Summary: At baptism, God changes your personality. Let’s see how.
Romans 6:1-11 DEAD TO SIN, ALIVE TO GOD
In our country, a major change is taking place. The wildfires in Colorado and Arizona are completely changing the landscape over there. Some of our WELS people living in those areas have been evacuated. A major change is taking place, and you have to get out of the way. When those fires have run their course, and everything has been destoyed, a totally different landscape will remain. Eventually, everything will grow back, the area will recover, but it won’t be the same. That’s what fires do - they change the way things are.
Do you realize that you also have been changed? You also are different from how you were before - not the same. Something has happened that has changed your soul - the landscape of your heart is different than it was before - a dramatic change has taken place inside of you. You can sum up that change with two phrases: dead to sin, and alive to God.
Today we are going to look at the change that has taken place inside of you and every other Christian in the world. According to the Bible, you are dead to sin, and alive to God, and today we’re going to find out what that means.
Imagine if part of you were to die. Your arm or your leg stops working. You go to the doctor, and the doctor says to you that your arm has died, but you’re going to have to live with it - we’re not taking it off. According to the Word of God, a part of you has died. Let’s see what Romans tells us: “We died to sin. How can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”
Your sinful nature, what you were born with before you became a Christian, died to sin. Your sinful nature is that part of you that loves to sin, that loves to worship yourself, and pleasure yourself, and focus on me me me. Your sinful nature is that part of you that really doesn’t want to obey God - I’d rather do thins my way - that’s your sinful nature. And that part of you, according to this part of the Bible, has died. When did this happen? At your baptism: “All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death.” We always think of baptism as something that brings a person to life spiritually, and that’s true. But baptism is also something that a part of you, your sinful nature. Dead to sin means that your love for sin, your desire to sin, is now dead.
This past Monday, we recently closed on the property we were hoping to buy on Johnson Road. What is it that now links us to that property.? It’s a piece of paper. A contract with your signatures on it. Those pieces of paper are your connection to those 7 acres. What is it that links you to Jesus Christ, and his death? It’s not a piece of paper, it’s your baptism. The moment you were baptized, you were linked to Jesus Christ - an invisible rope was tied between you and Jesus, and now you are connected to everything he did.
That includes his death. That means that when Jesus was crucified, a part of you was crucified. Verse 6: “For we know that our old self was crucified with him, so that the body of sin might be done away with.” Your old self, that part of you that loves to sin, was crucifed when Jesus was crucified. Imagine if you could attend your own execution. Somehow, by some cosmic accident, you are able to travel into the future, and to your shock you see your very own execution. Actually, you can do that. But instead of traveling into the future, you travel into the past. Go to the cross of Jesus Christ, and there you not only see your Savior dying for your sins, you also see your sinful nature being crucified. Your old self, your old adam, crucifed on the cross with Jesus Christ. Now, you are dead to sin.
That means that when Jesus was buried, a part of you was buried. Verse 4: “We were buried with him, through baptism into death.” Just think of what happened the moment you were baptized - your old adam was buried with Christ. It’s strange to think about, but in some ways, a baptism service is a kind of funeral service. What happens at a funeral? Someone is buried. What happens at a baptism? Your Old Adam, that part of you that loves to sin, is buried. Now, you are now dead to sin. That’s the person that God has made you to be. Just as those wildfires out west are completely destroying everything in their path, so also God has completely destroyed your sinful nature. At your baptism, your sinful nature was tied to Jesus Christ. It was crucified and buried. Now, you are dead to sin.