Romans 6:3-4 — New Identity In Christ (Bible study notes)

For the video teaching to these notes click here: Romans Bible Study – Week 11 – New Identity In Christ

  • Last week we studied v. 1-2 with Paul addressing the response we are to have the truth that Grace wholly, successfully 100% conquered sin
  • What is our response (our confession, our co-speaking) to this revelation of grace reigning and sin no longer having the power to abound!
  • What is our response to be to the truth that at the Cross Adam completely passed away
  • What are we to co-speak about the truth that after the Cross, there was no reason to continue walking in the sin of Adam – the distorted identity – a wrong identity of who I am (made in the image and likeness of God)
    • So, what shall we say — what should our response, our co-saying be to sin abounding so that grace can abound
      • Sin no longer has the power to abound — Grace doesn’t just abound, it now REIGNS SUPREME!
      • Mankind who was once in Adam now is in Christ
      • Our response just like the Jews Paul was talking to is to co-say with Christ “IT IS FINISHED – IT WAS ONCE FOR ALL”
Romans 6:3-5: Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? (4) Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
I. Transitional Generation
  • Paul is speaking to a transitional generation
    • people who lived on both sides of the cross
  • In verse 6 in this chapter, he tells us know this — that the body of sin was done away with and the old man was crucified (2000 years ago)
    • we never had an old man because we’re born on this side of the cross
    • Adam (the old man) died on the cross
  • He’s not referring to old you and new you
    • Not referring to your experience before you accepted Christ as opposed to your experience after receiving Christ
    • You do not have two different identities
    • You never were a slave to sin…. you may have lived a horrible sinful life before you came into the knowledge of Christ… BUT you were never a SLAVE of sin (v. 7)
  • our death was with Him 2000 years ago which freed us from the sin of Adam
II. Nature Change
  • Mankind went from “in Adam” to “In Christ” at the Cross.
  • And the Cross was not a reaction to what Adam did
    • God did not react to the Fall by coming up with plan B – sending Jesus to the Cross
    • What Jesus had finished in time at the cross had been completed in eternity before the world began — sin had been dealt with before anyone ever sinned
      • We (mankind) were IN CHRIST long before we were ever lost in Adam
        • Ephesians 1:4: Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. (5) He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will.
        • v. 5 in the Mirror says it this way: He predestined us for adoption as His sons (sonship) through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will
    • The Cross is just part of the beautiful love story between God and mankind — it was God’s plan for us from eternity past fulfilled in Jesus.
  • This eternal plan of God which always included us in oneness with Him is vital for us to understand
  • Your nature changed at the cross — not when you believed.
  • You got to experience the freedom of that nature change when you believed it — but it was a reality at the Cross
III. Freedom From Sin Consciousness
  • Romans 6:1-2 says shall we continue “in sin”
    • he didn’t say shall we continue “to sin” but shall we continue “in sin”
    • he’s making a statement about a position that man had occupied by his relationship with Adam
    • Mankind before the cross lived in a place or a condition called sin
      • this verse has nothing to do with man’s activity or behavior
  • Sin is singular – its symptoms are plural – it’s been a sonship thing from the beginning
  • no wonder Jesus says freedom indeed is found in the truth of our authentic and redeemed sonship
    • even the “older brother” has the Father pleading with him, “My son you have always been with me and all that I have is yours!!”
    • Sin is not about things you do or don’t do – sin is missing out on sonship!
      • it’s a mistaken identity of who we are “made in His image and likeness” as sons
      • the results of that mistaken identity is behavior that we refer to as sin(s) – plural
  • Shall we continue IN SIN — no!
    • Because that is no longer our position — We are no longer in Adam we are IN CHRIST
    • we have been made righteous
    • and we are to see our lives through that lens (who we are IN CHRIST) — not through the lens of sin (a mistaken identity and it’s resultant behaviors – in Adam)
  • 1 Cor 15:34 says — awake to righteousness and do not sin
    • But that’s not what it says in the original language — Interlinear says awake to righteousness, not sin
    • Paul is saying wake up to who you are — because that revelation is what delivers you from sin consciousness
    • we are to focus on our righteousness.. not focusing on sin
    • focus on who you “truly” are IN CHRIST – not who you “think” you still are in Adam (anyone born after the cross never was in Adam.
