In my last post, we looked at the sin package. Remember. It’s not just evil, but any departure from God’s best. Now we’ll see how we handle sin as we live in Christ.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
At the end of chapter 5, Paul wrote that when sin increases, grace increases even more. That could lead to a false conclusion. The apostle brings this argument to light.
If grace increases to cover my sin, then I can continue in sin to get more grace. That’s what some would get from this verse.
As a matter of fact, this is the fear that some have about preaching a message of grace. Some teachers think that if they talk too much about God’s grace then people will use it as a doormat. Play all day in the mud of worldliness and wipe your feet off on God’s grace.
Paul makes it clear, that’s not the purpose of grace. The goal is to live free from sin. Sin is part of the death package, and death is the enemy.
Paul gives us a great truth – in Christ we’ve died to sin. In the waters of baptism we’ve identified ourselves with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord. So, we shouldn’t want to live according to our old life.
But, by the very question he asks, he implies that it’s possible to live in sin even though we died to it. How can we get the victory over this sin?
It all starts with our water baptism. This is where we identify with Christ. This is where we begin the process of removing the old man. Peter agrees with Paul’s assessment.
…and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also — not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…
1 Peter 3:21
The word pledge in the above verse means the asking, desire or demand. When we allow ourselves to be baptized in water, we’re placing a demand on God for a good conscience.
Because we desire to live rightly before Him, we take this step. It’s how we start down the road to remove the old sin nature.
It’s unfortunate, but there are many believers who look at baptism as purely a tradition of the church. They think that if you want to join the church, then you need to be baptized in water.
Paul explains it.
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
The original Greek of this verse is very interesting. Paul says that all of us who were immersed into Christ Jesus were immersed into His death. That sounds like a spiritual work to me. As we continue through this chapter, we’ll see that baptism is a spiritual work of God that we need to attach our faith to.
Question: Were you baptized in water? How was your faith released during your water baptism?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi