The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 9 : Romans (Commentaries on the Book of Romans)

[Chapter 6-4] (Romans 6:1-23) We Can No Longer Continue in Sin

(Romans 6:1-23)
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 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. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
 
 
(Romans 6:1) “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”
The “grace” here that the Apostle Paul is speaking of refers to the salvation from sin that is especially attained by believing in the righteousness of God.
What Paul emphasized particularly in Romans chapter 6 is the faith that believes in the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist, His death, and His resurrection. Referring to sin, Paul asks rhetorically here whether we who had died to sin with Jesus Christ, should continue to dwell in sin and commit it so that grace may abound even more. This question is aimed to those who may say rather ridiculously, “Hey, isn’t Paul saying that we should commit more sins since we have been remitted from all our sins once for all by believing in the righteousness of God?” There are those who wonder, as mentioned in Romans chapter 1, “If I have been remitted from all my sins once for all, then I can sin even more with impunity.” To resolve those people’s question, in chapter 6 Paul makes his final explanation as to how the believers in the righteousness of God should live their lives of faith.
Having asked, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Paul answered that this could not be done. The reason why we cannot continue in sin is because we have been delivered and saved from our sins by believing in the righteousness of God. Someone who is saved from all his sins by believing in God’s righteousness is called as a saint. This title of saint is a priceless title that is more precious than anything else in this world. It cannot be exchanged for any fame. So the saints have no desire to continue in sin in this perishing world.
Can someone who has become a saint by faith intentionally sin, now that he has attained the righteousness of God? Certainly not! On the contrary, because he has received the remission of his sins, he abhors continuing to live in sin. Anyone who is wearing a clean set of clothes wants to avoid dirty things and stay in a clean place. Likewise, those who have attained God’s righteousness want to live practicing righteousness. That’s because for all those who have been remitted from sin, their hearts are ruled by the Holy Spirit. The righteous therefore cannot dwell in sin.
The Apostle Paul said that the saints are the ones “who died to sin.” “To die to sin” is possible when we believe that our sins were passed onto Jesus through His baptism and that we died with Christ on the Cross. In other words, faith in the righteousness of God is to pass our sins to Christ with His baptism, to die with Christ on the Cross, and to live with Him. Then how can a man die to sin? Our death to sin is to die on the Cross by believing in the baptism of Jesus Christ, and then to live with Christ again.
 
(Romans 6:2) “Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
The Apostle Paul makes it clear here that the believers in the righteousness of God cannot live abiding in the sins of the world. There is no need for people to doubt the faith of those who believe in the righteousness of God and its gospel. That’s because they have the faith and the belief to say, “Certainly not!” In other words, their faith compels them to say, “How could we, who by believing that Jesus Christ had died to the sins of the world with Him, want to continue to live in sin?”
Before they were born again, the believers in the righteousness of God used to agonize and suffer because of their sins. So remembering those times, they know very well that they can never live if they revert back to that condition. That’s why Paul is asking here rhetorically how we, the born-again, could possibly live in the sins of the world any longer.
What those who do not know the righteousness of God are worried about is this: Wouldn’t those who claim to believe in the righteousness of God end up committing more sins and become even more immoral than before? However, there is absolutely no need for such worries. The believers in the righteousness of God have the Holy Spirit in their hearts right now, and they are led by Him. Therefore, they are no longer bound and enslaved by sin, as they had been when they were indeed slaves to sin. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that they can walk with God.
Before the saints were born again, they had been slaves to sin, but now that they have become slaves to righteousness by believing in God’s righteousness, they no longer want to live in sin. Would you want to once again continue in sin if you were perfectly remitted from your sins by believing in the righteousness of God? Just as you would not want to do this, neither did Paul who believed in God’s righteousness desire this, nor do we.
We should apply the fact that “we have died to sin” to our faith. First, we had died in union with the death of Jesus Christ after He was baptized; and second, the resurrection of Christ implies that as a result of uniting with Christ, we have received new life. This means that we have now been forever separated from the wages of sin that would have led us to death. As we now believe in the righteousness of God, we have the Holy Spirit whose power enables us to live righteous lives. Therefore, we who believe in God’s righteousness can never revert back to sinners. Only the believers in the righteousness of God are the ones who died to sin, and they can no longer continue in sin.
 
