ALIVE TO GOD
Living Lord, You fashioned me to serve and worship You. Today, I surrender to Your voice and call.
Read ROMANS 6:1–14
Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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.
5 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. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
- Romans 6:6 Or be rendered powerless
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Search me, God, and know my heart … See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’1
When I baptize people, by immersion, I put them at ease by telling them that the more sinful they have been, the longer they stay under the water! This is not true, of course. What is true is that baptism dramatically symbolizes the death of our old lives and the beginnings of a new one. It is a powerful spiritual moment for anybody who receives it in faith. Paul also assumes here that baptism was normal – a sign and seal received by all who believe.
Baptism demonstrates that we share in Christ’s death (vs 3,4). In his death, Christ took our old human nature, annulled it (v 6) and buried it. The Spirit bonds us to Christ so that what was true of him becomes true of us. It is part of the great exchange.2 When we come to the cross in repentance and faith, we undergo a moral change for the good. It then becomes our calling to live out the new reality of a transformed nature – to count ourselves as dead to sin, yielding ourselves body, soul and spirit to righteousness (vs 11–14).
I am pleased to report that those who are baptized are only momentarily under the water. Swiftly they are raised from their symbolic grave and can breathe free. Even so, baptism is potentially life-threatening: we might drown! Our old self takes fright! Yet the old is swallowed up in the new – we are raised to life now (v 4) and we have the hope of the ultimate resurrection in the age to come (v 5). When a believer in Christ finally comes to die, we do well to remember that their funeral service has already been held – when they were baptized. Life now awaits them (vs 8–10).
Consider: Are you living out your baptism?
Loving Father, keep me alert to the deceptions of my heart, aware of my areas of weakness, and committed to being faithful to You at all times.
1 Ps 139:23,24 2 2 Cor 5:11
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.