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Baptized Into Christ - Romans Chapter Six

Let's look at the entire sixth chapter of Romans very close so that we can better understand how we die to sin and how we are baptized into Christ. In order to fully understand what Paul is explaining here we need to start at the end of chapter 5...

Romans 5:20-21 And the Law entered to reveal the increase of transgression; but where sin increased, grace increased more. So that, as sin had ruled in death, grace might rule through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:1-3 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Paul explains that the existence of sin called out the grace of God in forgiveness. As sin increases, God's grace increases more.

Paul suggest that some might believe that we should just continue in sin and not worry about it because grace will increase even more. Of course, he proclaims, "God forbid!"

Then he asked them why would the ones who are "dead to sin" continue to live in it. The Greek manuscripts actually read "we who died to sin".

This is past tense and refers to something that has already taken place to cause our salvation, not something that we should do as a result of our salvation. Therefore, we learn here that the Christian life begins when we die to sin.

Then Paul irrefutably tells us how we "died to sin"... "Know ye not" (do you not realize), "that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?"

This leaves us with no doubt that Paul is referring to the fact that our dying to sin is ultimately a result of our being baptized into Christ.

Therefore, we wash away our sins through baptism... just as Paul did himself as we learned in Acts 22:16... "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

Also as we learned from Peter in 1 Peter 3:20-21... " Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"

Being "baptized into Christ" means to enter into a vital union with Christ.

We can also understand how our faith acts to bring us into Christ from other supported passages that Paul teaches in Gal 3:26-27... "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

Paul teaches us again in Colossians 2:12... "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."

Our faith leads us to obedience... we repent, confess, and are baptized into Christ. At that time, we become a member of His body, His "church". This is how we become a child of God.

Let's continue with what Paul wrote...

Romans 6:4-8 Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Paul repeats it again in these passages in his letter to the Romans... "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:"... (the Manuscripts actually read "We were buried therefore" again indicating past tense which also indicates that it is something we do to cause us to be saved).

Just like "Christ was raised up from the dead"... "we should also walk in newness of life."

So just like Christ was buried and raised, we are in the same way buried by going down into the water and raised by coming up out of the water. This is called immersion and emersion, or baptism, and it causes us to walk in a newness of life (be a child of God) because it washes away our sins.

Paul then wrote... "for if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death"... whereas we are immersed into water and covered with water and therefore buried with Christ... then "we shall also in the likeness of his resurrection:"... whereas we are emersed up out of the water and therefore raised in the likeness of His resurrection.

If we are not buried and raised up in baptism in the same He was buried and raised up, then we cannot be in the likeness of Him and walk in a newness of life.

Clearly Paul explains that baptism is what is causing us to be in the likeness of Him and walk in a newness of life.

We must be baptized in order to walk in that "newness of life".

Paul then describes in another way what has happened to us by being baptized... "that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed".

You see... our body of sin is destroyed... we are washed of our sins... our sins are forgiven.

Paul did not write that believing, faith only, grace only, prayer, or anything else, is what forgives us of our sins... he clearly explains it was baptism. Baptism is what brings us in contact with the blood of Christ.

Paul then wrote... "For he that is dead is freed from sin." ... "If we be dead with Christ".

The next passage from Romans 6 will include verse 8 again, and it will also be in another translation that I believe is easier to understand...

Romans 6:8-14 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him, for we know that Christ, who was raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has mastery over him. For when he died, he died once and for all as far as sin is concerned. But now that he is alive, he lives for God. In the same way, you too must continually consider yourselves dead as far as sin is concerned, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin rule your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires. Stop offering the parts of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness. Instead, offer yourselves to God as people who have been brought from death to life and the parts of your body as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin will not have mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

This passage is fairly self explanatory. We do read that Paul explains that because we have been obedient that sin no longer has control over us (it no longer has "mastery" over us). We will sin but it will not rule us. Paul explains we no longer serve sin and we are now dead to sin due to the fact we were buried with Christ through baptism.

This is also supported by what Paul wrote in his letter to Timothy...

2 Timothy 2:11-13 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

"If we be dead with him" (if we are buried with him through baptism) is the same thing Paul is explaining in his letter to the Romans.

Paul further wrote that we "are not under the law, but under grace."

This proves to us that baptism cannot be part of the Law (or meritorious works of the Law, Jewish Law, and Law of Moses) and baptism is what ultimately brings us to be "under grace".

We can learn from this passage alone that baptism and grace are not to be separated.

Let's conclude with the final passages Paul wrote in Romans chapter 6...

Romans 6:15-23 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul presents the same question as he did in the first verse and the answer is the same.

Then comes a very important verse, we should realize that whomever we choose to obey we are servants of whom we choose.... either "sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness."

If we choose to obey sin then our wages are death (as we read in the last verse), if we choose obey Christ then our obedience results in righteousness.

This leaves no room to doubt that we must choose to obey one or the other.

Paul is thankful that they chose (he is speaking to Christians) to obey the gospel, which is "that form of doctrine which was delivered" to them, and today this same form of doctrine is delivered to us... or at least it should be that same form of doctrine. Unfortunately "many" are hearing different doctrines of men.

This is definitely where many preachers are teaching the wrong doctrine... especially if they teach baptism is not necessary for salvation.

Paul explains what "that form of doctrine" is... it is "the faith" and "obeying the gospel" which includes personal "faith" and "baptism".

Paul's argument here is founded on the significance of baptism and not the significance of obedience after we are saved.

Paul then explains that he is using the human terms of master, slave, and servant, so that they can understand what he is writing. Just as they served sin, they should now serve righteousness, which results in holiness. When they served sin they could not serve righteousness.

Paul then explains that when they were all wrapped up in sin, they could not bear fruit, and sin only leads to spiritual death... but now that they are saved, they can bear fruit resulting in holiness.

The end result of serving God is eternal life.

Then the master verse is concluded in the last verse of chapter 6... now we understand what Paul is referring to when he wrote that "the wages of sin is death", because he just got through explaining this to us within the entire chapter.

Even more importantly, we learn what "the gift of God is"... "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The "gift of God" is salvation.

It is important to note the manuscripts read... "life eternal in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Paul has just explained to us how we become "in Christ" throughout the entire chapter of Romans 6.

Yes indeed, we are baptized into Christ.

The Scriptures are overwhelming with proof that baptism is necessary for salvation. Do not be fooled into believing that it is not.

Baptism is not all that is necessary, but it is the final step in our obedient faith.

Jesus said it and taught it... the apostles preached it, taught it, and wrote it down as well... and remember what Jesus said... "And if any man hear my words, and believe not... the same shall judge him in the last day."

There are many who do not believe baptism is necessary. But always remember what Jesus said, "MANY" will go through the wide gate of destruction while "FEW" will "FIND" the way to eternal life.

Being in the majority does not make it right. Think about how "few" were saved in the days of Noah... only eight souls were saved and the "majority" (many) were wrong, and they were destroyed.

It is what the Holy Scriptures prove... please read the evidence for yourself.

God bless you!

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