by the guilt of Adam’s sin—was to be a death for all who want to be free from sin. That is what Paul means when he says that the Roman believers had “died to sin” in Christ. And that is what he explains in Romans 6:3–7.

First, he reminds them that their baptism pictured the death of Christ (6:3–4), and then he explains that the purpose of Christ’s death—and their death in Christ—was to be free from sin (6:5–7).

PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

6:3–4. Paul reminds the Roman believers (don’t you know?) of the meaning of their baptism. It is unfortunate that many modern believers in Christ can read these two verses and wonder if Paul is speaking metaphorically or figuratively about baptism—referring to some baptism of which they are unaware and with which they have had no experience. Granted—there is more than one kind of baptism mentioned in the New Testament and, yes, most of them are figurative. For instance, John the Baptist said that, whereas he baptized with water, Jesus Christ was coming to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matt. 3:11; John 1:33). Jesus himself confirmed the coming baptism by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5), and the fire appeared as well (Acts 2:3).

In addition, Paul said there is a non-water baptism by which the Holy Spirit places (immerses?) every believer into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). Even the Israelites, Paul said, were somehow baptized “into Moses” as they were engulfed by the cloud and (seemingly) by the Red Sea (1 Cor. 10:2).

But in this case, Paul is referring to literal water baptism, and in a way that is unfortunately not emphasized when modern believers are baptized. Several important truths concerning baptism should be noted here: First, Paul is making the assumption that all the believers in Rome had been baptized. When he says all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus, he is not referring to all the believers who had been baptized as opposed to all the ones who had not. He is referring to all believers as opposed to non-believers who had not been baptized into Christ Jesus. Baptism does not appear to be an optional event in the Christian experience as it is for many modern believers.

Not only is baptism not optional, the New Testament, especially the Book of Acts (see, e.g., Acts 9:18 and “Deeper Discoveries”), gives ample evidence that baptism occurred in the immediate context of faith-conversion. This is almost unheard of in contemporary Christendom. Often weeks, months, even years will pass between the time a person becomes a believer in Christ and his or her baptism. In modern Christianity, the primary emphasis is placed upon the intellectual event of “believing,” which is completely consistent with the post-Enlightenment environment of rational intellectualism. However, in the New Testament, equal emphasis appears to be placed on the physical—repenting and being baptized (Acts 2:38), accompanied by exhortations, warnings, and teachings that baptism without faith is a dead work; that baptism must be, as the Anglican catechism says, “an outward visible sign of an inward spiritual grace.”

How to Interpret the Bible-1

Not only did baptism happen, and happen in the immediate context of conversion, it meant something! Here is a test which any teacher can use: before teaching the content of Romans 6:3–4, take a poll of the believers in the setting where you are teaching to determine how many of the believers have in fact been baptized, and what the average amount of time was that elapsed between conversion to Christ and baptism (you will likely be surprised). Then, have some people share their understanding of the meaning of baptism. See how many people can explain baptism in the terminology Paul uses in Romans 6:3–4.

You will likely not be surprised—but shocked! Most modern believers have not been taught the theological significance of baptism, nor do they know the important place baptism has as a symbol to be used by the Holy Spirit in their conscious minds and imaginations to help them live lives free from the mastery of sin (in the same way that the bread and cup are symbols which stimulate and motivate the believer to worship and holiness vis-a-vis the Lord’s Supper).

All believers should know and unite around the truths concerning baptism that Paul presents in these verses. To not understand the connection between baptism and freedom from sin is to miss a critical link between Romans 1–5 (justification based on the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ) and Romans 6–8 (living sanctified lives based on the imputation of the efficacy and merit of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ).

The shortest version of Paul’s message in verses 3–4 is to reverse the order:

Verse 4b: Jesus Christ’s act of obedience by going to the cross—and his subsequent resurrection—was an act of solidarity in behalf of a human race that had inherited a permanently fatal sentence of death from father Adam (Rom. 5:12, 19). His purpose was to provide a new life for all who would, by faith, identify with him and his act of obedience to the glory of the Father.

Verse 4a: When Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected on our behalf, he provided a faith-focus for the believer. Just as those who looked upon the bronze serpent in the wilderness were saved (Num. 21:8–9), so any who look upon the cross of Christ are saved today (John 3:14–15). We were not crucified and buried; Christ was. But when we are baptized as believers-in-what-he-did, we are baptized into—immersed in, made partakers of—[his] death in order that … we too may live a new life.

Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS Young Christians

Verse 3: “Don’t you know this?” Paul seems to be saying. “Don’t you know that you died to sin when you believed in Christ who died to the condemnation of sin that was yours? When you were baptized, you were baptized into his death.”

Remember: these statements of Paul’s are in answer to the question of his fictional opponent, “Shall we go on sinning?” (v. 1). He is answering, in essence, by saying that your baptism proves that you died to sin: “How can you possibly continue in something to which you died?” The believer who has died to sin has also been raised to live a new life. Sin was the old life, and your baptism means you agreed to be identified with a new life. How can you possibly think of leaving your new life and going back to your old life?

THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy

Baptism in the New Testament—and we are living in the era of the New Testament—is as close to getting saved by works without doing so as one can get. This is why some have misinterpreted verses in the New Testament and suggested that there is a connection between physical baptism and spiritual regeneration. There is not! Salvation is by faith alone. But when Peter says, “Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16; emphasis added) and “baptism that now saves you” (1 Pet. 3:21), it is not difficult to see the parallels between faith and baptism—but like railroad tracks, they remain parallel, never converging. Paul’s words to the Philippian jailer connect the two more clearly: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved … then immediately he and all his family were baptized” (Acts 16:31–33; emphasis added).

The reason for the immediacy of baptism following conversion is because of what Paul explains in Romans 6:3–4. Baptism puts the believer physically, emotionally, and spiritually in touch with the object of his or her faith—the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified for them, in the following manner:

Paul’s final words of verse 4—we too may live a new life—are the focus of his continuing explanation in verses 5–7: the purpose of death is to be freed from sin; to live a life no longer enslaved to the power, shame, and judicial guilt of sin, but a life “enslaved” to righteousness.

 

Jesus Christ

Believer

Death

 

A submission of the will to the Father’s plan; a choice to die; death on a cross.

 

Agreement of the will with the Father’s judgment: “I deserve to die and accept God’s just decision and his merciful provision;” the point of conversion by faith for the believer.

Burial

The experience of being covered by death in a tomb or the “earth.” Christ took upon himself the sins of the world but in death was separated from sin as a master or condemner. Sin has no power over the dead.

Waters of baptism “cover” the believer as a picture of burial in a tomb or the earth. As Christ was separated and freed from the sins of the world in death, so the believer is symbolically freed from sin as a master.

Resurrection

Christ was resurrected from the dead to a “new life.”

 

As the believer comes out of the waters of baptism, a new life is begun.

6:5–7. Again taking Paul’s words in reverse order will bring his argument into quick focus:

Verse 7: Anyone who has died has been freed from sin. This is a plain, literal statement; its simplicity has caused many to miss its power. (E=mc2 seems simplistic. It is not simplistic, but it is simple. Einstein would have suggested the difference between the two was nothing less than “atomic.”) Why are there no stone walls crowned with barbed wire, no K-9 corps, no towers with search lights, no armed guards patrolling the perimeters of … cemeteries? Because the possibility of illegal activity by the “residents” of these underground dwellings is zero. Why? Because the dead have been freed from sin. They are free from the temptation of it. They are freed from the committing of it. They are freed from the guilt of it. And they are freed from punishment for it. They are freed from sin. That is easy to understand for the dead, but Paul is talking about the living.

REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONS

Verse 6: Believers have been crucified with him (Christ) so that we might enjoy, while living, the same benefit that the dead enjoy—freedom from sin. Only one thing can free a person from the temptation, commission, guilt, and punishment of sin—death! But all would agree that death is a high price—the ultimate price—to pay. Paul knew it. That is why he cries out, personifying one with no hope who realizes that death is the only exit from sin, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24). Note his word—rescue. Sin is a one-way journey to death. The only way to be freed from it is to allow it to take its natural course—death—or be rescued. “Thanks be to God,” he says, because “Jesus Christ our Lord” has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the dominion of righteousness (Rom. 7:25; Col. 1:13).

Verse 5: The benefit of being united with him … in his death is that we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. Unlike those in the cemetery who have died in ages past, the believer is resurrected immediately following his or her death with Christ. Again, this is the picture gained through baptism. We die, then we live.

