The consequences for our spirit when we receive God’s salvation through faith ROMANS 6 – Part 2
Right away, you reach the core idea of this chapter, the main point of teaching on the consequences of salvation for our spirit. Our old spirit was put to death with Christ and so it has ceased to exist. Paul uses the concept of baptism to explain what happened when we were saved by our faith in Jesus Christ. And to understand this comparison properly, we first need to understand the term baptism properly. The word baptism means a washing and there are two baptisms described in the New Testament. One is spiritual, one is physical. One God does, one we do. One produces a death and rebirth, the other pictures a death and rebirth.
The first baptism the Bible describes is the spirit baptism or the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a baptism of spirit in the sense that a person is immersed by the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God comes to live inside a person, so in that sense the person is completely immersed by the Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit is the moment we are born again, as Jesus said to Nicodemus:
John 3:3-6 (NKJV)
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
This is the moment of our salvation, the moment faith comes and we are born again. At the moment of our spiritual baptism, something in you dies and something in you is brought to life, spiritually speaking. First, our old spirit is put to death. The spirit we inherited from Adam, the spirit that was fallen ceases to exist. In its place, we receive Christ’s spirit, that is we receive a spirit that has descended from the new Adam, from Christ. Literally, we have been born again spiritually, and the new spirit living in you traces it’s genealogy to Christ now and no longer to Adam. Paul says it this way elsewhere –
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
When Paul mentioned “new creature” verses “old things” he’s speaking about the spirit. We are literally something entirely new spiritually after we come to faith in Christ. We are not saying your existing spirit gets better. Or that your existing spirit starts to feel better or do better. We are saying what you had at birth physically, the spirit that you were given by your parents is gone. And in its place comes a new spirit which is Christ. Obviously, God does this baptism. This is a work of God in the spirit, because we couldn’t do it to ourselves. We were dead in our sins, and a dead spirit cannot raise itself. As we learned in Romans 3, no one seeks for God, no one is good, no not one. Following this moment, we are called by Christ to take part in a second baptism, one we perform ourselves by entering a body of water. Our second baptism is a physical act, not a spiritual act. It’s an physical baptism with water that pictures our earlier spiritual baptism act. We do in obedience to Christ’s word as a result of being saved. Water baptism pictures the dying of our old nature and the coming to life of our new spirit. The water pictures a grave in the earth. So when we go down into the water, we are picturing our old spirit dying with Christ. And when we emerge from the water, we are picturing our spirit coming to life as Christ was resurrected. Obviously, the intended meaning of water baptism requires that the baptism be done through immersion, not sprinkling.
Romans 6:3-4 (NKJV)
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Paul refers to this picture in verses 3-4 when he says we were baptized into Christ’s death. Spiritually speaking, your old spirit was buried with Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, He was taking God’s wrath for the sin of your old spirit. So spiritually speaking, Christ was acting in our place dying as our sinful spirit deserved to do. By our faith in Christ, the Father counts Christ’s death in our place. So He can justly take our old spirit away without bringing condemnation upon us because that condemnation has already fallen on Christ. But then Paul adds that just as the Father raised Jesus from the dead, He has also raised us into a new life in the spirit. So by your faith in Christ, you were given Christ’s raised spirit. Christ’s spirit is in you. In verse 5 Paul says we have become united with Christ in the likeness of His death and in the likeness of His resurrection. The term likeness reflects the fact we shared in these events spiritually, not physically.
Obviously, you and I weren’t in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago when Jesus was crucified and resurrected. But spiritually we’ve relived those moments in the time of our salvation, when we were born again spiritually. We relive what He did. Our spirit was taken away and a new spirit was brought to life in its place in us. By the baptism of the Spirit, you have become a new person spiritually, and your new person shares in the nature of Christ. As much as you were like Adam before you came to faith, you are now just as much like Christ now. Your spirit is every bit as perfect and sinless as Jesus’ spirit is. It’s the same spirit, one came from the other. Every believer has a perfect, sinless spirit given to him or her by the Holy Spirit at the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So the consequences for your spirit of salvation by faith in Christ is profound.
