Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

Baptism into Jesus (Romans 6:1-11)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Well, let's hear a God's word now from Romans six again, versus one through eleven, one through eleven. So I'm going to read one through eleven and in the sermon this morning, will focus in particular on verse three, Paul's connection to baptism. So Roman six, one through eleven. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means how can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ, Jesus, were baptized into his death? We were buried there for with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, we two might walk in the newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, for one who has been died has been set free from sin. Now, if we have died with Christ, we believe that we also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again. Death no longer has dominion over him, for the death he died he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ, Jesus. This ends the reading of God's word. You may be seated. For several chapters one through five, Paul has been building this argument that justification comes by faith alone, through Christ alone, period. This is Paul's primary, primary thesis at this point. This is the thing that he's been emphasizing, underlining, showing in all kinds of different ways that there's only one way that we can be reconciled to God, only one way that we can have peace with God, only one way that our sins can be forgiven, and it is through Jesus, Christ on the Cross, washing away our sins by his blood, imputing to us his righteousness so that we can stand before God not as filthy sinners but as people who are clean, holy, new righteous. And so when this question, this rhetorical question, is asked at the beginning of chapter six, what shall we say, then, are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? Paul answers with these three short words. By no means. How can you think it for there, why would you say such a thing? We can't. Why would you go and think that it would be a good thing to continue and sin considering what God has done? Now then Paul transitions from this in verse two by S or. In verse two he says, how can we who died to sin a still live in it? This is his answer to the question. The answers the question with another question. How can we who died live? How can we who died to Sind live in it? And then, if anyone doubts that, if anyone has any...

...concerns about that, he brings up verse three, our focus for today. Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into his death? Here's how Charles Hodge, one commentator paraphite, paraphrases that question or this passage. If anyone doubts what has been said in verse two, he must be ignorant about the nature and purpose of baptism and about the relationship to which Christ, to Christ which it involves. You see what you're saying there. He's saying if you have any doubts that about this question, how can we, who died to sins to live in it? Well then, you must not even understand your own baptisms. That's the way Paul's putting it here. Do you not know? How could you say this? Do you not know? It be like somebody Um cheating on their spouse and then the spouse goes them is. Do you not know? Do you not remember what we did on that day and May, how we married one another, how I gave you a ring? Do you not remember? Do you not know? That's what Paul says here. Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into his death. That's what it was all about. So, to put it another way, your baptism as a Christian symbolizes and seals certain things, particular things that, as a Christian, you should call to your mind and call to your heart. In answer to this question, should I sin? Is Sinning? Okay, what kind of life should I live to God? Your baptism is connected to that question. That's what Paul says here. That's the move he makes. Do you not know? This is, of course, God's design? Paul says it with this kind of confidence. Because God has designed it this way. He's instituted baptism for this a particular purpose. Baptism isn't something that we make up, it's not something we just do because it's old. It's something we do because God has commanded it, something that God designed, a symbol, a sign, a seal that God himself has particularly designed for you, and one of the applications of that baptism is so that you can answer with complete confidence this question. How should I live my life? Your baptism answers that question. How do I live my life in relation to God and to Unto My neighbors? Should I sin so that grace may abound? Should I continue to sin? Should I walk in death? Your Baptism Says No. God in your Baptism Says No. You are called to something different. If you know what your baptism is, then you'll know why. It's crazy to think that living in sin is an option for a Christian. So let's take some time this morning and think about baptism, think about the fine Paul points us to and consider how we ought to live. Well, the first thing we want to say about baptism is that it unites us with Christ, that unites us with Jesus. He says this in one way in verse three. Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ, Jesus, were baptized into his death? You're that kind of language there. You are connected with him, you have been baptized into his death. He uses this language of baptism to show our connection with Jesus.

That language of unity that's implied there is very clear in verse five, for if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. Now there's other ways that the Bible talks about baptism and unity, sometimes in a hypothetical way, sometimes in a in a very real way. So, for example, Paul Talks about the Old Testament Saints Being Baptized into Moses. There was a unity there that they had with Moses, with him, they with Paul means there is that they were brought under the law, Under this this covenant that Moses brought to them from God. In a hypothetical and somewhat negative way. Paul speaks against being baptized into him. Faul says, you haven't been baptized into me, you don't have union with me, you have union with Jesus in a positive and real way. We are also said to be baptized into the church or into one body. Now that's not a contradiction to say that we're both baptized into Christ and baptized into the church, because they are united together. We as a church are his body, scripture says, and so our connections to one another are very real because of our union with him. That, by the way, makes our church life very significant, because their relationships that are formed and bound by the Holy Spirit himself, by Jesus himself. So baptism is a way away, is a symbol and a sign, a seal of a union that happens. That's the way the Bible puts it, and here in Romans six he's saying we are united with Christ. We are united with Christ. Sometimes, going back to the example of a a wedding ring, sometimes we think of the wedding rings as our wedding rings, and that's true, but if you remember how the ceremony works, your ring if you're married, comes to you from the other person. Right you don't go to the store and buy a ring as a symbol of your great love of and your commitment to this other person. Know, you buy a ring and you give it to the other person as your sign and commitment to them. It's very much the same way with baptism. Baptism is like God's ring. With this ring, I the wed I give you this sign and promise to you that you are united with me. So for Christians, when we think all about our baptism in the way that Paul puts it here, our primary union isn't with Moses, it's not with Paul, it's with Jesus and, through him, with one another. So that's the first thing that's important to point out from this passage. Our Baptism demonstrates our union with Christ it's important to say, though, it's a union that's not, excuse me, automatic. Sometimes people think of baptism as a as a ceremony that enacts certain particular promises automatically. Some people think that baptism is an automatic thing by virtue of the one who baptizes, that the pastor the priest is holy in such a way that the baptism becomes effectual. Well, I'll tell you, brothers the sisters, I sin and there is a no way that I have any kind of holiness capable of imputing to you a washing away of your sins.

You Know Me, I don't have to argue this point at length. So it's not the ceremony, it's not the pastor, but neither is it divine obligation. Baptism isn't just the quarter that you put into the vending machine, pull the lever and get out the blessings of God as a kind of automatic mechanism. Paul is not speaking here of an automatic kind of blessing. When he says you have been united. Do you not know that those who are baptized into Jesus have been baptized into his death and resurrection? How do we know that? Well, we know it because Paul's not speaking to here, to a general audience, about some kind of spiritual or ceremonial mechanism that gets people connected with God. Who is he talking to? Well, you can go back chapter one, verse seven, to all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints. He's talking to the church he's talking to those who have been loved by God and called to be saints. Now, this group of people, people that are saints, Holy Ones, people that are have been loved by God, called by him. Paul has been arguing throughout the book up to this point that they only receive the benefits of that calling, they only receive the benefits of that regeneration through faith, not by their works, not by the holiness of others, not by the Commands of Moses, but only through faith and through faith alone. Not a general faith, not an abstract faith, of faith in Jesus, in his death and resurrection for them. So, while baptism is a visible promise, the benefits that come only come when the promise is believed. Baptism isn't an automatic thing. It depends on the working of God and the receiving of those benefits by faith. Now, maybe that faith will come after the baptism, as is the case for those who, like Abraham's son Isaac, received the sign of the Covenant before he had capable faith. Or perhaps faith comes a or but for the sign, as it was the case for Isaac's father Abraham. Either way, faith is the key faith that follows the effectual calling of God. And it is to these believers, these ones who have been called by God, loved by God and called to be saints, to them that Paul speaks, and it is to them that he says, remember your Baptisms and the Union that they had, that they have and you have with Christ in them. So, with that caveat aside, that the are stated the baptism is not an add automatic thing, and with the point underlined that it accumet, that the blessings to us come to buy, come to us by faith, then now we're in a position to ask, well, what is this union? What are those blessings? What does it mean to be united to Jesus by OUR BAPTISMS? What does it mean to put our faith in him? Well, Paul points us to two things here. He says that we are baptized into his death in verse three, and also into his resurrection in Verse Five, and in many other places throughout this passage. We are...

...united with him in a death like his and united with him in a resurrection like kids. This is what our baptism symbolizes it and it does it in all kinds of interesting and complicated ways. We won't get into all of that now. But the but there are very simple ways and obvious ways in which it's shown. One way it's shown is by connecting us with the Lord's death. Let's start with that and then we'll go to the resurrection. So first, our baptism. Baptism symbolizes US being baptized into Christ's death. Now Paul Talks about that death in two particular ways, and he does it in reverse chronological order, just to be precise. The first thing he talks about is burial. The second is crucifixion. So notice what he says in Verse Four. We were buried there for with him by baptism into death. This is a very remarkable thing, right, if I walked up to you and said you have been buried, there aren't many times that we say that kind of thing, but here Paul says it. He says you have been buried with him by baptism. He continues to talk about that death in verse six then, when he says our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing. So Paul has in mind when he says we're BAP ties, he has in mind not just our burial, but our crucifixion as well, and from that we could extend every part of Christ's death. We were baptized into him and into his death. He starts with the burial and it's so strong, isn't it? It's such a strong way to speak about death. You don't bury alive people, do you? I suppose if you did, it was for the purpose of death. There's nothing about burial that doesn't speak of death, and that's what Paul says here. You were buried with him, buried with him, not only buried but also crucified. All the pain and suffering that Jesus took on the cross, as we read in Second Corinthians. Him who knew what, who knew no sin was made to be sin when he took all that way to sin on himself, and not just yours, but the people sitting around you and even the whole world. He took it all on himself, that great weight of sin, all that suffering, and he endured it in his crucifixion. You were there, Paul says, just as you were buried with him, you were also crucified with him. That's what the baptism points to. That's what means to be baptized into his death. You were there, not in his place, but him in your place. And when Jesus did that, when Jesus went to the Cross for you and took all of your sins upon himself, he didn't just wipe away the penalty of the sin, but, as Paul says here, he also wiped away the power of that sin, as he says in verse six, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Or is he says in verse seven, we have been set free from sin, or is he says in verse nine, that we would no longer have that death, the death, and sin would no longer have dominion over him and also us. Enslavement, Dominion Death, these are the things...

