We begin this week by looking at Romans 6:1-7
We come across the concept of baptism primarily in the New Testament. Many people wrongly think that it was John the Baptist who invented it, but this was not the case. Throughout the history of Judaism (Biblical Judaism, as recorded in the Old Testament) there are hints of baptism (ritual washings and cleansings) by the priests and Levites prior to serving G-d. Baptism, although a picture to us of Messiah’s death, burial and resurrection, was also done in order to reflect a change of status – from that which was normal or common, to that which was set apart for a holy purpose (ie to serve G-d). Baptism, in a unique way, unites us (through faith) with the person and work of Messiah. Baptism sets us apart – no longer living for our own wants and desires but living differently to the world – living in a way to please G-d, according to His plans and purposes.
v1: Continue in sin: Meaning: Live by its motivations or desires.
v2: Certainly not!: This is a very strong answer. Many Bibles will translate it as “G-d forbid” or “May it never be.” We should never do anything motivated by sin, and nor should we, in any way, have any connection to sin. We, as believers, are called to live differently.
- We who died to sin: Paul is talking to believers.
- How shall we… live any longer in it: This is talking about our behaviour. We need to behave in a way that bears witness to our faith.
v3: Baptised into His death: Death and burial are some of the aspects of baptism. All sin leads to death. When a person stands in the water of baptism, they are publicly pronouncing that they are dead because of sin. When people are dead, we bury them. Messiah’s death (that we have been baptised into) is also connected to sin – not His sin, but ours. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21).
v4: Raised: Written in the passive. Yeshua was completely surrendered to His Father’s purpose. He had the power to raise Himself up, but He did not. G-d the Father raised Yeshua from the dead. The resurrection was G-d’s stamp of approval and acceptance of what Yeshua had done. Yeshua’s sacrifice satisfied the wrath of His Father.
- Raised from the dead: Baptism doesn’t only focus on death, but the glorious aspect of baptism is the resurrection. Coming out of the water signifies a new life. We are called to live differently. There is no sting in death (1 Cor 15:54-57). Sin did not have the victory. On the third day Yeshua conquered death (and, therefore, sin) by rising from the dead.
- We: Fellow believers
- Walk: Walking is a term used in Judaism to speak of lifestyle. There is also a play on words with this word in Hebrew – ‘Halach’ is to walk and ‘Halacha’ refers to Jewish law. We are called to live in a way that reflects the law of righteousness. This newness of life reflects the Kingdom of G-d. We are not only called to live in the newness of life – we are called to walk in it.
v5: Since: Many Bibles translate this word as ‘if’ but ‘if’ introduces doubt into a text. Paul is not raising a question. He is making a statement of affirmation.
v6: Our old man: Our old, carnal, fleshly nature.
- Him: Messiah
- The body of sin: Our flesh.
- Done away with: Rendered powerless. Annulled. This word does not mean that it has been removed. While we are still in these bodies we are tempted, and we still struggle with sin. Sin, however, no longer has authority over us. We have the great potential to live obediently by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. If we do not walk in faith, however, and if we do not utilize truth and submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit there is going to be evidence of that old man still hanging around. Although he has been crucified and is dead, in times of disobedience we can resurrect and serve sin again.
v7: He who has died: Those of us who have received Messiah’s death as payment for our sins.
- Justified: Made righteous. This is not the word “freed” or “been set free from”. It is literally the word for being rendered just or innocent. It is at this point that it is no longer possible for satan to accuse us of any wrongdoing or sin. All of our sin is done away with because of the power of the cross, the work of Messiah.
- Justified from sin: Sin no longer has authority or power to condemn us anymore. Unfortunately, we can still submit to sin (and we do at times) but we don’t have to – submitting to sin is a wrong choice which shows weakness and disobedience.