Rom 6:1-14 Freedom Through Death

Jul 19, 2020 // By:Dave // No Comment

1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

4 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 become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.

10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Many contracts are written with the intent of permanence. (no way out)

Even marriage vows often include the following promise of devotion

“till death do us part”.

A life sentence to jail is understood to be paid in full upon the death of the inmate.
(not that I am comparing marriage to a life sentence in jail)

Death is accepted, legally, as a valid termination of a contractual obligation.

Paul slides into this concept from his statement in 

Rom. 5:20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more

meaning the law amplifies our knowledge of our sin, but as our knowledge of our sin increased, it highlighted how much more abundantly God’s grace overpowers this sin.

imagine getting a big speeding ticket,  and you tell the officer that you can’t afford to pay the fine

(let alone take time from work to appear in court.

He gives you the ticket anyways, but then gives you the money to pay for the ticket

(and says while you still must appear in court, he will be there too to help)

at court, you tell the judge that you couldn’t afford to pay the ticket but how the officer provided the money.

The judge looks at the officer, smiles, and says
“good job , son”

looks back at you and says “you’ll still have to do some community service to satisfy the court”

The officer says “dad, I already did it for him”

the judge says “all charges are satisfied. You are free to go

then the judge gives you money to fill the gas tank of your car (out of his own pocket)

He then gives you means to buy groceries for your family

(not as cash, but as a rolling tab at the grocery market that he will pay off for you

no cut off date)

You come home to tell your spouse and kids about this …

and your spouse tell you that the mortgage and cars have just been paid off (in full)

He even paid off a couple of credit cards you forgot about that had gone into collection.

that is a picture of the grace of God abounding more.

Paul anticipates the potential response to this idea being 

should I then sin more to give God a greater chance to show His grace   

you know … give Him something to do !

1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Paul makes a statement in the form of a question here with no preceding explanation:  

“we who died to sin, cannot live in sin”

“what do you mean we died ?   I didn’t die … I got saved but I didn’t die ?!”

Paul then explains the concept of 

  1. dying in order to be free from the debts of that life
  2. living in a new life that is not indebted from the old life

3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

baptizmo = immersed in something.

baptism (20x)  G0908 (20x)

[NIV Greek]

967   [908]   βάπτισμα, baptisma, n.  [970]. baptism

BAPTISM

Church history reports many disputes about baptism. There have been arguments about the way a person should be baptized. There have been debates over whether baptism is also for infants or only for adults who are able to make a conscious choice to follow Jesus. Baptism has been viewed by some as a sacrament and by others as an ordinance. Some have even argued that water baptism is essential to salvation.

Typically the positions taken in different traditions have been derived by inference from the Bible. But it is difficult to say that one position or another is definitely taught by Scripture. Each involves reasoning from the biblical texts, and in the process of deduction and induction fallible human beings do make errors. For that reason it is important for us to observe just what the Bible says about baptism and how the word is used in the NT. An understanding of the biblical usage of this significant term will help us to evaluate the arguments of theologians and the emphases found in various Christian traditions.

1. Baptism in Greek and Jewish religions

2. The NT word and its meaning

3. The biblical uses of “baptize”

4. John’s baptism

5. The baptism of Jesus

6. Water baptism in the church

7. Baptism by the Spirit

8. Baptism as union with Jesus

9. Difficult passages on baptism

10. Summary

1. Baptism in Greek and Jewish religions. Both Greek and Jewish religions at the time of Jesus knew the use of ritual washings for purification. However, different Greek words were used in each tradition to describe these washings.

Some have linked Christian baptism to a Jewish practice that was followed when a man converted to Judaism. The individual was circumcised and then took a ritual bath. However, this practice is directly linked with OT commands about washing for purification. In neither the Greek religions nor Jewish practice was there a parallel to Christian baptism, nor was the term “baptism” used to describe ritual washings.

Baptism more or less as we know it today was first instituted by John the Baptist. It was a religious innovation, intended to communicate a content and concept present neither in the faiths of the Hellenistic world nor in Judaism.

2. The NT word and its meaning. Two Greek verbs that are closely related are linked with baptism. 

Bapto is the basic verb. It means “to dip in” or “to dip under.” It is often used of dipping fabric in a dye. 

Baptizo is an intensive form of bapto. From early times it was used in the sense of immersing.

As noted above, other Greek words were commonly used of the religious washings in pagan and Jewish religions. (See WASH/BATHE) In the NT, bapto is used only in its literal sense of dipping (Lk 16:24; Jn 13:26; Rev 19:13). Baptizo is the Greek word translated “baptize” and is always used in a special religious sense. It is used infrequently of the ritual washings of the Pharisees (Mk 7:4; Lk 11:38) but is primarily a word coined to be used in a technical and theological sense. As such, baptizo communicates aspects of God’s working through the Christian gospel. “Baptism” is a special term infused with new meaning in the language of faith. It carries much more depth of meaning than with any meanings it may have had in the religions of the NT world.

3. The biblical uses of “baptize”. It is likely that the average person who reads the word “baptize” in the Bible is likely to suppose it refers to water baptism. But not every occurrence of this term is linked with water baptism. The Bible speaks of a baptism by the Holy Spirit and a baptism into Christ. When reading the Bible, we must be careful that we understand the way the passage we read uses this special theological term.

The different uses of “baptism” in Scripture are considered in the next five items in this article: 

the special baptism of repentance offered by John, 

the baptism of Jesus, 

water baptism, 

baptism by the Spirit, 

and baptism as union with Jesus.

4. John’s baptism. All of the Gospels contain a report of the ministry of that stern prophet known as John the Baptist (Mt 3; Mk 1; Lk 3; Jn 1). His name was derived not from his message but from a striking new practice he instituted: John baptized in the waters of the river Jordan those who responded to his preaching by believing his message.

The message John preached helps to establish the meaning given to his baptism. John called for the people of Israel to repent and to turn to God wholeheartedly as a preparation for the coming of the Messiah, whose day was rapidly approaching. Those who accepted John’s message were called on to acknowledge their commitment publicly. As John preached repentance, those who went into the waters to be baptized acknowledged their sins and made a commitment to live righteously. Ever blunt, the stern John warned them to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Lk 3:8). The ritual itself had no merit. It must be the changed lives of the baptized that testified to the inner sincerity of their hearts.

John’s baptism, then, seems to have involved three significant factors: (1) public identification with his message, (2) a public commitment to live by God’s well-known standards of righteousness, and (3) a public expression of eagerness to welcome the Messiah (who, according to John’s preaching, was near).

John’s call to repentance and readiness was carried to the Jewish communities scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Years later the early missionaries would meet Jewish believers who had heard and responded to John’s warning and had identified themselves with his message by accepting “John’s baptism” (cf. Ac 10:37; 18:25; 19:3-4). Invariably, when they heard about Jesus as the one of whom John had spoken, these disciples of John responded to the gospel by believing in Jesus as the Messiah.

John’s baptism is not the same in nature or intent as Christian baptism. But the new practice John introduced was picked up by the early church and given new significance—to reflect a reality that goes far beyond the meaning that John gave to baptism.

5. The baptism of Jesus. The meaning of John’s baptism of Jesus at the beginning of Christ’s public ministry has troubled some. Why should a sinless person accept a baptism of repentance?

The answer is suggested in Matthew’s report of the dialogue between Jesus and the Baptizer. John, knowing the blameless character of his cousin (Lk 1:36) but not yet realizing that he was the Messiah, objected to baptizing him. But Jesus answered, “It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (Mt 3:15).

John’s baptism was not itself equivalent to repentance. But the person who was baptized identified himself publicly with the total message of the prophet. Jesus found it fitting to be baptized, for he would thus identify himself with the call to righteousness issued by John and thus also would take a public stand with that austere preacher and his warnings.

6. Water baptism in the church. John’s baptism has been spoken of a number of times in the Gospels and in Acts. Acts and the Epistles make it clear that the early church also practiced water baptism. This practice is spoken of in a number of NT passages (Ac 2:38,41; 8:12,13,16,36,38; 9:18; 10:47,48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:5; 1 Co 1:14-17; 15:29; Heb 6:2).

Yet each of these passages is simply a report of what the early church practiced. None of the passages attempts to define what water baptism meant to the early Christian community. We do know from these passages and from the writings of the church fathers that when a person received Christ as Savior and joined the community of faith, he or she was baptized. We can conclude that water baptism, like the Lord’s Supper, was practiced and is to be practiced in the church. But we cannot conclude from these passages just what water baptism was intended to convey.

Certainly the early church did not see water baptism as necessary for salvation, for Paul himself expressed relief that in his mission to Corinth he himself “did not baptize any … except Crispus and Gaius” (1 Cor 1:14).

