Second danger & answer
5d. Baptised into Christ (2)
By one Spirit
In this wonderful chapter of the resurrection Paul compares and contrasts Adam and the Lord Jesus Christ. This is because both are federal heads of the human race. Adam the head of the physical race from which we are all descended, and have inherited from him the taint of original sin.. Christ the head of the new race, those who have received Him, believed on His name and have become translated into His kingdom. Thus, in spiritual terms, Christ has taken us out from the spiritual heritage we had in Adam giving us a new one, His own.
We see that Adam was made a living soul, that is Adam received life, but Jesus was the life giving Spirit. Adam brought death upon the human race, but Christ brought life. Finally, and this is the point Paul is making in this chapter, Adam was from the earth, but Christ from heaven. For those in Christ one day we will put off this earthly body that we received from Adam, and be clothed with a heavenly body when the redemption of the body takes place.
Notice how Paul refers to Adam and Christ: the former, the first man Adam, Christ the last Adam and the second man. It must be remembered that Paul is talking of Christ being the federal head of the new race. So we are, spiritually, either 'in Adam' or 'in Christ'. One or the other but not both.
Sin entered the world by Adam’s disobedience. Sin and death were not part of God’s original creation. Sin was introduced into heaven first by the angel Lucifer, who with pride tried to exalt himself as God. (Isa 14: Ezk.28). It then entered the world by Adam’s disobedience. From that time forth every human being born, except the God-man Jesus Christ, has been born into Adam with the taint of original sin. And until we are born from above, we remain in that state. In order to become immersed or baptised into Christ we need something radical to happen to us.
So how then do we become ‘in Christ’?
The word baptism means immersion. It was the word used for the dying trade. When a cloth was dipped into a dye, the dye would enter the cloth and become part of the fabric, it was ‘baptised’. When we are baptised into Christ we are immersed and become identified with Him, we become a new creation in Christ, we have been translated from Adam and immersed into Christ, we become totally identified with Him.
How does God do this? I Cor.12:13 tells us that by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body. There is a baptism that takes us out of Adam and into Christ. Eph.4:4 tells us that there is only one baptism; since there is only one baptism, then the term ‘baptised’ into Christ must be this. Since we are told that Jesus would baptised people in the Holy Spirit, and that this was the promise the disciples received on the day of Pentecost (Lk.24:49; Acts 1:5-8), this must be the one baptism that immerses us into Christ.
In the Galatian passage quoted Paul makes it clear that by being baptised into Christ we have put on Christ. This act of spiritual baptism indeed puts us into the body of Christ. The consequence that Paul mentions is that there are no barriers between those in His body. No racial barriers, no social barriers nor any gender barriers for in Christ we are all one. We are heirs to the promise that God gave to Abraham. But the key is that we only put on Christ by this baptism.
Jesus spoke of Calvary as His cup and baptism, which meant an immersion into death and subsequent resurrection, when we are baptised into Christ's body we are immersed into Him, thus being immersed also into His death and resurrection.
It must be emphasised at this stage that it Christ alone who was the one who paid the penalty of sin, we do not. In that respect His death was unique. We are talking of the consequences of believers being baptised into Christ, and inheriting the benefits from Christ's death and resurrection.
It these consequences we now consider.
Paul's teaching in Rom. 6 gives us a clear understanding of the consequences of our baptism into Christ.
We must state again that first of all that the baptism of which Paul speaks is Spirit baptism and not that of water baptism. This is clearly seen if one understands that water is not only not mentioned in this chapter but never mentioned in the whole of the Roman epistle itself! Further it cannot be said that a symbol can have any effect on the heart of man. In the same way physical circumcision was a symbol of inward reality water baptism is also such a symbol. The true circumcision is spiritual in nature, likewise the one true baptism. This is the baptism of the Spirit into the body of Christ on new birth.
The first thing to note is that our old man is crucified with Him. Many modern translations used the word 'self' instead of man. This is unfortunate because it confuses the issue. The Greek word is man. So what is this old man? It is the spiritual entity that resulted from Adam's sin. Paul in the previous chapter of Romans talks of sin having been passed upon all men. It is this body of sin that we are born first time into. It is not our self.
Our old man is crucified so that the body of sin is destroyed ( made of no effect, inoperable). We are (co-) crucified with Christ, co-buried with Him in this baptism and raised with Him in resurrection life. We are then in Christ, immersed into His body, one that is of righteousness.
We are thus freed from sin. The power of sin in our lives is broken. So Paul now exhorts us to live in accordance with that truth. We become genuinely free people with a real choice. We are exhorted not to let sin reign in us, and not to yield our members to unrighteousness. Sin should not have the lordship over us. Instead we exhorted are to become servants of righteousness.
By first birth we are born into sin, we are in [baptised into?] Adam; by second birth we are born out of sin and baptised into Christ. That is taken out of Adam and immersed into the life of Christ.
In the first chapter of Colossians we saw that we have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son. This meant that we have been taken out from Satan's domain and authority into Christ's kingdom and His authority. Here we see that by being baptised into Christ we have been taken out of Adam's spiritual heredity line and put in Christ's, no longer under the lordship of sin but under the rule of righteousness.
If this was all it would be reason enough to give Him all the glory. But there is more that this baptism gives us, and it is to these we turn next.