The Mystery of Being Baptized into His Death. Romans 6:3-4
“3) Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4) Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans‬ ‭6:3-4‬
Paul now introduces one of the most mind bending mysteries in the entire Bible. The moment someone becomes a believer and is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, they metaphysically enter into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ with Him.
This truth became real to me years ago back in high school when I was memorizing the book of Galatians. For years Galatians 2:20 became my favorite verse; “20) I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” Notice that Paul again talks about the mystery of “being crucified with Christ.”
Peter said something similar in 1 Peter 3:18-22. Only in this text he compares being baptized into the body of Christ with Noah and the ark going through the judgement of the flood. As we read that text, a beautiful picture develops as a comparison between Christ on the cross and the ark going through the flood.
Just like God told Noah to prepare an ark for the judgment of the flood, so God prepared His own Son for the judgment of the cross. But who were saved in the days of Noah? According to Hebrews 11:7, it was only those who had the faith to enter the ark. Noah preached and offered a way of salvation for people to repent and enter the ark, but only Noah and his family believed and were saved. Only eight people went through the judgment of the flood in the ark.
So let’s take another big step in our thinking that clarifies this text. Who went through the judgement of the flood? The answer is everyone in that generation including Noah and his family. But what was the difference. They were safe because the ark endured the judgement of the flood for them. By faith they entered the ark.
“And corresponding to that”… , every human will face the judgment of God’s wrath on sin because we have all sinned. However, the believer goes through that judgement “in Christ.” He is our “ark” to bring us safely through. By faith every believer is metaphysically placed “in Christ“ on the cross, in the grave and in His resurrection. Believers will not face God’s future wrath because by faith we stand before Him baptized “into Christ.”
Notice in Genesis 7:16 it specifically says that God closed the door of the ark behind them. He sealed it. In the same way the New Testament teaches that the Holy Spirit is given as our “seal of our salvation.” (See Ephesians 1:13-14) He baptizes us into the body of Christ and seals us safely in the ark of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:13) This whole transaction is based on faith in the simple message of the gospel.
Jesus became our ark to bear the judgment of sin on the cross just as the the ark bore the judgement of the flood for Noah and his family. They went through the judgement of the flood just like everyone else, but they were safe because they were in the ark. So we pass through the judgement for our sin “safe in Christ.”
The moment we place faith in Jesus, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into His body which became our ark to bare the judgment of the cross for us. We are safe because by faith we were “in Christ” on the cross when he was crucified. I believe this is a small slice of what Paul was saying in Romans 6:3-4.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global