Part 2 – Submerged in the Death of Christ
In verse three of Romans 6 we find a word used twice: baptized; and the word baptism used once in verse four; and because of that, Christians, and often many pastors, immediately think that these verses are speaking about water baptism. But when taken in context (considering what Romans 5 said about us ‘dying’, as well as Romans 6:2, and furthermore, these verses (3 and 4) speaking about death – we realize that Paul can’t be speaking about our water baptism, which occurred after our conversion. Plus, if you read water baptism into these verses, then it implies that water baptism saves us, which we know is not true!
So, what is Paul telling us with these words ‘baptized’ and ‘baptism’? The Greek simply means to immerse or engulf or surround completely, so this idea fits nicely with what was said previously about us originally being born “in” Adam (spiritually submerged in him) and now through God’s saving grace we are placed ‘in Christ’. This baptism is speaking about our mystical union with Christ (which the last half of chapter five was all about).
This will make even more sense as we proceed through Romans 6, 7, and 8, but suffice it for now, all that has happened to Christ (now that we are ‘in’ Him) has happened to us. We were crucified with Christ (our old man, sinful nature, old self); we were buried with Christ; and we rose anew in Christ at our conversion. Our old man is gone (this coming Sunday’s message) and we are now the possessors of Christ’s life – Christ’s Spirit – is our life. So, we really ARE new creatures in Christ. This will help us when we have our doubts as to whether we really are ‘new creatures in Christ’, even if we don’t ‘feel’ different. This will help us realize that we really AREN’T slaves to sin any longer. We may still sin, but it isn’t that which drives us now. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. And most importantly, we can have the daily assurance – daily, moment-by-moment assurance of ‘knowing’ that we are saved. We KNOW these things to be true because God’s Word says so, and His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God!