ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bible: What Does Romans 6 Teach Us About Spirit Baptism and Sanctification?

Updated on September 15, 2016

The Apostle Paul


Pentecost: The First Baptism of the Spirit


Romans 6: Identification and Sanctification Truths

Pursuing another branch of the argument, Paul assumes the position of critics by voicing a possible objection to his line of reasoning.

Given that God makes available more than sufficient grace to cover abounding sin, the apostle asks, in effect, “Why, then, shouldn’t we keep sinning, and do it even more?” (v. 1; cf. 3:8).

Reverting to his apostolic stance, he prefaces his full response to this view with his characteristic negation me genoito (“Certainly not!”) [v. 2a; cf. 3:4, 6].

Paul answers the question with two of his own, the first emphasizing the believer’s death to sin (v. 2) and the second, his Spirit baptism (v. 3).

The Baptism of the Spirit

He argues first that, since the Holy Spirit sepa­rated Christians from the ruling power of sin when He applied the merits of Jesus’ death to them at their salvation, it makes no sense for true believes to desire to continue sinning habitually (v. 2).

Second, Paul reminds the unlearned that the Spirit’s baptism not only places believers into the body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 12:13), but it also separates them from the old life in Adam (“baptized into His death”) [v. 3].

[Immersion in water merely pictures what happened spiritually at salvation.]

Believers are “buried” (lowered into the water) with Christ, separating them from the old nature; their being “raised” (brought up out of the water) symbolizes their spiritual rebirth (regeneration).

So altered, they should resemble Christ spiritually by living a renewed life (v. 4; cf. Col. 2:12).

Paul then logically correlates the components of Spirit baptism.

Since the Spirit has brought believers into union with Christ “in the likeness of His death,” He will also cause their lives to resemble Jesus’ resurrection life (v. 5).

Crucifixion with Christ


Important Terms

view quiz statistics

Count These Truths to Be So

In order to experience this new kind of life, Christians must acknowledge the following spiritual facts and live according to them.

When the Spirit regenerated them, He applied to them the entire salvation transaction: co-crucifixion and co-resurrection.

Spiritually, their “old self” suffered a crucifixion death with Christ; Paul writes that this event took place to render inoperative their “body of sin.”

Since their spiritual death with Christ frees them from their sin, they are not slaves to this nature any longer (vv. 6-7).

Verses eight through ten reiterate the truth of believers’ death with Christ and the certainty of their living with Him because of His complete resurrection victory over death.

[The apostle seems to be referring here to the believers’ expectation of resurrection from death, not to their present life as born-again people.]

In light of the Lord’s victory, saints should consider the facts of their spiritual death and resurrection with Christ, and make appropriate moral decisions in this life (v. 11).

They can now choose either to experience victory over what remains of their sin nature, or to obey its desires and let it continue to reign; Paul enjoins that they select the former (v. 12).

Present Your Members as Instruments of Righteousness

Believers should stop presenting the members of their body as tools that the remnants of the sin nature can use to perform unrighteous deeds; rather, they should present their souls and their bodies to God as a living sacrifice, so that He can use them as “weapons of righteousness” (v. 13; cf. 12:1).

Considering that Church-age believers live under the administration of grace, not under the dominion of law, they should not allow the remnants of their sin nature to rule them (v. 14).

[Christians are not “under law” in three senses:

(1) they no longer have to sacrifice animals because Christ’s once-for-all sacrificial death has fulfilled the ceremonial aspect;

(2) Jewish civil law does not directly apply to the Church; and

(3) their “identification with the vicarious atoning death of Christ” frees them from its condemnation

(Virkler, Hermeneutics: Principles and Process of Biblical Interpretation, 144)].

Paul resumes his peculiar pedagogical methodology by asking another polemical question similar to the one he posed in verse one.

He intends his next query to develop his argument further by having it function as a transition from a discussion of grace and law to one of spiritual “slavery.”

In other words, as the apostle wrote earlier that believers should not keep sinning because God has made sufficient grace available to cover it (v. 1), so now he tells them that they should not sin habitually because they, being empowered by grace, are not obliged to offer sacrifices and keep Jewish civil laws perfectly to be accepted by Him (v. 15).

Slavery to Righteousness

Seeking a way to accommodate himself to “the weakness of your flesh” (that is, their dullness of spiritual understanding) [v. 19a], Paul appeals to the Romans’ knowledge of slavery, reminding them that they have a choice to obey one master (sin) or the other (the Lord).

The former slavery leads to death, the latter to righteousness (v. 16).

He thanks God that, although the Romans had been slaves of uncleanness and lawlessness (sin), they chose to obey Christian truth (vv. 17, 19).

Consequently, God freed them from sin’s penalty, and they became “slaves of righteousness” (v. 18).

Paul appears to speak about two stages to their slavery to righteousness:

the first occurred when they obeyed Christian truth at their initial time of salvation (v. 18).

The second part will happen as they continually present themselves unto holiness (progressive sanctification) [v. 19].

He reminds them that when they were unsaved “slaves of sin,” they were free with regard to righteousness (v. 20).

[In other words, they had no interest in or belief in things that pertained to doing right in God’s eyes.]

His rhetorical question aims to inform them that they derived no benefit from their former lifestyle; in fact, this Gentile way of life embarrasses them now, and would have resulted in eternal death had they not left it (v. 21).

Paul contrasts their former condition as slaves of sin with their present status as believers.

Now they have freedom from the penalty of sin; they are slaves to God and bear holy fruit that leads to everlasting life (v. 22).

That does not mean, however, that believers earn eternal life through their sanctification.

The apostle makes plain that sinners earn eternal death, but believers receive both eternal life in Christ and progress in holiness as God’s gracious gifts (v. 23).

© 2013 glynch1


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)