Baptism is a death. We don’t often look at it this way, because we like to focus on the “new life” aspect of baptism. Rightfully so!
But we shouldn’t miss what Paul tells us here in Romans chapter 6. Paul states that we were buried with Christ through baptism. And he tells us this in answering a question about grace.
People were wondering, “If, as Paul teaches, the more we sin, the more grace increases, then what’s the downside to sin? Why not just keep on sinning? That way, we really put the grace of God on a pedestal!”
Paul responds to this line of thinking by simply saying, “That’s the logic of the old of way of life. We don’t think that way anymore and we don’t live that way any more, because we’ve died to all that.”
He goes on to reassure us that we have also been given a new life. Our old sinful self has been crucified with Christ. Our bodies are no longer ruled by sin. We are no longer slaves to sin. We’ve been set free.
What does this look like in daily life? Paul is not suggesting that we will live a sinless life from baptism on. You can check Romans chapter 7 for more detail on that.
But he is saying that — for those who follow Christ — a life of being a slave to sin is over. A life invested in the single-minded, ruthless and unscrupulous pursuit of sin no longer has any meaning or purpose for us. A life spent in chasing the pleasures of lust, greed, power and wealth just doesn’t have the power over our hearts that it once did.
Our whole way of thinking, our entire purpose in life, has changed. We follow Christ.
We’ve been baptized!
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:4-7, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Monday, July 20 is Hosea 1:1 – 2:23, Romans 6:1-14 and Psalm 87:1-7.
Lord, thank you for my baptism. I want to live in it ever day. Help me to enjoy my freedom. I am no longer a slave of sin. And while sin will always be present in my life, it can no longer control my life. That’s because you, Jesus, now control my life. You are the master and ruler of my heart. And what a fantastic new life that brings me!