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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


The Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

Option #1: "The Miracle of Christian Baptism"
Roman 6:1b-11
Rev. Wayne Dobratz


I. A miraculous connection takes place--text, v3; 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:27; Col 2:12; 1 Pet 3:21

Kenneth S. Wuest defines this particular use of baptizo˘ (to be baptized) as "the introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union with something else so as to alter its condition or its relationship to its previous environment or condition" (Romans in the Greek New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955], pp 96-97).

II. A necessary execution is carried out--text, vv5-7; 11; Gal 2:20, 5:24; Col 3:3

John MacArthur writes: When Christ redeemed us, our old self was crucified, that is, put to death and destroyed. Old does not translate archaios, which simply refers to chronological age, but rather palaios, which refers to something that is completely worn out and useless, fit only for the scrap heap. For all practical purposes it is destroyed. In a passage quoted above from Colossians, Paul declares "I have been crucified with Christ,"--that is, my old "I" is dead and no longer exists--"and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal 2:20). In other words, our new life as Christians is not a made-over old life but a new divinely-bestowed life that is Christ's very own. Bishop Handley Moule translated that verse as, "Our old man, our old state, as out of Christ and under Adam's headship, under guilt and in moral bondage, was crucified with Christ" (The Epistle to the Romans, p164). Still another expositor and commentator, the late Martyn Lloyd-Jones, rendered the verse: "Do not go on living as if you were still that old man, because that old man has died. Do not go on living as if he was still there" (Romans: An Exposition of Chapter 6 [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972], p64).

Again, John MacArthur: Our historical death to sin at the cross in Christ results in our sin being done away with. Those truths are so nearly synonymous that verse 6 is almost a tautology. Sin that is dead (crucified) is obviously done away with. Paul states the truth in those two different ways in order to make his point more understandable and to remove any possible ambiguity. Katargeo˘ (done away with) literally means "to render inoperative or invalid," to make something ineffective by removing its power of control. That meaning is seen clearly in the term's rendering in such other passages in Romans as 3:3, 31 ("nullify"), 4:14 ("nullified"), 7:2 ("released from").

III.  A new life is begun--text, vv4-5, 8-11; Eph 2:6

John MacArthur: Newness translates kairos, which refers to newness of quality and character, not neos, which refers merely to newness in point of time. Just as sin characterized our old life, so righteousness now characterizes our new life. Scripture is filled with descriptions of the believer's new spiritual life. We are said to receive a new heart (Ezek 36:26), a new spirit (Ezek 18:31), a new song (Ps 40:3), and a new name (Rev 2:17). We are called a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), a new creature (Gal 6:15), and a new self (Eph 4:24).

We read in the Disciple's Study Bible: sin, slavery-humans are depraved. That means our entire personalities and beings are trapped in slavery to sin. The Christian identifies with Christ's crucifixion, accepting His death as victory over sin. As symbolized in baptism, the old depraved self is dead for the Christian, who becomes a slave to Christ rather than a slave to sin. God accepts the Christian and forgives sin because of Christ's death and His grace. The Christian continues to struggle with sin, repenting and seeking forgiveness for sins committed; but the direction of life is obedience to Christ and death of sin. The resurrection is the sure proof that God has power over death and sin. To live in slavery to sin means to deny the power of Christ's resurrection. We have earned sin's wages and deserve to die. In His love and grace, God has given us eternal life through Jesus Christ. When the power of His resurrection works in our life, we conquer sin and its temptations, living for God's righteousness. We will sin, but we must not easily excuse sin. God has provided the power to live for Him and not to be enslaved to sin. We must let that power rule our lives.

Richard Lenski writes in closing re: "logizesthe"--Take it ever as a settled account you died to sin in Baptism, died with Christ, Baptism connecting you with His death, not only as removing your guilt, but at the same time as removing you from sin's dominion and slavery. ...En denotes a vital spiritual connection so that we translate 'in connection with.' This connection is established objectively by grace, subjectively by faith. ...It would be useless to tell sinners not to let sin reign over them...; sinners could not prevent sin reigning over them. But Christians who have died to sin (v2, 8, & 11), who are alive to God, they can, indeed, prevent sin reigning so that they are no longer slaves to sin. (Richard Lenski, Interpretation of Romans, passim, pp. 408-411)

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Option #2: "Getting a (New) Life!"
Romans 6:1-11
Rev. Kelly Bedard


A. Sin-slaves

       1. Outwardly: charmed by appearances and religious showings

       2. Inwardly: our thinking is futile and our hearts darkened (Romans 1:21)

B. Life-servants

       1. Inwardly: we "know" (v3&9) and "believe" (v8) most "certainly" (v5) that we're dead (to sin)

       2. Outwardly: God's grace empowers us to "live a new life" (v4) before both God and neighbor

Notes

1. The slave in me, the enslaver of my mind and will, uses even God's grace as a weapon to divert me from living a truly human life through faith in Christ. Paul uses even the goodness of God's gift of new life as a weapon, which condemns and destroys desires to use this gift of new life as the basis for rejecting God's expectations of what shape that new life should take in relation to the neighbor. (Robert Kolb)

2. Slaves to sin, we have been raised for service.

3. God's law, whose demands hold us ceaselessly accountable, shows us...that sin enslaves us utterly, to the bitter end. Death is the fruition of all things, of our pretty bodies, profound philosophies, and techno-superiority, even of time itself. (Bruce Martin)

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