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Buried with Christ

MIke McShane

October 12, 2014 PM


Romans 6:1-11 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been immersed into Christ Jesus were immersed into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by immersion 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.


Paul begins this chapter with a rhetorical question based on arguments some had made concerning the grace of God. The apostles had been teaching God’s grace can cover any sin…no sin is to great or terrible that God cannot forgive…in fact, the greater the sin, the greater the grace…so more glory to God for his mercy in that case!  Then, the question was asked: shouldn’t we sin more so that God’s grace would be even greater?  In answering this, Paul needed to emphasize more of what is involved in the transition for someone becoming a Christian…it’s not like joining a country club or even some philosophical discussion group…and they were supposed to know this ("DO YOU NOT KNOW?")


It is important to understand that Paul is describing a pattern – a form – in which the spiritual effects of immersion parallels the physical death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.



Rom 6:3 Do you not know that all of us who have been immersed into Christ Jesus were immersed into his death?


Definition: baptízō – properly, "submerge" (Souter); hence, baptize, to immerse (literally, "dip under"). 907 (baptízō) implies submersion ("immersion"). This is in contrast to 472 /antéxomai ("sprinkle")


Immersion is likened to a burial.  [Rom 6:4 We were buried therefore…]


We all know what this word “bury” means: inter, cover up, put in ground. It derives from a human desire to demonstrate "respect for the dead"

  • Respect for the physical remains

  • An attempt to bring closure to the deceased's family and friends

  • Belief in an afterlife (one step in a process)

  • Prescribed religious custom

  • Avoid odor of decomposing body


So why does it say we were buried?

Read the whole verse: Rom 6:4 We were buried therefore…with him…by immersion into death


The implication is that we have died, and then we were buried. We have chosen to “die” in a similar manner to Jesus.


Rom 6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.


“Baptism” ≡ Immersion = Burial


Burial = mode (immersion) + what is accomplished (put away the dead)


Why would we choose to “die”? What benefits can be gained from this?


Rom 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by immersion 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.

7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.


Recall Jesus also told his disciples: “He that would lose his life for my sake shall find it..."


Newness of life = fresh start. Being born again (but now physically mature and mentally prepared), without the weight of the mistakes of our past!


What comes with that new life is a promise of eternal life awaiting when our physical life is over


Now, notice the connection to "the gospel" 


™1 Cor 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,


Notice what is being stated here. The gospel saves!  The most important part of this, as Paul told them FIRST, is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus – see the connection?


™Finish the chapter: 15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

™20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Notice their obedience to the pattern: they were slaves to sin, something that happened to change that...and now they are set free. What happened is that they became obedient to the "standard of teaching". Look at the Greek root for this.


5179 týpos (from 5180 /týptō, "strike repeatedly") – properly, a model forged by repetition; (figuratively) the correct paradigm, based on reliable precedent for others to then follow, (i.e. the right example, a proper pattern).


Clearly, the standard/model/pattern is the difference between the slaves to sin and the slaves to righteousness.


  • ™Death = End of Life: Decision for repentance, turning away from sin / evil deeds

    • Giving up the Old life, Old man, old habits, selfishness, having to do all myself – things that serve sin™

      • ™Rom 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

      • ™Col 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

      • Gal 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

  • ™Burial = Closure: Action

    • ™Unite with Christ – showing transition from death - this is the puncutation of the "turning point", so to speak 

  • ™Resurrection = Starting life again: Result is a new life, new man, new creation

    • ™Begin anew (Rom 6:4)

    • ™Equivalent to birth (“born again” John 3:5)


Immersion saves! It is essential for salvation.

  • ™Washes away sins: ™Acts 22:16™

  • ™Appeal to a clean conscience: ™1 Pet 3:21

  • ™A required act of obedient faith: ™Mark 16:16


Why did God choose to save people this way? We can see the logic, the parallel, the pattern that we follow to match Christ’s D-B-R


However, it is also an act of faith on our part – we obey because it is the way God said to do it.


And we believe that it works like He says it does. Col 2:11-15


What else can we do?

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