A few points need to be made to clarify what Paul is expressing. First, the analogy between dead people and living people being freed from sin breaks down at an obvious point. It is impossible for people in cemeteries to sin; the same cannot be said for believers in Christ. Here is the difference: those who have identified with the death and resurrection of Christ still have the potential for sin, but they no longer have the obligation to sin. Paul will explain in detail further in chapter 6 the difference between being a slave to sin and a slave to righteousness. One is obligated to obey a master, but believers are no longer slaves to sin. Therefore, believers are not obligated to “obey its evil desires” (Rom. 6:12). Identifying with Christ through faith and baptism does not free the believer from the possibility of sin, but it does free the believer from the obligation to sin.

Second, there are three key clauses in verse 6 that succinctly define Paul’s point in this section:

  1. Our old self was crucified with him. It was not our capacity to sin that died with Christ, but our old self. The capacity to sin still lives, but our old life does not. The life of “transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,” by which we gratified “the cravings of our sinful nature” and followed “its desires and thoughts”—that life died with Christ (Eph. 2:1–3). The life we lived as “sexually immoral … idolaters … adulterers … male prostitutes … homosexual offenders … thieves … greedy … drunkards … slanderers … swindlers”—that life died with Christ (1 Cor. 6:9–10). “That is what some of you were,” Paul says. “But you were washed … sanctified … justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:11; see also Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9)
  2. The body of sin has been done away with. The body of sin here refers to our proclivity to sin. But it has not been done away in the sense of being eradicated. Katargeo is broadly translated. It can mean everything from “abolish” to “fade away” to “render powerless.” Katargeo is built from kata (“according to”) and argeo (“to be idle”), the latter word being a combination of the negative prefix a and the noun ergon (“work,” “deed,” or “result”). Therefore, argeo is the negation of work or activity or deeds or results. But negation by eradication or negation by the removal of power? The whole thrust of Paul’s argument demands “negation by removal of power.” Why would he, in verse 13, exhort the Roman believers not to offer themselves to sin if they did not have the potential to do so? Therefore, the inclination to sin has not been eradicated, but it has been rendered powerless when we walk in God’s power.
  3. We are no longer … slaves to sin. This is how the body of sin has been rendered powerless. A freed slave can stand directly in the presence of his or her former master, look the master in the eye, and ignore every command. Is there a temptation based on history and precedent to ask with trembling voice, “How high?” when the former master says “jump!”? Of course there is; old habits die hard. But there is neither the obligation to jump nor to ask “how high?” There is the complete freedom to turn and walk away. The reason is because we have been freed from sin (v. 7)—and this is the key term which ties this truth to the preceding five chapters of Romans.

Guess what Greek word is behind freed from sin? It is Paul’s old standby, dikaioo—to justify, to pronounce righteous. The term that forms the bedrock of the gospel in Romans 1–5, to justify, is here translated in the NIV as freed. We have been “justified” from our sins (dedikaiotai; perfect passive indicative; we are the recipients of an action in the past which has results continuing into the future). We have been “declared righteous” in spite of our sins. We have been declared “free to go” because the price for our sins has been paid by another. We are no longer under the dominion of sin, of darkness, whose only way out was death. We have been rescued by another (Col. 1:13) who went down the road of death for us, freeing us from the obligation, the control, the guilt, and the penalty of both Adam’s sin and our own sins.

AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01

When prisoners are released from bondage, or a slave is emancipated, they have to go somewhere—and so it is with the believer in Christ. If we have been freed “from” sin, what have we been freed “to”? The ancient father, Cyril of Jerusalem, summarized it well in his Catechetical Lectures: “As Jesus died in taking away the sins of the world, that, by doing sin to death, he might rise in righteousness, so too, when you go down into the water and are, in a fashion, entombed in the water as he was in the rock, you may rise again to walk in newness of life” (Bray, p. 155; emphasis added).[5]

SCROLL THROUGH THE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BELOW

BIBLE TRANSLATION AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot
The Complete Guide to Bible Translation-2
The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02
The P52 PROJECT 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS
APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS
English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II
9781949586121 THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS
APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot

BIBLICAL STUDIES / INTERPRETATION

How to Interpret the Bible-1
israel against all odds ISRAEL AGAINST ALL ODDS - Vol. II

