Romans 6:3-4 “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Hello fellow Scripture students. Let’s dive into some Romans 6, shall we? When we last left off in Romans 5, Paul discussed how we have eternal life through Jesus Christ, and as we continue following along in this next chapter, he details part of the process of how we’ve obtained that. He begins off by stating that in spite of grace, we should not continue in sin. Romans 6:1-2 states, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
So as you can read for yourself, we’re instructed not to continue in sin, asserting that one must commit themselves to Christ through obedience. Now with the verse we begin with, we again have more evidence to show that baptism is a necessity for salvation. I referenced these verses in a post earlier dispelling the inaccurate argument that Romans 10:9-10 disproves baptism’s necessity for salvation, because as we read this as the letter it was originally written as, you have to take all of it in that context. So reading this verse again Paul states, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
Alright, let’s pay attention closely. Being baptized into Christ Jesus we’re baptized in His death, and so as Christ Jesus was raised from the dead, so we too might walk in newness of life. So according to this verse, how is one able to walk in newness of life? The answer we have here is baptism. Note the context of this verse, Paul was just talking about eternal life at the end of the prior chapter, then he talks about the grace that Romans have obtained after having died to sin, which is to essentially say after having become saved, since that’s part of what happens when you get saved (2 Cor 5:17). So continuing after that, he’s detailing the process of what caused them to die to sin and be saved, which was when they got baptized. The person who quotes Romans 10:9-10 as the basis of salvation is one who fails to acknowledge what Paul’s entire letter to the Romans state.
Paul further illustrates this point by stating that one who has died with Christ, according to the prior statement of how one dies with Christ through baptism, can now accurately believe they will live with Him. Paul instructs again that we are to consider ourselves dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus. The theme of living righteously continues in this chapter as Paul states in Romans 6:12-13 “12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” So as we can see here, the body of Christ is sternly instructed to evade sin, and pursue righteousness to God, and that righteousness to God is displayed through one’s obedience as verse 15 through 17 illustrate.
Paul states, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” So let’s understand this carefully. One’s obedience to the teaching, presumably of the Apostles, which one was committed, is what resulted in freedom from sin, and righteousness which a follower of Christ is now to be enslaved to.
As the chapter comes to a close, Paul reiterates the former state a follower of Christ once was as a slave to sin, and encouraging those as followers of Christ now to be a slave to righteousness. Interesting of note is verse 22, where Paul states, “22 now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” Now the way this reads is slightly difficult to understand, but here’s how it literarly translates word for word in the Young’s Literal translation. “And now, having been freed from the sin, and having become servants to God, ye have your fruit — to sanctification, and the end life age-during” So what this verse appears to mean, is once we become servants of God, we have our sanctification, and the end is our eternal life. The reason I’m focusing on this verse, is because this appears to be reflective of the accurate focus of the life of a follower of Christ throughout instructions of the Body of Christ in the letters written in the New Testament. It’s not in things you can get in this life, but focusing on the reward we will receive of the next life while we fulfill the will of God until then by living righteously through obedience to Scripture.
Do we all hope good things happen in our lives, yes. But it’s not the primary focus according to Paul. Paul closes with a reiteration of sin being associated with death, and the free gift of God being eternal life in Chris Jesus our Lord. As always, any questions, comments, or thoughts, feel free to leave a response for further understanding. Peace to all those who are in Christ.