#DailyDevotion Baptism Is Your Second Death & First Resurrection
Romans 6:1-5 What shall we say? Shall we go on sinning so that God may be more gracious to us? 2Certainly not! We died to sin. How can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4Now when we were baptized into His death, we were buried with Him so that as the Father’s glory raised Christ from the dead we, too, will live a new life. 5If we were united with Him in this likeness of His death, then we will be united with Him also in the likeness of His resurrection.
Paul had been talking up to this point how we are all condemned by the Law of God both Jew and Greek. He also has been since chapter three talking about the wonderful gift of God’s grace we have in Christ Jesus. All people have been justified by Jesus’ death and resurrection. Our Father in heaven has saved us through the blood of Jesus Christ freely, as a gift, a free gift by his grace. The work of Jesus has covered all men just like the sin of Adam had covered all men so that all are made alive in Christ. The gospel message sounded so good that wicked men were asking, “Shall we go on sinning so that God may be more gracious to us? Shall we go on sinning so that God may be more gracious to us?” If no one ever asks you that question, you probably are preaching the pure gospel. But what is Paul’s answer?
“Certainly not! We died to sin. How can we live in it any longer?” Oh? When did I die to sin? Paul’s answer, when you were baptized into Christ and his death. You see, you literally died when you were baptized into Christ Jesus, really and truly. The law and all its accusations and all its penalties were applied to in baptism. Jesus death on the cross has in truth and in fact become your death. For the Christian, this is the second death. His old man, his old Adam, the sinful nature has been put to death. It has received the due penalty for your sins, for its sins in baptism. The death you deserve was credited to you there. You died there. Because you died in baptism with Jesus the world, the devil, your flesh has no hold on you any longer. You are no longer a citizen of this world for you have experienced eternal death there in your baptism. So why should you go about as if the world, the devil and this sinful flesh were still your masters to do their bidding?
You were buried with Christ in baptism, not just symbolically as you died in baptism, not just symbolically, but really and truly, otherwise baptism would not have the power that St. Paul is discussing here. As Christ was buried and rose again by the Father’s glory you too have been raised to life by the Father’s glory. As Jesus says in John chapter three, 6“Anything born of the flesh is flesh, but anything born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Don’t be surprised when I tell you, you must all be born from above.” Our souls that were dead in sin have now been raised to life in Christ. We have been born of the Spirit, born of God from above. This is the first resurrection referred to in Revelation. Yet there is more! Even as Christ rose bodily from the tomb never to die again, in the likeness of Christ resurrection we also will be raised bodily to eternal life on the Last Day. We are children of God now in baptism. Why would be want to go on sinning?
Heavenly Father, you give us the penalty we deserve as you join us to the death of Christ in baptism. Grant us faith to receive the benefits of our baptisms into Christ that we may hate sin and walk about in newness of life which is ours in Jesus and be raised to eternal life on the Last Day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.