Romans 6:1-4. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Forgiveness for your sins is only half of the gospel. It’s not enough to deal with your real problem – the sin nature inside of you. For that you need union with Christ. You need death, burial, and resurrection.
Your union with the death of Christ, the burial of Christ, and the resurrection of Christ has dealt with not just what you have done, but what you are. We are now moving beyond our standing before God. We are moving into a whole new identity. A newness of life. This is true deliverance from both sins (the ones we’ve committed), and Sin (the power inside of us). If the gospel only deals with sins and not Sin, we are forgiven but not new. If we are not new we are doomed to live forever fighting the horrors of sin in our lives. Praise God for the abundance of grace that brings us to the truths of Romans 6.
Our identity as sinners came to us by birth. Therefore the only thing that can change that identity is death. And then of course, new birth.
This is what Romans 6:1-4 is beginning to explain to us.
all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death
Baptism here is not the water baptism you did in the river or the church tub (or if you were sprinkled or poured over). This is the baptism of the Spirit whereby you were placed into Christ. Placed into his death and resurrection. This happened when you, by faith, trusted in his life and death alone for the forgiveness of your sins (justification).
What this means is that YOUR SIN HAS BEEN DEALT WITH AND WILL ONLY BE DEALT WITH IN CHRIST. No penance. No pay backs. No confessions. No amount of weeping. No commitments. No dedications. None of this has any affect on your sin. Only death will do. Only the death of Christ and your death with him, and THIS HAS ALREADY HAPPENED ONCE FOR ALL TIME.
But the good news keeps coming. God didn’t leave you dead. He gave you new life. Christ’s life. His eternal zoe life of God. This is not a new “way of life.” It is a new life. Not a plan for good living, or how to have your best life now, or basic instructions before leaving earth (b-i-b-l-e). It is a whole new life that never existed before Christ – resurrection life. Even people that were raised from the dead by Jesus (Lazarus etc.) did not have resurrection life. They were raised to their old life. But we have Christ’s resurrection life. Something no humans have had before Christ became “a life giving spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). But now, in Christ, we share his own righteous life.
Soak in “to live is Christ.” Embrace it. It is glorious. Beyond compare. Truths worthy of your meditation both day and night.
How do these truths of Romans 6 move you beyond being saved from the penalty of your sins and into trusting in your union with Christ?