Dead to Sin, Alive to Christ

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! 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? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace”  Romans 6:1-14.

I think I have mentioned this before, but I have done a lot of funerals.  A large portion of them are for people I never knew, but a lot for folks who died of old age, and I have preached the funerals of several tragic situations.

The thing is, that when a person dies, (generally, in our society) we bury them.  We lay their body in a box of some sort, dig a hole and we bury them.  We don’t lay them on the ground and sprinkle some dirt on them, we lay them into the ground and cover them with soil.

When Jesus died, they buried him.  Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body and they laid him in Joseph’s cave tomb.  They buried Jesus.

You and I are lost in our sins (Romans 3:23).  We are guilty of sin against God and deserve punishment.  That punishment is often called death.  Since we are dead in our sins, a burial must take place.

Now, we’re not going to bury your living physical body, but since we’re lost in sin, since that spiritual death has occurred, baptism is the burial.  But it is so much more.

Romans 6 teaches us so much about baptism.

  • It is burial with Christ, verses 3-4.  We are then united with him in his death which was very simply for our sin.
  • It’s is raising with Christ, verse 5 & 8-10.  We are then united with him in the life that he now lives.
  • It is being dead to sin, verses 2 & 6-7.  Sin no longer has the power it did over us.
  • It is being given a brand new life that was different than before, verses 11-14.  We have chosen to live life as Jesus Christ lived life.

Sin is so bad.  It injures the heart of God.  Because it separates us from his love.  And he hates that.  He wants to share his love with us and until we are freed from sin, we can’t return that love.  In fact, God’s love saves.

Once we believe in Jesus, who died to pay for our sins, when we have come to the point of confessing Jesus and repenting, than when we are baptized, we are united with Christ’s death, when God “sprinkles our hearts to cleanse us” (Hebrews 10:22).  Once we are cleansed from our unrighteousness, we are freed from sin, joined with Christ, and given eternal life with God and now we get to live.


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