Romans, Rightly Divided & Verse-by-Verse
Session 14 | Romans 6:1-5
Romans 5:12-8:39 | Giving Testimony To The Validity Of The Mystery
Supplemental Resource, Romans Graphically Presented, pg. 28
Romans 6:1-7:25 | A Message To Believing Jews In Overlap Times
Supplemental Resource, Romans Graphically Presented, pgs. 32-34
Romans 6:1-2 | Introduction
Supplemental Resource, Romans Graphically Presented, pgs. 32
#### Verse 1 – Green
If the law caused a plethora of indictable activity (Rom. 5:20) and now grace reign[s] (Rom. 5:21), then the question of verse 1 becomes natural. In one sense, even “godly.” For we would want God’s grace to be known, should we just abound in sin so that grace would abound as a testimony to God’s goodness? Clearly this is twisted thinking but does need addressed.
As you can see, this is a question which is only valid when the age of Grace has begun, and indeed only an issue during this age. Indeed, those who contend that salvation has always been by grace through faith should address why such a question never came up prior to Paul? Were those who lived before this time so sanctimonious that such a thought of abusing grace simply never came up? I think not, as any casual reading of the Hebrew Scriptures would quickly prove. Rather, the issue never came up because justification by grace was never preached prior to Paul.
#### Verse 2 – Green
Paul’s answer is swift and unequivocal: God forbid. He then contemplates the insane nature of such thinking by stating that we, presumably Paul and the Messianic believing Jews of the Pentecost (Kingdom) era, are dead to sin.
What does it mean to be dead to sin? Certainly, it does not mean they were incapable of sin, for then the question of verse 1 would be even more convoluted than it already is. They were certainly capable of sin, even of sinning abundantly, yet Paul says that they are dead to sin. I think this is in reference to the believing Jew in the Pentecostal era and their renunciation of sin.
This is far from the “standard evangelical” interpretation, wherein the first-person plural pronoun is always assumed to be us, the Body of Christ. I simply see no textual justification for making such a broad use of the pronoun and reading ourselves into this text.
Romans 6:3-14 | Baptized Into Christ
Supplemental Resource, Romans Graphically Presented, pgs. 33
#### Verse 3 – Green
The phrase Know ye not presumes the knowledge that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.
Unlike many, who spiritualize the word baptized, I am going to take the position that this was the only baptism the Roman Jews knew anything about, and that is a water baptism. To assume that Paul is using Baptism figuratively is simply to presume upon the text. But, under Peter, many of us (the Jews) were baptized into Jesus Christ at Pentecost and beyond. When they took such a public stand, they were joining themselves into and with the death of Jesus Christ.
#### Verse 4 – Green
Paul continues to speak of the Pentecostal, believing Jew (including himself, Acts 9:18) who has been buried with him by baptism. The baptism is the instrument through which the Pentecostal believer came into the death of Christ. The word by is the Greek διὰ [dia] which means through, and thus _baptism is the instrument of entry into the death of Christ.
I know that many will object at taking the baptism as a literal water baptism. However, there are two hermeneutical principles which must guide our interpretation. First, if a passage can be taken literally, it should be taken literally. Second, let Scripture interpret itself. Both rules lead to a physical baptism alone.
#### Verse 5 – Green
The words planted together in the likeness of his death do not speak of a spiritual baptism in any form. A water baptism displays a burial, and thus a likeness (that is, a “a figure, image, likeness, representation”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>. In what way does a spiritual baptism provide a likeness? However, a water baptism provides a likeness in every way. This is a case of the simple rule that “if the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense.”
I contend that the reason water baptism is so rejected here is because interpreters fail to assign this to Pentecostal Jews living under a Kingdom Gospel.
The only reason I have chosen to put both these words and the surrounding verses in green in our color-coding scheme is because there is a similarity that we who are immersed in Christ spiritually also live under the same rule that we shall not continue in sin, that grace may abound (v. 1).
James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon G3667