  • A sin-consciousness is a works-based consciousness.
    • It is based not on what Christ has done but on what we need to do to earn God’s favor or blessing or avoid His “assumed” judgment.
      • It is not walking in the awareness of who we are IN CHRIST; not knowing that we have not only been completely forgiven of past, present and future sin but that we have also been positioned as one who has NEVER sinned;
      • It is walking in the awareness of faults, failures, and weaknesses in myself and in others which causes me to be critical and judgmental.
    • Walking in this works consciousness only strengthens sin in my life, and the result is death which manifests as sickness, disease, failures, addictions, poverty, fear, etc.
  • God wants us righteousness conscious not sin conscious
    • Hebrews 8:12 (Mirror): This knowledge of me will never again be based on a sin-consciousness. My act of mercy, extended in Christ as the new Covenant, has removed every possible definition of sin from memory!
  • To be righteousness consciousness is to be aware/conscious of your identity in Christ
    • Knowing that we are in right standing with God, reconciled to Him and in union with Him
    • Knowing that we are not just forgiven of sin but placed in the position of one who has NEVER sinned, just like Jesus
    • Knowing that we have the blessings and favor of God not because of anything we do but solely because of the finished work of Christ.
  • and the fruit of righteousness is peace according to Isaiah 32:17
    • Paul said the same thing in Romans 5:1: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
    • peace or shalom means completed, finished, made whole; it is to be safe, secure and free from fault;
    • Isaiah goes on to say that the effects or the action of righteousness are quietness and assurance forever
      • quietness is shaqat in Hebrew meaning calm, relax, at rest;
        • it actually says ha’shaqat – adding the hei (ha) before a verb in Hebrew makes it a causative mood – it’s not something you need to do “rest” – righteousness causes rest in you — it’s automatic
      • assurance is betach in Hebrew meaning confidence, security, bold and careless; the root is trust; it is to throw your cares on one; to fear nothing for oneself;
      • Septuagint translation is And the works of righteousness shall be peace; and righteousness shall ensure rest, and [the righteous] shall be confident for ever.
  • Righteousness consciousness produces rest on the inside, there is no striving, laboring or even being performance/works driven
    • We don’t even strive to rest, righteousness causes it in our lives.
    • And righteous is who we are IN CHRIST, not what we do – He made us righteous
      • “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
    • There is a confidence that righteousness produces – confidence in our identity in Him.
    • It is an awareness of the truth that we have been made whole, complete, finished, and that we are safe and secure, free from all fault.
      • We can experience that because we are at rest, completely trusting in the finished work of Christ – confident in who we are IN HIM — knowing that there is no labor, striving or performance required from us.
  • To wake up to righteousness consciousness and not sin consciousness is nothing more than putting on new attitudes — knowing who you are IN CHRIST
    • We know Jesus is never sick, He’s not addicted to anything, He doesn’t have immorality problems, etc…. As He is so are we!
    • The only two things the enemy is after is your revelation of the nature of God and your understanding of your identity.
  • So, Paul asks them in v. 4 are you ignorant that you have been baptized into Christ, into His death?
IV. Baptized Into Christ – verse 3
Paul says Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
do you not know: is alpha and ginosko in Greek; alpha meaning no or without and ginosko meaning firsthand knowledge through personal experience; a word of close, personal, marital intimacy
  • Paul is asking are you not intimately aware that you have been baptized into Christ, into His death?
    • baptized into Christ equals baptized into His death – it took place at His death
    • Paul’s contrasting “In sin” and “IN CHRIST” — They cannot coexist
      • He’s not talking behaviors “sinful” and “Christlike” — He’s talking position; a nature change
      • We no longer live in this condition called sin we now live in this condition/position called Christ
        • This is the condition of your life now — Christ!
  • He’s saying, “asking if you should remain in sin so that grace may abound when the fact is you died to sin means you don’t understand yet – you are not intimately aware of your union in Christ.”
    • we were baptized into Christ, in His death
    • we died in this baptism
  • baptized in Christ means we were fully immersed in Christ – our new identity is Him
    • were baptized – aorist, indicative, passive
      • aorist indicative means it’s a past tense fact
    • Passive means it happened to us – not something we initiated or produced.
