Home Page | Dave's Desk | Site Map | Contact Us | Short Articles
Written by David Banks
There are two passages in the New Testament that specifically state that we are baptized into Christ. The first one is in the book of Romans. The apostle Paul wrote to the saints in Rome. These were already Christians when Paul wrote to them. They had already met the God given requirements for salvation. Paul made the statement in the context of the commitment they had made as Christians to live their new lives free from sin. Paul asked, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2). Paul was stating that at the point that they died to sin they committed to not go on living in sin. And when had they died to sin? They died to sin when they were baptized into Christ. Paul continued, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). Before a person is baptized that person is spiritually dead – separated from God because of his sins. When that person is baptized into Christ he dies to sin.
Paul wrote that they had been baptized into Christ. He further explained that they had been baptized into His death, burial, and resurrection. In the physical act of baptism they were symbolically going through the same process as Christ. They were buried with Christ by baptism into death. When Christ rose from the dead He gained victory over sin and death. When they came out of the watery grave their sins were washed away. They were given a fresh start – newness of life. In the same context Paul wrote, “Thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).
The other passage where Paul specifically stated that we are baptized into Christ is in the book of Galatians. Paul had made his case that the promised Seed of Abraham (Genesis 22:18) was Christ (Galatians 3:16). Paul wrote that when Christ died on the cross He redeemed us from the curse of the Law, so that God’s promise to Abraham could be fulfilled by bringing in the Gentiles (Galatians 3:13-14 see also Ephesians 2:11-15). He wrote that the Law of Moses had fulfilled its purpose of bringing us to faith in Christ but the Law could not fulfill the promise to Abraham, so it was taken out of the way (Galatians 3:14-25). Paul therefore wrote, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29). To be in Christ is to be clothed with Christ. To be in Christ is to belong to Christ.
So, twice Paul wrote that we are baptized into Christ. How do we get into Christ? We are baptized into Christ. If we are baptized into Christ, where are we before we are baptized? We are outside of Christ. Can a person be saved if he is outside of Christ? No. When you are baptized into Christ you are clothed with Christ. Your life becomes hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). Have you been baptized into Christ? Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved…” (Mark 16:16). If you have been baptized, did you have this proper understanding of what were participating in? You must be absolutely certain because there is much at stake.