Skip to content

(ROMANS 6:1 - 8:27)

1. The believer considers himself dead to sin
(Romans 6:1-14)
1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?2Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?3Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?4Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

In chapters 1-5, the apostle Paul shows us that he who believes in Christ is lawfully justified and delivered from the wrath and condemnation of God. He explains to the Romans that this justification renders us in a state of peace with God and love for the world.
After this initial presentation, the apostle answers the important question that was blasphemously asked by the enemies of free righteousness: Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound, and the faithfulness of God may appear?
In his answer to this malicious question, Paul draws the way leading to final victory over sin in our life, that no believer can be cured unless he reads the following paragraph and practices it in his life. Our discussion is not a theoretical lesson, but a guide to living in holiness.
The apostle did not say, “struggle against your known sins, and overcome them”, because he knew that noone can overcome his own sin by his own power. He does not call on you to struggle against yourself, but he calls you to witness that there is no other solution for your old self and your corrupt manners but to die morally.
How shall we die to the power of sin in us? Paul answers simply: “We died”, as if it were easy to destroy evil. He expresses this death in the past tense, as if the action of death is finished. It does not depend on our own diligence, nor do we have to struggle for it anymore. As such, he shows us that our baptism signifies the burial of the evil man and the death of selfishness. The Christian baptism is not a mere external rite; a mere outward purification, nor is it a mere application of water to the body. It is a judgment, death and burial. By your baptism, you testify that your Lord has condemned you to death, which you execute by your drowning and immersion. Mortification, putting off the old man, is not practically performed in flesh, but in spirit, having accepted the vicarious death of Christ. Our baptism signifies our final unification with Christ in the covenant of love, openness of our love to him, and continuance in his faithful example.
When Christ took away our sins, we died with him to our pride. Thus the cross means a stab in the corrupt man. He who believes, denies himself and takes up the cross, confessing that all men deserve destruction every day. Our death does not happen through a psychological war. It happened in the past, when Christ cried out on the accursed tree, “It is finished”. If you believe, you will be saved and delivered from the power of sin.
Christ died and was buried not only to unite us with his death and burial, but he rose from the dead, drawing us to his resurrection, and giving us his eternal life. Besides our self-denial, we were also united with Christ in the power of his own life. Therefore, our faith does not only mean knowledge and doctrine, but it is a growing power in us, as if Christ were born in us. He grows, works, triumphs, and overcomes evil in our bodies. We do not gain victory, but it is He who triumphs in us.
The resurrection from the dead was a great and glorious triumph of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through his resurrection he has declared his eternal glory and unshaken righteousness by accepting the reconciliation of his Son, his triumph over death, and the revelation of his holy life. The power of God worked evidently in the resurrection of Christ, and the newness of this divine life works in the believers who are bound to Christ by faith. Christianity is not a religion of fear or death. It is the religion of hope, life, and power.
Through our worship to Christ, we confess that he does not live far away from us, over the stars, or that he rarely thinks of us. Instead we confess that he is bound to us by an unbreakable bond, and that he lives in us in the fullness of his power, stays with us all the days, and leads us to holy conduct. Thus, your baptism is a union with Christ, death, and life, and your faith is a new covenant. He who joins himself to Christ, confesses that he died with him on the cross, and rose in him to a new life.

O Lord Christ, you have finished my death on the cross, and declared my life in your resurrection. I worship you with all those who believe in you, who died with you in faith, and were risen with you in Spirit. I worship you, Father of glory, thanking you for the revelation of your gloriness through the resurrection of your Son, and giving life to us in you. Help us to continue in his grace, and to walk according to his command in purity, abstinence, truthfulness, love, and patience, that your life may appear in all the believers.
What is the meaning of baptism?