Romans 6:3-4, “3 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.”
Sanctification, the process by which we are conformed to Christ by the Holy Spirit and grow in obedience to Him, is the second major theme of the book of Romans. Paul’s focus on sanctification in Romans 6–8 indicates that the epistle’s thesis tells us that those who are justified by faith alone in Christ enjoy eternal life and that those who enjoy a righteous status before God by faith will live in a manner consistent with that trust (Rom. 1:16–17; see Hab. 2:4). They take the Lord at His Word and seek to follow His law. They do not rest in their obedience to be right with God, for that would sever them from Christ (Gal 5:4); instead, they serve the Lord in gratitude for the righteousness that is theirs in Christ only by grace.
Justified men and women endeavor not to sin because they have died to sin. In baptism, they have been buried with Christ and have died to their old way of life, being raised with Him to a new life governed by the same Spirit who raised Christ Jesus from the dead (Rom. 6:3–4; 8:11). This notion of our dying to the dominion of sin is an important one, and Paul considers it in more detail in the passage we will study tomorrow. Today, we will consider this notion of being baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection. Is Paul teaching that our water baptism is the means by which we are united to our Savior and enjoy His benefits?