Summary: Upside down spiritiuality
From 6:1 to 8:39 the Apostle Paul moves from demonstrating the doctrine of justification which is God’s declaring the believing sinners righteous (3:20-5:21), to demonstrating the practical ramifications of salvation on those who have been justified. He specifically discusses the doctrine of sanctification which is God’s producing actual righteous in the believer in 6:1-8:39. He begins his discourse on sanctification by arguing that in spite of their past, all whom God has justified will experience personal holiness (1 Cor 6:9-11a; 1 Tim 1:12-13).
Romans 6:1, “1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”
Paul’s opening remarks here open the course for a discussion that will lead to verse 14 to saying that we are under grace. Paul’s use of rhetorical questions cut to the very heart of the issue. Having been justified by faith the believer then has to embark on a journey towards becoming like Him who has redeemed them.
Romans 6:2, “2Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
Those who are in Yeshua are those who have died to sin, to be obedient to the Lord. Yet obedience is the benchmark which leads to victory, for our victory can only ever be measured by our level of obedience in Him which is increased as our awareness of His grace increases. Those to who are in Him are those who know that they don’t have to sin, but when they do know that they have to take personal responsibility for sinning. Those who have died to Yeshua are those who don’t align with the world’s ways, so therefore how shall we who died to sin live in it any longer? The answer is simple, through obedience to Him which leads to victory and freedom in His name.
Romans 6:3, “3Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?”
Obedience leads to victory, but as Paul is trying to get across our baptism is merely an imagery of the resurrection of the Lord. By His resurrection we have the newness of life of which He paid for as verse 4 points out for. Paul is speaking of the exchange that occurs in our inward being at conversion. This exchange occurs deeply in our being for the exchange involves our invitation to new life. This new life involves an exchange which occurs spiritually. This baptism that Paul is speaking of here is the baptism of every believer who comes to saving faith through repentance which leads to the new life. Baptism is in two senses, one in the baptism of immersion which places the believer publically in the community by identifying them with the global community of faith, but this is not the baptism that Paul is here referring to. The baptism that Paul is speaking of here is the baptism into the faith which is spiritual. It involves identification with Christ through justification to engage sanctification. The whole process of obedience begins at the point of conversion leading to complete sanctification.
Romans 6:4, “4Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.