Deliverance Rom. 6:1-5
When Israel was in Egypt, God placed them safe beyond the reach of judgment by the blood of the lamb, but their salvation was not complete until they had crossed the Red Sea and were delivered forever from the dominion of Pharaoh. Standing on the other side of the Sea they could look back to the scene of their former bondage. They were out of Egypt and slaves no longer. The waters of death rolled between them and their former masters. They were in a new position as well as in a new condition.
Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt is an illustration of our deliverance from the power of indwelling sin. It helps us to understand the teaching of Rom. 6, which we are about to consider together.
We have reached the third main division of the epistle. The subject of Chap. 6-8 is Deliverance.
In Chap. 1:1-3:20 we were in the house of bondage. There our mouths were closed, and we stood condemned before our Judge. In Chap. 3.21-5:21 we were in the house of salvation behind blood-stained doors with our ears open to hear the story of love. In Chap. 6:1-8:38 we enjoy full deliverance and our mouths are opened in testimony in response to the grace of God.
As we approach our lesson we find at the very threshold this arresting question regarding our life after we are saved. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” “Is grace a license to sin?” The answer is an emphatic and decisive “NO.” We are delivered from sin and out of its domain altogether.
Four wonderful facts are presented in vs. 1-5, to declare our freedom from sin.
1. Our Condition—We have died to sin, vs. 2
How can we live in that to which we have died? A dead merchant is out of business. Israel could not live in Egypt after they had crossed the Red Sea. We have died to sin and our life is no longer therein.
2. Our Confession—We are buried with Christ in baptism, vs. 3, 4.
One who is dead and buried has disappeared entirely from the scene in which he once lived. We bade farewell to the world when we submitted to baptism.
Nellie had been quite popular in her unconverted days. The grace of God had reached her and desiring to witness a good confession, the day of her baptism was set. A large number of her former friends were present at the river side to witness, standing some little distance from the Christians gathered there. After an impressive service Nellie stepped out into the water and as she disappeared for a brief moment, from that outer circle came the farewell words, “Good-bye Nellie, Goodbye Nellie.”
3. Our Conduct—We are to walk in newness of life, vs. 4
If I have died to the old life, the life I now live must be very different from the old. The old life was one that led to the grave. Its grim portals closed upon all down here and eternal gloom marked the end of that pathway. The new life begins at the grave of Jesus and the glory is its goal. Christ died in shame but the “glory of the Father” raised Him up out of death. God could not allow His Son to remain in death. A Father’s arms reached down into the tomb and robbed death of its prey and now He lives Who once was dead. He lives in the glory and our lives are to be a reflection down here of that glory.
4. Our Consummation—We are to be like Christ in Resurrection, vs. 5.
You have seen the ivy growing up with and attaching itself to the oak tree; if that tree falls, the ivy comes down too; so we have grown up with Christ in the likeness of His death. He died here, and was buried, but He rose again. We have died with Him; we have been buried with Him, and we expect to be like Him in that day when He comes again.
Grace begun shall end in glory
Jesus, He the victory won In His own triumphant story
Is the record of our own.
1. What are the three great divisions of the first eight chapters of Romans?
2. What are the subjects of these divisions?
3. What difference do you see between sin in Romans 3 and sin in Romans 6?
4. What is the signification of the words “buried” and “planted” in connection with baptism?