 
We Who Were Baptized into Jesus Christ
 
(Romans 6:3) “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?”
If we understand the reason why Jesus Christ received baptism from John the Baptist, we can then understand this passage and believe in it as well. All those who believe in God’s righteousness are baptized into Christ spiritually. That is because when Jesus Christ came to this earth and was baptized by John the Baptist to fulfill all the righteousness of God, all their sins were also passed onto Jesus Christ by their faith. This is why we come to believe that all our sins were passed onto Christ through His baptism when we were “baptized into Him.” All of us absolutely need to believe that we have been baptized into Christ.
Whoever believes in the righteousness of God comes to pass all his sins and all the sins of the world by believing in Jesus who was baptized by John. This is because by being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus accepted all the sins of the world. That is why we believe in the Truth where the righteousness of God is revealed. Nothing other than this faith enables us to be baptized into Christ.
We believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, and this involves the following beliefs: First, the belief that He is the Son of God; second, the belief that He forsook the glory of God and came to this earth in the flesh of man to deliver sinners from sin; and third, the belief that He accepted all the sins of this world once for all in the Jordan River through His baptism given by John the Baptist. Faith in this Truth is the faith that enables one to be baptized into Christ. If you believe in this Truth, then you have also been baptized into Christ by faith.
The ability for us to die with Christ and live with Him all depends on our knowledge of, and faith in the mystery of the baptism of Jesus. Put differently, to understand this passage, we must first comprehend the mystery of the baptism of Jesus and put on the power of His death on the Cross by faith. So through the Word, I would like to unveil the power of baptism and its mystery. To do so, we need to realize why John the Baptist had to baptize Jesus, and why Jesus Christ had to receive this baptism.
In the New Testament, John is called “John the Baptist” because he baptized Jesus. What, then, does the baptism that Jesus received from him imply? The word “baptism” is “βάφτισμα (baptisma)” in Greek, which means, “to be immersed.” More importantly, it also means that “sin is passed on, washed away, or buried.” Therefore, “baptism” also means the death of sin. It indicates that as Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and thus accepted all the sins of the world onto His body, He washed away the sins of His believers, and paid off the wages of sin with His own death. It was to take upon all the sins of mankind that the Lord wanted to be baptized. He was baptized after saying, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).
Baptism also means “to wash.” It means that as Jesus was baptized, He accepted all the sins of the world and washed away every sinner’s iniquities. Those who know and believe in this Truth can wash away all their sins by faith. In other words, baptism signifies that all our sins were passed onto Jesus without exception, and it speaks the Truth that whoever believes in this is washed from all his sins without exception. Since all our sins were passed onto Jesus as He was baptized by John the Baptist, whoever believes in it is cleansed from all his sins.
This Truth was already foreshadowed in the Old Testament. The Old Testament makes it clear that Jesus Christ would come and take upon all sins in this way. It is written in Leviticus 1:4, “Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.” This passage speaks about the absolute necessity to “lay one’s hands” on the head of the sacrificial animal to blot out one’s sins. When it says here that the offering “will be accepted on his behalf,” it means that God would accept it in pleasure. Like this, the sacrifice that pleased God required the Israelites to pass their sins to the sacrificial animal first by laying theirs hands on its head. Only then was God pleased to accept it.
In the Old Testament, “the laying on of hands” means “to pass on,” “to impute,” and “to bury” (Leviticus 1:1-4). In the New Testament, baptism means exactly the same. The baptism that Jesus received from John was the act of accepting all our sins. God established this principle of salvation as the laying on of hands in the Old Testament, where the High Priest had passed all the sins of the people of Israel every year on tenth day of the seventh month.
It is written, “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness” (Leviticus 16:21-22).
When Aaron the High Priest laid his hands on this sacrificial animal on behalf of the people of Israel, all their sins were passed onto the head of the scapegoat. This is why this sacrificial animal was put to death in lieu of the whole people. In the same manner, to be remitted from their sins, the Israelites brought unblemished goats, sheep, or bulls to the altar of burnt offering, and they passed their sins to these sacrificial animals by laying their hands on the animals’ heads; daily sins were passed by individual sinners, while a whole year’s sins of the Israelites were passed onto the sacrificial offering by the High Priest as their representative. It was exactly according to this shadow that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the New Testament’s time.
Through the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist, all the sins of mankind were passed onto Jesus, the Lamb of God, and the salvation of humanity was therefore achieved. As Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (the representative of mankind), He became the sacrificial offering for all sinners; the offering that accepted the sins of this world. By believing in this mystery of the baptism of Jesus and His death on the Cross, we passed our sins to Jesus and were brought back to life once again with Jesus by faith, to enjoy everlasting life. This sacrificial system reflects the principle of representation that is often used in the Bible. Just as Adam was the representative of all sinners, as a descendant of Aaron the High Priest, John the Baptist baptized Jesus as the representative of mankind.
The New Testament writes that John the Baptist was the priest who was born from the house of Aaron and who represented mankind (Luke 1:66-88). John the Baptist was the greatest (representative) of all who were born of women, a man prophesied in the Word of the Old Testament. It is written, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (Malachi 4:5). Jesus Himself testified that the man who was prepared like this in the Old Testament was John the Baptist, saying that Elijah to come was John the Baptist. Therefore, John the Baptist baptized Jesus as the representative of mankind and the last High Priest of the age of the Old Testament, thus fulfilling his priesthood to pass the sins of the world. This duty of John the Baptist was set by God.