...that Paul speaks of when he speaks of what Christ did on the Cross. He set us free from these things. He set us free from not only the penalty but also the power of sin, Death to having a dominion over us as a powerful thing and another portion of scripture, it's described as a tool which Satan uses, almost a bludgeon people to make them afraid and do bad and evil things. That's all taken away if you have been baptized into Jesus. You have been baptized into his death. Your sins are gone, the penalty has been paid, the power of them has been taken away. But he doesn't stop at the death, does he? Not only have you been baptized into his death, you have been baptized into his resurrection. Jesus didn't stay in the tomb. He rose and he walked in the newness of life and, according to the glory of God, he came out of the tomb as a victor, as a champion, as a leader. He walked out of a death match with against death itself, with death defeated, lying in the grave and him never to die again once for all, as verse ten says. And this life that he lives now, he lives to God as it was always lived, but now he lives on the other side of the test, as one who's no longer under probation, as one who no longer is under a test, but one who has been confirmed in his victory. Well, that makes sense for Jesus Right. It makes sense that Jesus lived this great life, passed the test overcame death and now lives in this glorious resurrection to apply that, to us is a remarkable thing, isn't it, to say, for me to say to you, which is what I'm saying, that you have passed the test, that the probationary period has ended, that you have conquered sin and death and risen to new life? You would rightly ask how, how would that in any way be possible for me? He knew no sin. That makes sense, but I oh, I no sin. Intimately, in depth, personally, it happened and it applies to you because of what God has done, because Jesus didn't go to the Cross as an example for you to follow, but to do what you were incapable of doing. He went to the Cross with you united to him, so that his death would be your death, so that his resurrection would be your resurrection. And that's why we say it's all of grace, because we don't go to God and say I passed the probationary period, I passed the test of righteousness in myself. We go to God and we say Jesus is my righteousness, he is my death, he is my resurrection, and so in that we live this resurrected life. What all that means, then, is this baptism which you have been baptized with. If you are a Christian, you've been baptized into Jesus's death. You have been baptized into Jesus is life. So the promise is that God has fulfilled in Christ and are then...

...made visible and confirmed in your baptism, are true for you and all who believe in what he has said. These are God's promises fulfilled for us in Jesus, made visible to us in our baptisms. That means that if you've been baptized, you have this physical thing, this physical thing that has been done to your body, a physical thing that marks you and your body as God's, as belonging to him. Just as my wedding ring marks me is belonging to my wife, your baptism marks you as belonging to God. You are a resurrected person. You are no longer born in Adam and under that sin. You live as one who is a new creature, as one who is renewed through your union with Christ. This is, I will say again, an amazing thing. To consider ourselves resurrected now and not just in the future. Is An amazing thing, but that is what Paul says. The resurrection, the newness of life that is connected with the resurrection, is not just future. It's already begun, not just in Jesus, but in you and as one who has entered a resurrected life, marked by your baptism and to be fulfilled and vindicated on on the day of Resurrection of our of our bodies. Now we come to this question. How shall We then live? Do we live as dead people? Do we feed our sins? Do we walk as those who are enslaved, as those who have been baptized, as those who have received that promise, as those whose bodies have been more art or shall we present our bodies, the members, the physical members of our bodies, are spiritual selves, to our minds everything. Shall we present them to God as instruments for righteousness? Of course we do, and to the other by no means. Will you walk as one who has been resurrected, as one who both, who participates in the newness of Jesus's life? Will you walk as a dead man doing the deeds of the body? Will you walk in uncleanness, though you've been washed by the spirit? By no means. Let us not sin, that grace may abound. Let us live in the righteousness of God and enjoy the grace that comes to us in his promises made in Christ, confirmed for us in our baptism. Preach to us in the word, sustaining us in communion. Here is how God meets with us. This is what he has done. Let us walk in that way and let us be servants of God. Let us pray.

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