Already Dead; Already Alive!

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” Romans 6:3

Pay close attention to Paul’s well-framed argument. He is making a brash claim that God is actually working through Holy Baptism. His claim is that God is working death. Were you Baptized into Christ? You were Baptized into death. You died. In your Baptism, you are dead and gone. You have been Baptized into death. The Holy Water has drowned the life out of you completely.

There’s much more to it than that, though. You were not Baptized into any old death; you are Baptized into the death of Jesus Christ! Baptized into a crucifixion. Baptized into a forsaken death. Baptized into Jesus’ death. In your Baptism, you died Jesus’ death. No mere symbolism here, but action taken by God to rid us completely of the ugliness of our broken lives.

Baptism is not a self-proclamation that I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Baptism is a funeral for your sinful flesh. Baptism is not a means of membership in a local congregation. Baptism is a connection to the death of the sacrificed Lamb of God. Baptism is God’s holy and powerful work of killing what is evil within us. Baptism is the way God has chosen to wash us clean of all the deplorable things we have done. Baptism is a washing in the blood of the Lamb who has died for us. Baptism is a way in which God gives us His grace – and it starts with our death.

Not to jump the gun, but if we are united to Jesus in a death like His, we will most certainly be united to Him in a resurrection like His. In your Baptism, you have died. In your Baptism, you have been called back to life!

“Baptized into Your name most holy,
O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
I claim a place, though weak and lowly,
Among Your saints, Your chosen host.
Buried with Christ and dead to sin,
Your Spirit now shall live within.”
Baptized Into Your Name Most Holy (LSB 590)

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