Focal Passage: Romans 6:4-14
Baptism is one of my favorite things in ministry. Having the privilege of baptizing believers as a testimony of their faith in Jesus is a true joy.
From baptizing my son to baptizing in a frigid baptistry in South Africa, I’ve had some truly memorable baptism experiences.
But what I love most about baptism is what it illustrates.
In Romans 6, Paul describes our salvation experience using baptism. We were “baptized” with Christ in his death. Jesus took our sins on the cross.
When he died, our sins died with him. When he was buried, we were buried with him. When he rose, we rose with him.
The observance of baptism, being buried under the water and raised out of the water is an outward illustration of an inward reality.
Baptism pictures outwardly the victory received inwardly through our faith in Christ’s death and resurrection.
Our salvation then is an identity change. We are no longer mastered by sin’s power. Rather, we’ve received the new life, the life of the resurrected Christ.
Paul’s point in this text is that we have victory over sin precisely because Christ won the victory over sin.
Because we identify with him, we experience victory with him. Paul challenged his readers to consider themselves dead to sin and to present themselves to Christ for righteousness.
We consider ourselves dead to sin and walk in righteousness not to earn our salvation, but rather because we have been saved.
Our identity is now found in Jesus. Our sin died with Jesus on the cross. Our old life was buried with Christ in the tomb.
Our new life is now the resurrected life of Jesus. Our daily challenge is to live in the victory of our present position in Christ rather than live in the defeat of the sins of our past.