When we examine the lineage of John the Baptist, as seen in 1 Chronicles 24:10, we can see that the number of the High Priests, the descendants of Aaron, increased. Because of this, King David set an order by which they were to minister according to their divisions. Among these divisions, the division of “Abijah” was the eighth one allotted. Referring to John’s father Zacharias, Luke 1:9 says, “According to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.” This testifies that Zacharias, John’s father, was a priest who was born from the house of Abijah the High Priest. We can therefore see that John the Baptist was God’s servant who had the duty to pass the sins of the world to Jesus through baptism.
That Jesus took upon the sins of the world through the baptism that He received from John the Baptist is shown in various places in the Bible. Also in the Scriptures, the Apostles confessed in several places that Jesus took upon their sins through His baptism. Paul testified in Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ,” and the Apostle Peter also testified in 1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
The Apostle John also testified in 1 John 5:5-8, “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.”“Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.” Matthew also bore witness in Matthew 3:13-17, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
Matthew 3:13-17 makes it clear that all righteousness was fulfilled as John the Baptist passed all the sins of everyone in the world to Jesus by baptizing Him. Here, all righteousness refers to the righteousness of God that took all of everyone’s sins. Jesus could shoulder the sins of the world and carry them to the Cross because He was baptized. It is written, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Indeed, God the Father Himself bore witness of all these things: “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:16-17). By being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus accepted all the sins of the world once for all, shouldered these sins, carried them to the Cross, shed His blood and died, and rose from the dead on the third day. He now sits at the right hand of the throne of God, giving the blessing of the remission of sins to all those who have the faith that enables them to be baptized into Christ, and using them as His workers who preach the gospel of the righteousness of God.
Even though the Holy Spirit testifies that the One to whom all the sins of the world were imputed is the Savior Jesus, people have failed to understand Him properly. As their spiritual eyes are not opened, they cannot see that the Lord shouldered the sins of the world by being baptized. They think that even without the baptism given by John the Baptist, it was okay for Jesus to do the work of salvation by Himself, and that He actually did so. However, Aaron the High Priest had freed the people of Israel from their yearly sins by passing these sins to the scapegoat through the laying on of his hands and by putting it to death according to the sacrificial system set by God in the Old Testament; likewise, since Jesus Himself came to this earth as the Lamb of God, He absolutely needed John the Baptist, a descendant of Aaron and the representative of mankind who would pass all the sins of this world to Him. Therefore, Jesus carried out the work of salvation that fulfilled the righteousness of God together with John the Baptist according to the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.
The sacrificial animal of the Old Testament accepted and died for only personal sins within a given period of time, but Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came as the sacrificial offering of the New Testament, had to accept all the timeless sins of mankind through John the Baptist, and be crucified to pay off the price of these sins. That is why the Bible says that we who were baptized into Christ were buried with Him.
After Jesus was baptized, John the Baptist bore witness of Him, saying, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Without the testimony of John the Baptist, we cannot believe in the righteousness of God fulfilled by Jesus Christ. So, referring to John the Baptist, John 1:7 states, “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.”
John the Baptist, the last prophet of the Old Testament, testified that Jesus took away the sins of the world as written in John 1:29, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus could take away the sins the world precisely because He was baptized by John the Baptist. He then died on the Cross all because He had taken upon the sins of the world through His baptism.
When we say that we were baptized into Christ, it means that we have united with Jesus by faith, by believing that He accepted all our sins when He was baptized by John the Baptist. By the word “unite” here, I mean that our hearts should be united with Jesus by believing in everything that He did when He came to this earth. So we need to realize what it is that Jesus Christ did when He came to this earth, and we need to believe in it. What Jesus did when He came to this earth is this: He was baptized by John the Baptist at the age of 30; He taught His disciples and testified the Truth for three years; He was crucified, and He rose from the dead on the third day. To believe in all these things is to unite with Christ by faith.
That one is “baptized into Christ Jesus” means that he believes in all these things. This implies the belief that his sins were all passed onto Jesus. We must realize here that if we do not know the Truth that allows us to be baptized into Jesus Christ, our faith in Him would be all in vain. How can anyone claim to know Jesus without knowing the baptism that enables us to unite with Christ? Despite this, the sad reality is that even Christians believe in Jesus without knowing this Truth. They are truly ignorant, for Christians throughout the whole world believe in Jesus without even realizing the mystery of the reason why Jesus was baptized.
This Truth had been hidden since the end of the Early Church period until the present age. However, because He loves us, God has now revealed it to us in this age and time. Some people may then ask how this Truth could have been hidden for so long. But how can we say otherwise when this is the fact of the matter? Those who are baptized into Christ by faith become one body with Christ. And they become one with His death, resurrection, and the blessing of new life as well.
Through the Book of Romans, Paul showed what it means to be baptized into Christ. The confession of faith that we make when we are baptized in the name of Jesus is to confess that as Jesus was baptized and died on the Cross for us, He has become our Savior.
It is from the Prophet John the Baptist that everyone in this world obtains the witness to Jesus. John the Baptist bore witness that Jesus accepted all the sins of this world most fittingly and most fairly through the method of baptism. All these things that Jesus did—that is, He came to this earth incarnated in the flesh, justly took upon all the sins of sinners by being baptized by John the Baptist, shed His blood and died on the Cross, and rose from the dead again—were the righteous works of God. From the testimony of John the Baptist, the last prophet of the Old Testament, we came to know Jesus, and by believing in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross, we came to be saved from all our sins. One comes to know and believe in Jesus as his Savior by realizing the true meaning of His baptism and the reason why He shed His blood on the Cross.
 
