Friday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Romans 6:1-5

Buried with Him in Baptism; Raised with Him to New Life

When a person comes to saving faith in Christ Jesus, something really and truly happens within that believer.  For one thing, we are made “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17), we are given a “new self” created after the image of God (Ephesians 4:24), whose “seed” abides within us (1 John 3:9).  These are all ways of speaking of a new principle of spiritual life that is given us upon our rebirth.  Then, too, we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit who is our comforter, guide, advocate, helper, and guarantee (John 14:25-26; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 4:30).  In short, our rebirth (regeneration) does not leave us as we were but changes us from the inside out.

Which is why the answer to Paul’s rhetorical question in verse one, “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” is a hearty, “By no means!”  Paul alludes to those who accused him of teaching such a thing in 3:5-8; now he answers this calumny with a further exposition of the gospel of grace.  And his message is simply that grace not only saves us from sin but empowers us against it.  Paul uses baptism to describe what actually happens when a person is born again.  (Please note: it is not the event of baptism itself that empowers the believer but the grace given the believer at his regeneration; Paul uses baptism as a symbol of that regenerating experience.)

Paul’s argument is that the one who has been reborn is dead to sin; that is, there must be a death before a new life can be born.  That death is our death, the death of our old self when we came to know Christ, when we repented, and believed.  Our baptism witnesses to this as we are buried (submerged under the water) with Christ into his death.  As Christ died, so must we die.  And, as Christ was raised from the dead to new resurrected life, so we too are raised to a new life (witnessed in our baptism by coming up out of the water).  Now understand that Paul is not speaking metaphorically or poetically; he is describing a real spiritual event in the life of the one born again.  There is a real death and a real resurrection, just as our Lord experienced as well.  And how is this made real?  Paul answers, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his,” which is all to say that the reality of that which Paul speaks is predicated on our union with Christ.  And from this union, the believer is delivered “from the domain of darkness and transferred … to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13).  And from this union with Christ and deliverance from darkness comes the power to walk in newness of life.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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