Don’t You Know?

What keeps us from sin?  Some are very concerned that we need the Law or at least some Christian rules and principles to keep us from sinning.  The scripture, however, tells us that the Law only produces more sinIt is the grace of God that teaches us to deny ungodliness and the goodness of God that leads men to repentance.  Freedom from the bondage of sin comes only when we realize we’ve been set free; that we are no longer slaves to sin.  Our identity is no longer a sinner but a Saint who sometimes sin.  Real freedom flows from our union with God.

Romans 6:3–4 “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

Do you not know… asks, “Have you forgotten?”  How can you who have died to sin live any longer in it?  There are important truths we must know.  You can’t live out what you don’t know to be true.  Knowing our true identity in Christ is foundational to experiencing Christ as our life.  The tragedy is that most Christians know they are forgiven but don’t have a clue that they have died to sin.  If you think all you are is a sinner saved by grace then sin will continue to reign over you.  When you accept the fact that Jesus died to forgive you AND deliver you from the reign of sin then you will experience the power of Christ’s victory in your life.  Sin no longer suits us.  When we were in Adam we were sinners by nature.  It’s important for us to remember we aren’t sinners because we sin.  We are sinners because we were born that way in Adam.  Because He lives in our spirit we are now sanctified – and His saints.  Again, not because of anything we do but because we are born again in Christ.  For a saint to sin is a freak of nature.

that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? This terminology might be confusing but it is full of important truths.    We understand our heritage as sinners in Adam but it’s sometimes difficult to understand how, at salvation, we were removed from Adam and placed into Christ.  We are immersed into Christ Jesus.  The word translated baptism or baptized and is not really a translation but a transliteration.  It comes from the Greek word “baptizmo” meaning to immerse.  It is a permanent act.  We are immersed into Him, forever one with Him.  When we place our faith in Jesus, the Spirit takes us and identifies us with all that Jesus did.  This is a remarkable and important crucial truth for us to learn.  Our union with Christ is the truth from which everything else flows. 

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, Because Jesus died and was buried, at salvation, we too were buried.  Jesus suffered a cruel criminal’s death.  No one ever survived a crucifixion.  Death was a necessity.  We were immersed into Jesus’ death and burial because we needed to spiritually die.  Our spirits were dead to God because of sin.  As long as we lived in Adam the best we could ever hope to be were sinners.  Not only did we deserve to die but we needed to die so we could be free from our spiritual identity in Adam.  By referring to burial here Paul has expressed, in the most definitive way, our death with Christ.  The burial of a corpse is proof of its death.  The old us, the unbelieving you born in Adam, was taken to the cross and left in the tomb.  To go back to sinning once you were joined to Christ is like digging up a dead body and carrying it around with you.

in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,Jesus didn’t stay in the grave and neither did you!  The reason water baptism is such an important step for the new believer is because it publically announces what has taken place in the spirit.  Baptism is your public renunciation of your past life and a profession of your new identification with Christ.  In the 1st century, and in many countries today, to be identified with Christ in baptism was a bold and risky declaration.  It often put the new believer’s life in jeopardy.  In the Roman Empire Caesar was lord but when a person received Christ and was baptized it was a public declaration that Jesus is Lord!  It announced that Christ comes before Caesar.  Water baptism is something we do; the baptism Paul is speaking about here in chapter six is something that has been done to us.

we too might walk in newness of life.  Remember that this all started with the question of whether or not a believer should go on sinning so the grace of God could increase.  The answer is absolutely not, unthinkable.  We can’t continue to sin because we’ve died to sin and have risen to a new life!  We have a new life.  Newness in the Greek is “kairos,” meaning newness of quality and character.  We are to walk according to the new life we have.  It isn’t a new manner of living as though we were simply reformed but a new kind of life.  You can change some of your bad habits and reform some of your ways but this refers to a whole new kind of life that has a whole new kind of living.  Everything about the old life resulted in guilt, condemnation and death.  The new life produces a new walk; a walk that is full of life.

You are who God says you are and nothing less!  Have a great week sharing new life with a hurting world.
Christmas Caroling
Meet Saturday @ 5:45pm  at 212 Windsor Dr., in Boerne (Woods of Fredericks Creek) to join in the Christmas Caroling!  All are welcome!  Come dressed warm ready to walk and SING!

You are loved!

Pastor Tim