While Scripture is silent on the exact meaning of water baptism as practiced in the church, it speaks very clearly about supernatural works of God in the life of the believer, works that are also called baptism. It seems best to understand the meaning of the practice of water baptism by studying the meaning of the theological baptisms revealed in Scripture.  Today, water immersion baptism, is seen as a physical demonstration of a spiritual fact.

7. Baptism by the Spirit. When John came preaching and baptizing with water, critics asked him if he claimed to be the Messiah. John answered that he was not. Each time John announced that there was a person living even then in the land of Palestine who, he said, “is more powerful than I.” That person would appear and baptize, not with water “but with the Holy Spirit” (Mt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16).

The Book of Acts describes the fulfillment of that promise. The baptism took place at the coming of the Spirit on Jesus’ followers as reported in Ac 2 (cf. Ac 2:1-4 with 10:45-47 and 11:15-17). Acts describes a number of phenomena that took place at that time. The Spirit came. The Spirit filled the believers. There was an outward sign of fiery tongues and a rushing wind. The Spirit empowered the believers to speak in languages other than their own. But again, this is description, not definition. This was the time when Jesus’ baptism with the Spirit took place. But the description does not tell us what that baptism is nor whether it is relevant to Christian experience today.

In the Epistles, however, we do find a definition of baptism by the Spirit. The definition is given in 1 Co 12:13, and the context makes it clear that the Spirit’s baptism was neither the historic incident itself nor any of the associated phenomena. Writing of the body of Christ, a living organism into which Christians are formed, Paul says that “we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” The baptism of the Spirit began at Pentecost but is a continuing work of the Holy Spirit. Each individual who believes in Jesus experiences the baptism, for it is that work of the Holy Spirit by which he joins us to Jesus and to one another as members of a spiritual body.

This theological definition helps us see how appropriate the term “baptism” is: we are immersed in the Holy Spirit, and in Jesus himself by the Spirit.

8. Baptism as union with Jesus. The baptizing work of the Spirit that unites us as one body also unites us to Jesus, the head of the body. This aspect of baptism, union with Jesus himself, is picked up in several NT passages. The most notable is Ro 6:3-8, where Paul writes: “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. . . . Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”

Paul is not writing here of the rite of baptism; rather, he is dealing with what happens within the person who trusts Jesus. God acts and so unites the believer to Jesus that Christ’s death and resurrection become his. Freed from bondage to the old life, believers are given power by Jesus to live a new kind of life.

Other NT passages also refer to baptism in this theological sense as real union with Jesus. Eph 4:5 speaks of the “one baptism” that, with the Spirit’s other work, enables us to live in unity with other Christians. Col 2:12 picks up the language of Ro 6 and describes the believer as “having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through … faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” Gal 3:27 announces, “All of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ.”

Each of these passages is best understood as speaking not of the rite of water baptism but of a work performed by God, uniting us with Jesus so completely that his death and resurrection become our own.

It may well be that the great theological reality of union with Jesus in death and resurrection are intended to be affirmed by the water baptism practiced by the church. But as in the case of John’s baptism, it is clear that the efficacy of Christian baptism does not lie in the ceremony but in an inner work of God within the heart of the person.

9. Difficult passages on baptism. A number of NT passages have been misinterpreted or have raised questions about baptism.

Mk 10:38-39. Jesus asked a pair of eager disciples if they were able to drink the cup intended for him or to be baptized with the baptism he was baptized with. Jesus was speaking of his coming death and of his immersion in that experience of total suffering.

Mt 3:11. This and parallel passages that speak of Jesus’ baptizing with the Holy Spirit add “and with fire,” an expression generally taken to refer to the final judgment reserved for those who will not believe.

Mk 16:16. This verse is sometimes taken to teach that baptism is required for salvation. The two clauses of the verse make it clear that belief alone is the issue on which salvation hinges.

Ac 22:16. Instead of teaching that baptism washes away sins, as some have taken the verse to say, the truth here is simply that it is calling on the Lord that effects the cleansing.

1 Co 15:29. Paul is here referring to the practice of the living being baptized for those who have died. He does not mention the practice to give apostolic approval of it. Instead, he mentions it in the context of an argument for the truth and importance of the doctrine of the resurrection. In a church in which some doubt the reality of resurrection, it is foolish for others to have initiated a practice of being baptized for the dead. If there is no resurrection, why would they introduce this strange practice?

1 Co 10:2. This verse refers to the Exodus generation, who traveled under God’s cloudy pillar and—when God opened a way—passed through the sea, as having been “baptized into Moses.” The expression indicates that they were immersed with Moses in a relationship marked by sharing common experiences of God’s supernatural activity.

1 Pe 3:21. Many have understood this verse to teach that the ceremony of water baptism saves. The passage speaks of the Genesis flood and the ark that Noah built, in which “a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus.”

To understand this statement we need to note that in the OT story, the waters of the Flood were the agency of judgment, not the agency of deliverance. The eight people in the ark were carried through the waters safely, to be deposited in a new world, purified by the judgment. In context Peter says that our salvation is wrought by Jesus’ resurrection, a resurrection that we who are united with him share. The waters of the Genesis flood symbolize what happens when we are baptized by the Spirit into Jesus. We are carried by Jesus through God’s devastating judgment on sin and are deposited in virtue of his resurrection in a fresh, new spiritual universe in which we are expected to live according to the will of God (1 Pe 4:2).

10. Summary. Water baptism has been practiced by the church since its beginning. But water baptism has not always been understood by believers. Many notions about baptism are not supported by the teaching of the Bible.

If we are to reach adequate conclusions about baptism, we need to recognize the following basic facts: Christian baptism has no parallel in the OT. The “baptism of John” described in the Gospels and Acts is distinct from Christian baptism. The NT uses the term “baptism” to speak of great spiritual realities as well as the rite of water baptism. The spiritual realities communicated by the word “baptism” concern our true union with Jesus in his death and resurrection and our present union in vital organic relationship with all believers in the living body of Christ.

The basic truth of our union with all believers and with Jesus is so vital that it places our differences with others about the practice of baptism in distinct perspective. We are one in and through our relationship with Jesus. We may disagree about details. But our disagreements do not destroy the reality of a spiritual unity that makes us truly one.

 

 

4 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.

misusing the word baptize to always indicate a water immersion can result in misunderstanding key verses like this

Peterson’s Message translates verse 4 in this way:

When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus.”

he takes a spiritual truth about our real death with Christ to be free from sin and it’s wages, then to be given new life in Christ and completely changes it into a quick reference about a ceremony used as a testimony

past and present tense indicating that as our old selves die with Christ, we are raised from the dead now, to live now in new life.

5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

this verse clarifies that Paul was not referring to a baptism as a metaphor but as a deep truth about our unity in Christ

perfect past tense used with present tense now being used to show our unity in death is done and accomplished, and being in his likeness in our new life is not a one time event, but on-going.

Jesus died and was buried 

Then raised back to life in victory over sin and death 

Our uniting in his death and new life also gives us victory over sin and death

6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

here’s that idea again that death cancels the contract and debt to the one who dies.  Our old self dies to sin, so that we are no longer held by it.  we are freed from sin by death.

8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.

10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Died once, never to die again. proving death has no power over him (nor us)

Here comes an application verse “so…”

11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Here we see Paul using the word master in reference to sin

Meaning in our previous state , we were slaves to sin. We had no choice 

There is an expression of freedom in Christ here that is not often considered.

Freedom must include choice, else it is not freedom.

illustration of officer coming to door with list of charges

(my correct reply is, “no one by that name, or who did those things lives at this address”

our old self died to sin.
we are freed from it’s rule

but we have the freedom to either stay away from its rule, or give it power over us again.

verse 13 states to do not present your body to sin as an instrument of unrighteousness

but to present it as an instrument of righteousness to God.

we did not have this choice before we were saved.
we do have freedom of choice now.

the idea that we were buried and died to sin and death, then live in newness of life in Christ

is not some metaphor or illustration.

It is how Jesus Christ sees things, it is how the entire Trinity sees reality.

It is how Paul sees it as well.   It is time we caught up to God and started seeing ourselves

as literally dying in the old self, and living again in the new self.
(sin’s power over us is only what we give it to hold over us)

To live in freedom. (not a metaphor, but reality

Our key to living in Christ is to understand we have the choice to not go back to sin

but to live for Him, in Him.

we live by faith, not by sheer will power to stay clear of sin, that is a law of man

Gal. 5:1 ¶ It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Gal. 5:2 ¶ Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.

Gal. 5:3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.

Gal. 5:4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Gal. 5:5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.

Gal. 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

lets read verses 11-14 again from Rom 6

literally dead to sin, alive to Christ, in Christ.

Live in the freedom Christ died and rose again to give us.

 

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