      • we were baptized IN CHRIST, baptized IN His death — we were co-crucified
  • When?
    • At the cross – baptized in His death, and His death took place at the cross
    • baptized is it is an aorist indicative passive — past tense fact that happened to us — we didn’t play a part in it – our believing didn’t make it happen – it happened to us at the Cross
    • as many as is hosos in Greek which means as great, as much or just as
      • not referring to people in as many people as are baptized (referring only to believers)
      • but rather as much as you’ve been baptized into Christ, you’ve been baptized into His death
  • Remember he’s talking to a transitional generation that was in Adam roughly only 20 years ago.
    • If Jesus died in 33 AD and Paul wrote to Rome in 57 AD that’s only 24 years
  • WE were never in Adam, so if we were baptized into Christ, in His death which took place on the cross, then we (everyone born post cross) was always IN CHRIST.
    • We just weren’t awake to it, we didn’t know, and so we didn’t walk in the experience of that new life that was all along ours.
  • Paul is saying to these Romans, Look, you wouldn’t even ask if you should continue in sin so that grace could abound if you understood that
    • you died in the sin (nature) – you died in Adam
    • you have a new nature – IN CHRIST
  • Remember he had linked abounding in the sin to the law — to be dead in sin;
    • that death ended the authority of the law – they were no longer bound to it (which we will see in chapter 7)
    • for these Jews to give up identity with the law means that they have become a Gentile (lawless; without the law)
    • In Jewish thought, baptism implies renunciation of one’s past associations
  • The Old Covenant was their identity – they had been baptized into Moses (1 Cor 10:1-4)
    • In this baptism, the Jewish people were brought into a covenant relationship with Moses, who became their representative before God.
    • All of God’s dealings with Israel were now went through Moses (the Intercessor, Mediator).
    • Their identification was with Moses
  • Remember Paul isn’t talking about individual baptism into Christ – he’s talking about a group of people liberated from a past identity to a new identity
    • for those baptized into Moses, it was the group of Israelites
    • for those baptized into Christ, it was all mankind
  • Israel’s baptism into Moses (their deliverer) was a foreshadow of the Deliverer to come
    • this baptism freed them from slavery and birthed them into a new nation
    • This baptism changed their very identity
    • it was a separation of an old life (a slave in Egypt) to a new life (Moses and the law)
  • Mankind’s baptism into Christ (at the Cross) was the reality — the Deliverer had come
    • this baptism freed ALL from slavery to sin and death and birthed them into a new nation
    • their very identity was changed by their baptism — from in Adam to in Christ
    • it was a death of an old life (slave to sin and death; to the Adamic nature) into a new life (a life in Christ; in the nature of God – righteous and holy)
V. Buried with Him – verse 4
We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death……
  • Buried with is the word sunthapto from sun meaning joined; together with and thapto meaning buried.
    • it is an aorist indicative passive — past tense fact that happened to us — we didn’t play a part in it
      • Jesus’ burial was our burial. God buried us along with Jesus Christ! Co buried
  • Through baptism — through is dia in Greek — successfully completely through;
    • Our co-burial was a successful complete co-burial, and we are successfully, completely immersed (baptized) in Christ
  • into – is eis in Greek and it is a point reached in conclusion – to arrive
    • ALL have arrived in Him – like a GPS that says “you have arrived” — our destination is complete
      • Col 2:10-12: And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (11) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead
    • into the death – talking about a specific, definite event, not just any death – His death
  • Our new nature, our identification is solely in Christ
  • For these Jews, Paul is talking to (the transitional generation), the good news is —
    • your association/identity is no longer connected to Moses and the Law
    • you are no longer in Adam — at the cross you died to the Adamic sin nature and to the authority/dominion of death
    • Jesus’ finished work was 100% complete and successful
    • you died with Him and were co-buried with Him, and now your new nature is Christ! 100% Christ!
  • For us (born after the cross) the good news is —
    • You’ve always been IN CHRIST
    • you never had an Adamic sin nature
    • you have never been under the dominion of death!
Next week we’ll finish verse 4 and also look at verses 5-10

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