September 29, 2021 - Romans 6:1-14
In the beginning of the year 1977, I made a decision to become a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. At the moment I bowed my knees and asked repentance of the sins that I had committed, I received Christ as my Savior. With that act of obedience, I died to one life and began a new life. It was at this time I surrendered authority of my life to a new king and ruler.
Paul had just concluded writing a section contrasting two kingdoms which exist to man, Adam's kingdom which leads to death and Christ's which leads to eternal life (5:21). Paul endeavored to instruct the readers that being in Christ is not only a legal matter as described in justification but also a relationship that is living and growing.
The apostle used the illustration of baptism to portray the reality of this new life in the believer. The believer is lowered into water and completely submersed typifying the death of that individual to Adam's reign. The identification of being a part of that kingdom ceased when the water of baptism closed over him, and he died to its authority and legal dictates. Paul used this illustration to present the case that all believers have died to sin and it no longer has dominion over their lives.
He continues the illustration with the second step of being raised from the submersed state to a new life in the kingdom of Christ's reign. Believers are raised as a new person who is identified with the resurrected Christ. This identification presents them with a new walk in life (v.4). Being united with Christ, they are in the likeness of His resurrection (v.5) and they are no longer slaves to sin (v.6). His death ended the stranglehold of sin on man and his resurrection provided life to those who received his offer of sonship. As Jesus died and now lives, so we are to recognize that we are alive to God in Christ as well.
As a result, we are not to allow sin to occupy space in our lives and be obedient to its lusts or desires. We are under new authority and are to live in obedience to this new leadership. Although it may take time to remove the old habits and learn new patterns of thought and action, Christ desires for his people to become "instruments of righteousness to God" (v.13) and become Christlike in activities and thought. 2 Corinthians 5:17 sums up Paul's teaching and desires as he states, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new."