02/05/F – Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

2 Chronicles 1:1-2:10; Romans 6:1-14; Psalms 16:9-11; Proverbs 7:6-23

NT: “Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin… For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness.” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:3-6, 10-13‬ ‭CSB)

The baptism that Paul spoke about here in this passage isn’t water baptism specifically. There are three baptisms that a believer experiences: baptism into the body of Christ, baptism in water, and baptism with the Holy Spirit. When a person places saving faith in Jesus Christ, he is baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit. That is the baptism that Paul spoke of here. Water baptism is an outward sign that signifies what has occurred spiritually – and it is performed by the church. Water baptism doesn’t baptize us into Christ’s death – only the spiritual baptism into Christ does that.

When we place saving faith in Christ and His death and resurrection, our sinful selves are nailed to the cross and put to death with Jesus. Then, just as Jesus was resurrected and given new life, we are given a new life in Christ that is free of sin. From that point forward, we are no longer sinners. We aren’t just a “sinner saved by grace.” The sinner is dead forever. What we become is a sanctified saint that is alive to God through our baptism into Christ. If we have placed saving faith in Christ, we should stop thinking of ourselves as sinners. We should instead consider ourselves, or reconcile ourselves to the fact that we are dead to sin and have been reconciled and made alive to God through our baptism in Christ Jesus.

The challenge with all of that is that though the sinful us is dead, our mortal body is still alive. So we become a sanctified saint full of new life, dwelling in a mortal body that still has sinful desires and thought patterns. Instead of submitting to the desires and thought patterns of our mortal body, we must submit our body to our new life of Christ and offer our body to God as an instrument or weapon of righteousness.

Psalms: “Therefore my heart is glad and my whole being rejoices; my body also rests securely. For you will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful one to see decay. You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭16:9-11‬ ‭CSB)

Psalm 16 is considered a messianic psalm because of these last three verses. The Apostle Peter referenced them on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:25-28) and said that they referred to Jesus. Though Jesus descended into Sheol (the abode of the dead) after He was crucified, He was not left or abandoned there. Jesus led captivity captive, defeated death and ascended from Sheol to live forever more at the right hand of God the Father. Not only does this psalm speak of Jesus and His death and resurrection, it also speaks of us who place our faith in Christ. God has revealed the path of life to us: faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ. By placing our faith in Christ, we are spiritually baptized into Christ. As we abide in Christ and allow His words to abide in us, we experience abundant joy in His presence. Though our mortal bodies will one day die and decay, we will one day experience a bodily resurrection to abide with the Lord in eternity and enjoy His eternal pleasures forever.

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