Romans 6 - Baptism, Sin and Righteouness

Romans 6:1-14 - The beginning of Romans 6 has always been a favorite passage of mine ebcasue of the way it illustrates what happens during baptism. Baptism has been an overlooked sacrament in much of the Evangelical world, and frankly over emphasized in Church of Christ circles.

The baptism that Paul describes is a powerful, transforming event:

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.

In baptism, we participate with Christ in His death and resurection. Just as He laid His life down to take up another, more glorious one, we too lay down our own lives in baptism and take up a new, more glorious one made possible through Jesus.

But Paul's point was not instruction on baptism. Rather, he wanted to remind them of what it meant to be baptised into Jesus in regards to sin. As far as sin is concerned, we are dead. If we are dead, how can we participate in it?

Paul was convinced that they simply didn't understand what they had become a part of. they had died, voluntarily offering themselves in baptism just as Jesus had offered himself on the cross. And since he's already died, death has no more power of Him. Since, through Jesus and through baptism we have died as well, we are dead to sin.

Simply put, we are dead men with Christ through baptism and dead men can't sin.

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.

But we don't really get it, we find sin's power impossible to resist. We still live as though we are a part of this world and its rules. Paul says, when sin calls you can ignore it. It has no power over you, so don't grant it any. As dead men, we live under different rules.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Amazing, heady stuff. Oh that I could grasp the reality of this resurrection in full! What if I could clear my head of the earthly fog and see me and my life's reality as God does? What would that life look like? How would live? What would I do?

Romans 6:15-18 - So, if we're under grace, then obedience isn't a big deal, right? What?! Did you hear what he just said? Don't you get what has happened to you?

Here's the thing - we cannot be simply free. We either involuntarily serve sin or, through the freeing sacrifice of Jesus, we are allowed to serve righteousness. Once Jesus has freed you, why would you choose sin?

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After we die, and are reborn, we are no longer a slave to sin, this means we must be alive, or else there is no faith or sin. We are alive in Christ (1 Cor. 15:22)...Alive!! When we live in Christ, we don't sin. We must'nt sin, or there is no room for the cross. However, when we do sin, there is forgiveness and renewing in repentance. We can't ignore sin (1 John), and must confess our sin (James 5) for healing, but it no longer rules our lives. If we are finding that sin is ruling our lives, we must quickly repent, and ask those who are deeply faithful to pray with and for you. I have two reoccurring sins that plague my character, but I am ever aware and vigilant of those sins. Of course there are sins that I commit everyday, and I rely on the Father to see only Christ. Thank you for pulling out this study. You're Awesome.

Thanks man. Good to hear from you.

I miss your input too Paul.

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