EARLY CHRISTIANITY

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST by Stalker-1 The TRIAL and Death of Jesus_02 THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1
PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL
APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS I AM John 8.58

CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM

The Epistle to the Hebrews
REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES APOLOGETICS
AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01
INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation
Jesus Paul THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK
REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONS
APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot
REASONABLE FAITH FEARLESS-1
Satan BLESSED IN SATAN'S WORLD_02 HEROES OF FAITH - ABEL
is-the-quran-the-word-of-god UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM THE GUIDE TO ANSWERING ISLAM.png
DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP Agabus Cover BIBLICAL CRITICISM
Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS Young Christians
THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy

TECHNOLOGY AND THE CHRISTIAN

9798623463753 Machinehead KILLER COMPUTERS
INTO THE VOID

CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

Homosexuality and the Christian second coming Cover Why Me_
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. II CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. III
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. IV CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. V MIRACLES
Human Imperfection HUMILITY

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

READ ALONG WITH ME READ ALONG WITH ME READ ALONG WITH ME

HOW TO PRAY AND PRAYER LIFE

Powerful Weapon of Prayer Power Through Prayer How to Pray_Torrey_Half Cover-1

TEENS-YOUTH-ADOLESCENCE-JUVENILE

THERE IS A REBEL IN THE HOUSE thirteen-reasons-to-keep-living_021 Waging War - Heather Freeman
 
Young Christians DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS 40 day devotional (1)
Homosexuality and the Christian THE OUTSIDER RENEW YOUR MIND

CHRISTIAN LIVING

GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS Wives_02 HUSBANDS - Love Your Wives
 
WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD THE BATTLE FOR THE CHRISTIAN MIND (1)-1
ADULTERY 9781949586053 PROMISES OF GODS GUIDANCE
APPLYING GODS WORD-1 For As I Think In My Heart_2nd Edition Put Off the Old Person
Abortion Booklet Dying to Kill The Pilgrim’s Progress
WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE WAITING ON GOD WORKING FOR GOD
 
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Let God Use You to Solve Your PROBLEMS THE POWER OF GOD
HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR BAD HABITS-1 GOD WILL GET YOU THROUGH THIS A Dangerous Journey
ARTS, MEDIA, AND CULTURE Christians and Government Christians and Economics

CHRISTIAN COMMENTARIES

CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONALS

40 day devotional (1) Daily Devotional_NT_TM Daily_OT
DEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS DEVOTIONAL FOR TRAGEDY
DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS 40 day devotional (1)

CHURCH HEALTH, GROWTH, AND HISTORY

LEARN TO DISCERN Deception In the Church FLEECING THE FLOCK_03
The Church Community_02 THE CHURCH CURE Developing Healthy Churches
FIRST TIMOTHY 2.12 EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1

Apocalyptic-Eschatology [End Times]

Explaining the Doctrine of the Last Things Identifying the AntiChrist second coming Cover
AMERICA IN BIBLE PROPHECY_ ezekiel, daniel, & revelation

CHRISTIAN FICTION

Oren Natas_JPEG Seekers and Deceivers
02 Journey PNG The Rapture

[1] Body: (σῶμα sōma) The complete material structure or physical form of an organism, human being, or animal. (Mark 14:22; Lu 17:37; Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 12:12; 15:37; Phil. 3:21) There are also spiritual bodies, which are invisible to human eyes and completely beyond human senses. (1 Cor. 15:40, 44) The term “body” is also used symbolically. – Rom. 6:3-6; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:16; 4:4; Col. 1:18.

[2] Or has been justifiedacquitted

[3] Congregation: (Heb. קָהַל qahal; Gr. ἐκκλησία ekklēsia) A congregation of Christians. A group of Christians who gather for a Christian meeting, implying an interacting membership. In the Hebrew Scriptures, it usually refers to the nation of Israel, i.e., “the assembly of Israel” or “the congregation of Israel.” The Greek New Testament refers to congregations of Christians and the Christian congregation as a whole. – Num. 20:8; Deut. 4:10; 1 Ki 8:22; Ac 9:31; Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 14:4.

[4] James A. Brooks, “Slave, Servant,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 1511.

[5] Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier, Romans, vol. 6, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 187–192.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: