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Discipleship Project

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Lesson #1

Lesson #3

Lesson #5

Lesson #7

Lesson #9

Lesson #8

Lesson #2

Lesson #4

Lesson #6

Lesson 5

Lesson 4 revealed a truth that can't be over-emphasized ...

That our resistance to sin must no longer revolve around the law; that the law speaks only to the “old man” - and using it in our struggle against sin serves only to arouse the flesh and stir up condemnation - which, once again, always aborts the whole process of sanctification. It's a lesson Paul takes up in detail in Chapter Seven.

That our resistance to sin must now revolve around an altogether new governing principle: not the law, but grace ministered through faith. Press this link to go back and study the whole matter of faith in Lesson 2.

Continuing with Romans 6 Baptized into Christ

... How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

~Romans 6:2b-3

Paul, here in Romans 6:2b-3, is taking us back to the truth he has just delineated in Romans 5:12-21 - that we have been transferred from Adam and put into Christ. He’s asking ...

“Having been taken from Adam and put into Christ, don’t you realize that you’ve died to sin - and in light of that fact, your whole destiny has been radically altered - meaning, you’re no longer bound over to sin; you are now bound over to righteousness? Haven’t you grasped this truth yet - along with the ramifications it entails?”

Screenshot20130625at43428PMThe Word “Baptism”
Its Meaning in Romans 6:3
First, though, let’s make sure we understand the meaning Paul gives to the word “baptize” here in Romans 6:3. A good many commentators restrict its meaning to water baptism - and, by and large, leave it at that. And, to be sure, linking it to water baptism is valid up to a point; but we seriously truncate its meaning if that’s as far as we take it. What Paul has in mind far eclipses water baptism, which, after all, is merely a “sign” attesting to a much more fundamental reality.
 
The meaning of any word must be tied down to its context - and here in Romans 6:3, it’s quite clear that the word “baptize” should be interpreted ...
 
  • less in terms of a particular Christian rite, though, once again, that’s not altogether out of line, and, instead,
  • more in terms of what Romans 5:12-21 so obviously calls for: that we have been taken from Adam and “put into” (i.e., “baptized into”) Christ;

... and because here in Romans Chapter Six Paul’s focus is Christ’s death and resurrection, he’s telling us that ...

  • having been put into Christ,
  • we have been put both into his death and into his resurrection;

... and not just figuratively or symbolically, but actually - meaning when Christ died on the Cross, we died with him; likewise, when Christ rose from the dead, we rose with him.

Think hard here: it’s not merely that Christ died for us - meaning he died in our place or that he suffered vicariously for us; there’s much more to it than just that. It’s that we were in Christ when he died on the Cross. His death is our death - just as his life is our life ...

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

It’s this very truth that forms the basis of Romans Chapter Seven - where Paul tells us that ...

  • the law is finished with us, and
  • we are finished with the law;

... and a little thought reveals why. The law condemns only the living, not the dead - and we are dead in Christ.

The Law first measures us against its just requirements; and then, finding that we don’t measure up, condemns us, meaning it turns us over to death. But in Christ, we’re already dead. There’s nothing more the law can do to us. It’s finished with us - meaning it no longer condemns us. I've tried to graphcially depict this extremely important truth ...

 

Godsmeasuringrod 

  • Deathchasessinner
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AlreadydeadinChrist

 

Freedomfromcondemnation

From Romans 6:4 through Romans 6:11, which is itself a corollary of Romans 5:12-21, Paul painstakingly draws out the implications arising from the glorious truth delineated in Rmans 6:3 ...

  • that we have been taken from Adam and put into Christ;
  • that, in being put into Christ, we died with him on the Cross - freeing us from the power of sin;
  • that, furthermore, in being put into Christ, we rose with him in the Resurrection - enabling us thereby to “walk in newness of life.”

Please take some time now to carefully think over this entire lesson. Get back to me with any questions you might have.

In the next lesson, we will be taking a break from our study of Romans - and, instead, will pick up an important lesson drawn from the Book of Philippians; specifically, the relationship between fellowship with Christ and what I call "the heroic deed."

 

 

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