 
United Faith
 
(Romans 6:4) “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.”
If we have received the remission of our sins by passing the sins of the world and all our sins to Him through His baptism, then we also ought to realize the spiritual truth that we ourselves had died spiritually along with Him. Put differently, it is indispensable to have the faith that passes our sins by believing in the baptism of Jesus, and it is also absolutely necessary to have the belief that we were also crucified to death with Jesus.
If one has passed the sins of the world and all his sins through the baptism of Jesus, then he also needs the belief that he died with Christ. That’s because even for those who have been born again by believing in the righteousness of God, as they try to follow Jesus Christ they still face many problems arising out of complex human relationships that are entangled in this world.
In other words, the world holds back even the believers in the righteousness of God and does not want to let them go, appealing to their human attachments. That is why you need the spiritual faith, that you were baptized with Christ and crucified to death with Him. Only then can you live for the righteousness of God with a new life, because you are then resurrected back to life with Him, which is the third component of your proper faith.
It is absolutely indispensable for anyone who believes in God’s righteousness to have faith in these three things and to understand them profoundly. This is the truth Paul is speaking of here.
 
 
We Must Have the Faith That Unites Us with the Lord
 
We must have the faith that unites our hearts with the baptism of Jesus and His death. It is written, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). So Romans 6:3 says, “As many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death.” This passage means that we believe with the heart that when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, He took upon all our sins once and for all. The Bible says that this is the united faith. And we must believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross after being baptized precisely because He had accepted all our sins through His baptism, and that He was crucified to pay the wages of all those sins. This is the faith that unites us with the baptism of Jesus and His death. It is only in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can have such united faith.
Because of our offense, we could not reach the righteousness of God. But the Lord came to this earth about 2,000 years ago, took upon even more sins than just our own offenses once for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, and as the price for this, He was crucified and shed His blood and died. It’s because the grace that has saved us like this is so great and so powerful that we believe in Jesus, and are united with Him. The Lord blotted out the sins of the world because He took them upon Himself once and for all, and therefore our sins were forever washed away completely through His baptism and blood.
Once we are born, we all commit sin for the rest of our lives. That’s why the Bible says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.” This passage means that faith that is founded on the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross is the faith that is united with Him. We can be united with Christ only when we believe that the baptism of Jesus, who fulfilled the righteousness of God by being baptized by John the Baptist, is the mark of salvation through which He took upon all our sins. Who is the One that obeyed the will of God the Father? It is none other than Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has saved you and me from the sins of the world and death through His baptism. My fellow believers, for you to have the faith that unites you with Jesus Christ, you must believe in the baptism He received from John the Baptist as the baptism that passed your sins, and you must believe that your flesh died with His death. Since the Lord overcame death and lived again, thereby becoming the everlasting Savior for all of us who believe, you must also unite with His resurrection by faith.
The Apostle Paul’s faith was also one that believed that Jesus saved sinners from sin by being baptized and shedding His blood on the Cross. Jesus has become our Savior and He has made those of us who believe in this Truth righteous. Although we cannot say we are righteous when seeing our deeds, because Jesus has blotted out all our sins with His baptism and His blood on the Cross, by faith we have become sinless. We have been remitted from all our sins by believing in the salvation that Jesus has brought to us; that He took upon the sins of the world once for all by being baptized, and that He paid off the wages of these sins by dying on the Cross all at once.
That is why the Apostle Paul spoke about being baptized and dying with Christ in Romans 6. And he also said in Galatians 3, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” My fellow believers, you can unite with the Lord only if you have the faith that knows the Truth. You need to realize just what kind of faith you must have in order to be baptized into Christ to receive new life with Him, and believe accordingly.
Paul asked whether we should continue in sin so that grace may abound, since God has blotted out all our sins, but the answer is no. Of course, everyone actually continues to sin until the day he dies and stands before the Lord. But we sin because we are weak, not to add and enjoy the grace of salvation even more.
 
