In Romans five we read that God sees humanity in either Adam or Christ. We are all born sinners just by the mere fact we are born of Adam, therefore we inherit his sin nature. In Christ, on the other hand, we can all be born again and be found righteous. In other words our behavior isn’t the primary thing we are talking about here rather it’s our heredity.
In Romans six we discover the way in which God does the miraculous work of taking us out of Adam and placing us in Christ. It is by baptizing us into Christ. When the word baptism is used I think most of us tend to think of water, but here water isn’t the issue. Here we are being baptized into Christ. Baptism means we are being identified with Christ. The origin of the word baptism, as I understand it, comes from the ancient process of dying cloth. A baptizer would take, let’s say, a white cloth and dip it or baptize it, for instance, into a purple dye. The cloth would be completely submerged in the dye, and when you brought it back out it would no longer be identified as a white cloth but purple. It had been completely transformed into a brand new cloth. Hence we, which have been baptized into Christ, have been transformed into a brand new creature.
God does his work of transformation in us by way of the crucifixion. He placed us into Christ on the cross. We read that if we have been crucified with Christ we have also been buried and raised with him, so we might walk in newness of life. So we see the way we are taken out of Adam and joined to Christ is by being placed into Christ by means of crucifixion. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he tells us, “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.”
Further along in Romans six we read, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him” we are to “reckon” or “count on” the fact we are dead to sin. Then we are to “yield” or “present” ourselves to God as one that is alive from the dead.
What a statement we find in the fourteenth verse of chapter six. “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Wow what light this verse brings. If we were to turn this verse around it would say something like this; if we continue to live under law sin shall have dominion over you. When I read this recently I saw how Paul was simply expanding on this verse in the seventh chapter of Romans.
In Romans seven we read how ones life looks if they continue to try and keep the law of God in their own strength. Some people like to debate about whether Paul is talking about a non-believer or believer in seven, but I think it is irrelevant. If you are a non-believer or believer trying to live by law keeping you are always going to end up in failure. God never thought or intended for us to keep his law. In fact back in Romans five we read “The law entered, that the offence might abound.” God gave us his law so we might discover what he knew all along. Primarily that we have no ability, in and of ourselves, to be pleasing to him by way of trying to keep his law. What a fabulous day it is when we discover this.
Now to summarize what we have discovered reading Romans 5-7. We see how Paul introduces us to the fact of being in Adam and needing to be found in Christ in chapter five. He then goes on to tell us how God does this extraction from Adam and places us in Christ via. The Cross as it is explained in chapter six. Then in verse 14 of chapter six we read how sin will no longer have dominion over us as long as we continue to live in grace rather than under law. Chapter seven then describes for us in more detail what living under law looks like. We discover how it isn’t until we cry out to Christ for help that we are set free from the law of sin and death. We aren’t set free from it because it has been done away with rather because God introduced another law, but that is chapter eight which is for another time.
Written by Louie