If you ever wondered what Jesus Christ must have felt and thought as He walked the earth, you need not worry. You have His spirit now, so you possess the same source for your thoughts and feelings. The overused adage of “what would Jesus do?” suggests that we have to imagine or guess what Jesus might have done. In reality, you already know… but are you paying attention? Though we have a perfect sinless spirit now, we obviously don’t act sinlessly. The reason we still sin is not because our spirit is flawed. It’s because we still have a source of sin in us apart from our spirit. That source is our physical body.
Romans 6:6-7 (NKJV)
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Paul says your old self (i.e., your old spirit) was put to death through Christ’s death so that your body might be done away with also. Your sinful spirit was due condemnation, and the day of our judgment by God is the day that our body dies, as Hebrews says:
Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV)
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
In our days prior to faith we were walking around with a spirit under condemnation and justly so. And the only thing standing between it and the arrival of that condemnation was the body we were occupying. It was still alive. As long as it was still alive that day was still somewhere in the future. So had your body died before you came to faith and before you received a new spirit that was sinless. Then the sinful spirit that was you would have been judged by God. It would have received the justice it deserved in eternity, which is the second death, eternal separation from God. But because of His love and mercy for you, God acted in Christ to put your sinful spirit to death before your body died. He reversed it. Rather than your body dying first leaving your sinful spirit exposed to the second death, to the condemnation that it deserved and the second death that would result. God took your spirit and put it on Christ and it suffered its second death then. That allowed Him to replace your body without there being any jeopardy for your spirit. Now when your body dies, what will be left behind, but a perfect sinless spirit. One that has no condemnation for it has no sin. For the one that deserved condemnation was already put to death in Christ. Christ’s own death on the cross mirrors that same pattern. Remember in Adam’s case,what came first? Physical death or spiritual death? Spiritual death and then by the curse on the Earth, physical death. What came first for Jesus on the cross? At noon it became dark, He said, Father why have you forsaken me? He was separated from the Father for the first time. That was His spiritual death but he was still in a living body. And then physical death followed for Him as well. He repeats Adams exact pattern on the cross, He is the second Adam. And for all who believe in Christ we repeat that same pattern in Him. We have our spiritual death first in the sense that our death, in our being born again and our old spirit is put to death in Christ and a new spirit comes and at some later point we lose this body. Now when our body eventually dies, our spirit will already be sin free without condemnation and therefore there will not be that following judgement because there is nothing to judge. It’s already been judged on the cross.
That’s what Paul means in verse 6 when he says, that old spirit was put to death so that our body could be done away with it. Meaning so it can be done away with it, without it injuring us, without it becoming a point of jeopardy for us. Our spirit is the eternal part of us, so by replacing our spirit before our body died, God did away with the penalty of death. Now the death of our body is of no concern to us, because our spirit is already right with God. Our spirit, our true identity, has already been perfected. So in a future day, the Lord will put our body to death too, so that we will no longer be slaves to sin Paul says. In that future day the part of us that continues to sin, that is our fallen body, will also be taken away. Like your old spirit, it will be put to death. And when it dies, when it is taken away, then you will truly be freed from sin. So your spirit has died and a new one has come and has freed your spirit from sin. But your body has to die too and when that happens you will truly be freed from sin. That is when we talk about being glorified, being sinless. Today we sin less. In the future we will be sinless.
Click below on other sections to learn more about the consequences of our salvation by Faith – Romans Chapter 6 series:
- Romans6/Part 1 – Consequences for our Spirit – Righteousness
- Romans6/Part 3 – Consequences for our Spirit – Considered Sinless
- Romans6/Part 4 – Consequences for our Spirit – Serving God
- Romans6/Part 5 – Consequences for our Spirit – Being Obedient
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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