Pauls Footsteps #308

Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?  For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” Romans 6:3-4 NLT  

Footsteps #308. Romans 6:3 says we are baptised into His death. Paul has turned to the image of full emersion baptism to illustrate what it means to die to sin. “Baptise” was not a nice warm fuzzy word in history. It means “to dip under”, “to immerse”, “to sink”, “to drown”. Writers in the ancient world used it to describe sinking ships or drowning people. Jesus picked up on that rather violent aspect of the word when He referred to His death as a baptism (Mark 10:38; Luke 12:50).  

The apostle employs the term, as is particularly clear in Romans 6:4, in reference to death as a whole way of life. Then in v6, he will utilise the crucifixion in relation to death in much the same way that Jesus did when He told His disciples that they would have to take up their cross and lay down their life for Him (Matt. 10:38, 39; 16:24, 25).  

Becoming a Christian is a violent sort of thing. We enter it through baptism, a symbol of death to the old ways. Now Paul tells us in Romans 6:2 – 3 that if a person has died to the old ways, it is ridiculous to claim that he or she would still want to live in them. No genuine Christian would want to continue a life of sin.  

But his use of baptism contains something else as well. Baptism not only represents death to old ways of thinking and living, but it also means being “baptised into Christ Jesus.” As Paul phrases it in 1 Corinthians, “we were all baptised into one body” (12:13.RSV). Thus the baptised believer is incorporated into the body of Christ, represented on earth by the church. It also demonstrates justification, because we are “baptised into his death” – symbolically buried with Him and then publically demonstrating our faith in His resurrection to a new life living according to God’s principles.  

At that point we are in Christ rather than in Adam, having passed from death into life. We have died to sin and are alive to God’s will. We are now sons and daughters of God; therefore, we should live like it! 361

No Comments

Post A Comment