Romans 6:3-4 (NASB)
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 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.
This is one of the most glorious passages of the New Testament. Christians everywhere agree that baptism is a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When a true believer is immersed, he is proclaiming to the world that he is being identified with Christ:
- by being placed under the water, he is proclaiming that he has died and been buried with Christ.
- by being raised up from the water, he is proclaiming that he has been raised from the dead with Christ to live a new life.
Key words in this passage:
When a person believes in Christ, then God takes that person’s faith and counts it as the death of Christ. That is, God counts the person as having died in Christ. God takes the person’s faith (and baptism as stated in this passage) and counts the person as participating in Christ’s death. God counts and considers the person to be identified and be in union with Christ’s death.
It means that we no longer live “in” sin. We cannot live without sin, not perfectly, but we are free from living “in” sin. We no longer practice and desire sin. We desire and practice righteousness, seeking to please God in all that we do. And as glorious as this is, it means that we are freed from the condemnation of sin, the terrible punishment that shall be measured out in the dreadful day of judgment.
When the believer is counted by God as having been immersed into the death of Christ, then the believer has died to sin, died to the penalty and judgment of sin; and is freed from sin, the penalty and judgment of sin.
The believer is also immersed, placed into, or identified with Christ in His resurrection. Coming out of the water, pictures that resurrection to new life. God counts the baptized believer as having been raised in Christ. God takes the believer’s faith and counts the person as participating in Christ’s resurrection.
In the Bible the word “new” often carries the idea of purity, righteousness, holiness, godliness. The believer…
- receives a “new birth” (1 Peter 1:23; 1 Peter 2:2).
- receives a “new heart” (Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 18:31).
- becomes a “new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17; Galatians 6:15).
- becomes a “new man” (Ephes. 4:24; Col. 3:10).
It was the glory of God; His might and power that raised up Jesus from the dead, and it is by the glory of His might and power that he places and positions us in Christ. The believer is immersed or identified with the most glorious hope: that he shall be planted (immersed) in the very likeness of Jesus’ resurrection.
God’s purpose for raising us up with Christ is dynamic and meaningful. It involves walking in a whole new life. The word “walk” means to walk about, to walk step by step, to control and order our behavior, to constantly and habitually walk in “newness of life.”
God grant us strength to walk as new men and women in Christ.