3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Romans 6:3-5 and 6-10 explain how the tyranny of sin has been broken for the believer. Verses three to five show how believers died to sin. They died to sin in that they died with Christ when He died. They will be united with Him in His resurrection.
Paul now introduced the subject of our identification with Christ, our identification with His death.
do you not know
This is an appeal to common knowledge about the Christian faith that they have neglected—our identity with Christ in His death. Identification with Christ was no novel idea. Christian living rests on Christian truth.
that as many of us as were baptized into [into union with] Christ Jesus
Baptism here is not water baptism but taking on a new identity in Christ. The Greek (aorist, passive, indicative) indicates that it was at God’s initiative; it was God who did the baptizing of the believer into union with Christ Jesus. This has nothing to do with water baptism.
Ga 3: 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
The word “baptized” is not a translation but a transliteration (the Greek word is flopped into the text without translation). If we were to translate “baptized” we would translate it “identified.” Thus, baptism is to enter into the benefits of identification with Christ.
This is radically different than being “in Adam” and identifying (being identified) with him as our federal head. The argument of 5:12-31 revolved around our union with two persons: (1) our identity in Adam and (2) our union or identity with Christ as our Second Adam. This chapter expands the idea of our identity with Christ. Our baptism in Christ signifies our union with Christ.
were baptized into His death?
When we placed trust in Christ’s death, we received His identity before God. Our sin capacity is positionally dead in God’s eyes. This baptism is not something we can feel or experience directly; it is a provision made by God without our direct knowledge except through revelation.
If a Christian truly understands his union with Christ, he will apply this daily to his struggle with sin.
Antinomianism is not in the God-given DNA of a true believer. Our union with Christ necessarily produces newness of life. Sin does not die to the believer, but the believer has died to sin. Christ’s death for sin becomes our death to sin.