Romans 6:4 Part 4

Monday, May 22, 2006

One final word on v.4: Moo closes the discussion on this verse with answers to the other 2 questions mentioned yesterday, i.e. why mention burial and why baptism as the means.

It is interesting to note that burial is mentioned because it is included in what is called the basic kerygma.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
~ 1 Cor 15:3-4 (NIV)

Burial was probably included in this simple summary because burial confirms the reality of death, completing the break from the old life. Our death with Christ to the old age of sin is final and definitive.

Baptism as the Means
We need to preserve the centrality of faith and at the same time do justice to the mediatorial role of baptism in this text. J. Dunn explains it succinctly: the early church conceive faith, the gift of the Spirit, and water baptism as components of one unified experience; this is what he calls “conversion-initiation”. Just as faith is always assumed to lead to baptism, baptism would always assume faith for its validity.

For those who are not baptised? Moo says that we must assume from the fact that faith is emblazoned in every chapter of Romans while baptism is mentioned in only two verses that genuine faith, even if it has not been “sealed” in baptism, is sufficient for salvation.

Main Point of Romans 6:4
The main point of v.4 is not being with Christ or baptism, but the new life which these events lead to: so that we might walk in newness of life, that is empowered by the Spirit of God.

Several Exegetical Insights of Greek Words/Phrases
An aorist subjunctive of περιπατεω, designating manner of life or lifestyle. Context suggest that the aorist might signal an ingressive idea: that we might take up a new way of walking.

An objective genitive: the newness that leads to life

δια της δοξης του πατρος
Christ was raised “through the glory of the Father” alludes to the power, which is specifically the power of the new age.

With this I conclude v.4 with a quote from Calvin:

By these words (vv.3-5) he not only exhorts us to follow Christ as if he had said that we are admonished though baptism to die to our desires by the example of Christ’s death, and to be aroused to righteousness by the example of his resurrection, but he also takes hold of something far higher; namely that through baptism Christ makes us sharer in his death, that we might be engrafted in it. And, just as the twig draws substance and nourishment from the root to which it is grafted, so those who receive baptism with right faith truly feel the effective working of Christ’s death in the mortification of their flesh, together with the working of his resurrection in the vivification of the Spirit.


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1 comment(s)

  1. Maeghan,

    Apparently, you were posting, as I was writing. Calvin seems to reflect on a lot of the stuff that weighs on me in this verse.

    Thanks for the insight.

    God Bless