Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 142 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Romans 6 today and our focus is on Why Must I Die With Jesus – I Thought He Died FOR Me? + Should Baptism Be By Sprinkling or Immersion?. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in .  Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Allow me to wade into a very controversial topic and just say a few words about it, before running for cover. Over the centuries, the mode of baptism has been a very, very hot topic among Christians. There have been disputes over this issue, church splits, friendship splits, denominational splits, and even deaths, whereby those who called themselves Christians literally killed other Christians largely because of a dispute over the mode of baptism – sprinkling or dunking, infant baptism or believer’s baptism. (Look up Anabaptist martyrs for more on that.)  I’m a baptist preacher, and I believe passionately in believer’s baptism by immersion, so let me say that first of all. That said, I’d be happy to be in the same church with Presbyterians like Tim Keller, Frank Barker (my former pastor) Kevin DeYoung, and others who hold tightly to the Word of God. The fact is, that people can make a biblical case for infant baptism, which I don’t agree with, and for baptism by sprinkling, which I don’t agree with either – but a biblical case can be made for both of those things…especially in regards to mode of baptism, because we honestly don’t see clear and unquestionable commands on exactly HOW to baptize people. The word itself seems to have a meaning of immersion/dipping to it, so there is that, as well as Scriptures like we see today in our passage:

Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 

This is NOT a passage on the mode of baptism, but it does seem like baptism symbolizing our death with Christ makes a good bit more sense if we are laid down into the water, then picked back up, then it does by some sort of sprinkling. That said, and I realize this is a pretty radical statement coming from a committed Baptist, I think if the exact mode of baptism was supremely important, then the Word of God would be abundantly clear on exactly how people should be baptized. (Note: I am not here saying that mode of baptism is UNimportant, just that is is not of supreme importance, based on how the Bible addresses the issue.)

On to a deeper discussion. In today’s passage, we will see death mentioned a LOT for such a short passage. In English, at least, the word ‘die’ appears six times, and the word ‘death’ appears 8 times, and the word ‘dead’ appears 4 times. Most of this is in the first half of the passage, a passage dense with death, but, paradoxically, showing us that the doorway to TRUE and ETERNAL life is through death with Jesus. Consider these verses:

Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him, because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over him. 10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:4-11

What’s with all this death – why must we die with Christ if He has already died for us? Consider vs. 6 – the death being discussed here is not exactly metaphorical, but Paul isn’t talking about physical death either. He is talking about a very real and SPIRITUAL death of our old self – our old flesh – our old sin nature. Upon conversion, we reckon that old self as dead. The desires of that old self may kick and thrash about and resist death, but when we are saved, the death sentence is passed on the old man, and he must go away. Let’s hear some wisdom on this from Charles Spurgeon, and close out with that:

You remember, my brethren and sisters in Christ, that hallowed hour when you went down into the liquid tomb, when, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, you were immersed upon profession of your faith in Jesus Christ. By that solemn act you set forth your death to sin; and when you were raised again out of the opening element, you thereby made a profession of your faith in Christ’s resurrection; and, moreover, you did there and then, seeing that you had received the grace of God in truth, profess to rise unto newness of life. How could you, then, go back to sin? That would be to make your baptism a lie; indeed, you are all of you unbaptized unless you have been baptized into Christ’s death….

God has driven the nails through the active powers of our sin; both hands and feet are fastened to the cross of Christ, and though the heart and the head may sometimes wander, yet our old man is crucified with Christ that the body of sin may be destroyed; and we are looking forward to that happy day when the old man shall be dead altogether, and we shall be made meet to enter into the inheritance of the saints in light. We believe that our old man will never die until we die, but we thank God that the death of our body will be also the death of the body of sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. He can no longer live in it, for he is dead; and if we are really dead in Christ, we can no longer live in sin as we used to do.

C. H. Spurgeon, “Lessons from Christ’s Baptism,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 58 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1912), 191.

Bible Memory verses for the month of May: Matthew 28:18-20 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”   

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