Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection:(Romans 6:3-5)
The very question, “shall we continue in sin that grace may abound ?”, betrays a lack of understanding as to what God’s salvation actually accomplishes in a person. The effects of the cross go much farther than forgiveness of sins, and justification of life, (although that would be amazing enough!).
Sin itself is more than a single guilty act or choice, it is in fact a state of being Paul, by the Holy Spirit, describes sin as a realm, ‘the reign of sin and death’ that we were born into via our solidarity with Adam our first father.
Salvation is nothing less than the translation from a God estranged existence “in Adam” , into a whole new state of being”in Christ”. The believer in Jesus is taken from the “reign of sin” to the “kingdom of his own dear Son”, which is the realm of life and righteousness.
How could anyone who has been so translated entertain the notion , that we should continue in sin because of grace? We hate sin and seek deliverance from it , and indeed have been delivered from it’s power as we shall see in the teaching of Romans 6.
The doctrine that Paul would have us ‘know’ is that of our Union with Christ. Our entrance into Christ, is a baptism. The Baptiser puts the piece of cloth in the vat of die and totally submerses it into the vat, until the cloth and the dye are indivisible. God has put us into Christ.
By His doing are you ‘In Christ’,who of God is made unto us Wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption.(I Corinthians 1;30 NASB)
The “Baptism into Christ” is a spiritual reality, water baptism testifies to it, it is immersion by the Holy Spirit into the person of Christ.We enter into his life, his history, and his future.His death becomes our death, and his resurrection is ours also.
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”(I Cor 12;31)
This is why Paul could say that “I was crucified with Christ…” .Notice that this is in the past tense, because this is not an experience waiting to be realized, it has happened. When did we die on the cross? When Jesus died we died.
A water baptism is but a confession of this fact, I assent to my own death in Christ, I confess that I am worthy to die, having sinned, I enter into Christ’s death for me.
Since I have died with Christ, my baptism was my burial.Going under the water I die to the world I came out of, I renounce it, just as Noah, by going into the Ark, “condemned the world”(Hebrews 11) that he came out of.
Coming back out of the water points to the co-resurrection, it is a confession that in Christ, we have already been raised from the dead, that our Life is “hidden with Christ in God”,(Colossians 3),and that in Him I been given an entirely new life.
This is the basis for the deliverance from Sin, the breaking of its power and the redemption from its realm for the believer, Co-death and co-resurrection with and in Christ. In other words, through our Union with Christ.
If any man be In Christ he is a new creation, behold old things are passed away , all things have become new.(2 Cor 5:17)