Questions for Littles: Why do some say that we should continue in sin (v1)? Why shouldn’t we live in sin any longer (v2)? Into whom were we baptized (3a)? Into what were we baptized (3b)? What happened to us in Christ’s death (v4)? What do we walk in, as a result of Christ’s resurrection (4b)? In the likeness of what have we been united together with Christ (v5)? What does Christ’s death keep us from being slaves of (v6)? How are we freed from sin (v7)? If we have died with Christ, what else will we do with Him (v8)? What can’t Christ do, now that He has been raised from the dead (v9)? Which of Christ’s works in v10 happened just once for all time? Which of Christ’s works in v10 happen continuously forever? How should we think of ourselves in relation to sin (11a)? How should we think of ourselves toward God in Christ Jesus our Lord (11b)?In this week’s Epistle reading, we learn one of the primary things that Baptism is supposed to teach us about. Our union with Christ.
Everyone whom the Lord adds to the church receives the sign of water baptism. And just like with circumcision (remember chapter 2?), the outward sign of baptism is a loud reminder of how urgently we must have the inward spiritual reality.
And what is that spiritual reality? Jesus Christ. We receive water baptism when we are being admitted into the visible church. That’s one of the reason that our children, who are in the church, must receive it.
But, what baptism goes with our admittance into the eternal, currently invisible, assembly of all of those who are genuinely saved? Into what are they baptized? v3 tells us most clearly: we are baptized into Christ! We are joined to Jesus Christ by believing into Him!
He is the Lamb with whom we are united. His is the blood that is sprinkled upon us. His is the cleansing power that washes us clean. When we are baptized into Christ, His death becomes our death.
But Christ has done something glorious that those other lambs could never do: He has risen from the dead. Believing into Him joins us not just into His death that cleanses us from sin, but also into His resurrection. Sin can never be our master again. Instead, being joined to Jesus means that for the first time in our “lives” we are made alive unto God in Jesus Christ!
This is what it means to have been born again by Jesus’ life: to be spiritually alive for the very first time! If you believe in Jesus, you can kill sin now! You can obey God now! Do it!
What sins can you (and should you) be killing by the life of Jesus in you? What service of obedience are you focused upon offering unto God by the resurrection life of Jesus in you?Suggested songs: ARP51B “From My Sins, O Hide Your Face,” or HB310 “Take My Life, and Let It Be”