(Romans 6:5) “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,”
This passage reflects the same faith of Paul that is revealed in Galatians 3:27, where he said, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Jesus Christ came to this earth to save sinners, was baptized by John the Baptist to accept all the sins of the world once for all, and once He accepted them all, He carried them to the Cross and died. By thus crucifying our old selves, He has made it impossible for us to live for this world again. Those who believe in the baptism of the Lord and His shed blood on the Cross believe in His resurrection, and they enjoy everlasting life with Him. It is by believing in the baptism of Christ, His death and resurrection that we become victors united with Jesus.
Have you united with Jesus Christ? If you have united with Jesus Christ, then you would be persecuted together with Him for the righteousness of God and to spread this righteousness. But together with Him, your soul and body will be brought to life and enjoy everlasting life and eternal blessings.
If you truly believe in the righteousness of God, then you should unite with His baptism, with His death, and with His resurrection, all by faith. Realize that only this faith is the faith that truly makes you united with God. May all of your hearts have this faith that unites you with Christ. Hallelujah! By spiritual faith, we can receive the remission of our sins; by spiritual faith, we can die on the Cross; and by true faith, we can be resurrected and become God’s spiritual children.
When Jesus was baptized, He spoke about all of these four spiritual domains. First of all, that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, the representative of mankind, means that He took upon the sins of the world and your sins as well. That Jesus was baptized and submerged into the water implies that for the price of all these sins, He would be condemned—His death, in other words. That after He was baptized He came out of the water—from death, that is—implies His resurrection. Those who believe in all these things together will receive the right to become God’s children. Through this baptism, all these things were implicitly spoken, and faith in this is the faith that is truly united.
Anyone who is baptized into Christ by faith is baptized into His death. Then, the person who can believe in this is united with Christ. Do you believe in God united with Jesus? You must be baptized into the Lord, die to sin united together with the Lord, and receive new life. What does it mean to be baptized into His death? It means that when Jesus was baptized, He fulfilled all righteousness—that is, He took upon everyone’s sins. It is by believing in this that we have been washed from all our sins.
For example, let’s assume that someone you know is heavily in debt, and you feel such a pity for him that you want to pay it off for him. But if you want to do this only in your mind and you do not actually pay off the debt, then the debt is not really paid off. To pay back this debt, you actually have to put into action what is in your mind and make the payment. You have to receive a receipt indicating its payment, and the debtor must actually accept this reality into his heart—only then does he become debt-free.
When the Lord came to this earth to blot out our sins, He did the same thing: Our Lord, too, paid off the wages of all the sins of the world. He took away all our sins, and with His baptism and His blood on the Cross, Jesus paid off all the wage of our sins. Our Lord accepted all our sins, each and every sin that you and I have ever committed since the day we were born and will ever commit until the day we die, whether committed with our hearts or deeds, intentionally or unintentionally. It was to take upon all these sins that Jesus was baptized. Indeed, you have been wholly freed from the debt of sin, for it has been paid off in its entirety by Jesus Christ.
Because Jesus accepted our sins onto His body by being baptized by John the Baptist, He could pay them off by shedding His blood on the Cross. It was fitting for Jesus to be baptized, as He said to John the Baptist, “It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” He took upon all sins, each and every sin of the world.
However, many people are still trying to fit this Truth of the baptism and death of Jesus into the Doctrine of Incremental Sanctification only as a matter of theology. But this kind of faith that is placed in the Doctrine of Incremental Sanctification is not the faith that is united with Jesus Christ. Although people say that Jesus has blotted out all our sins, they see themselves continuing to commit sin, and so they come to rely on the Doctrine of Incremental Sanctification. However, all your sins were blotted out by Jesus in a single instance. To believe in this is the faith that unites with Christ.
Jesus took upon all your sins by being baptized, dying on the Cross, rising from the dead again, and thereby making you whole. It was to blot out your sins that our Lord was baptized; it was to pay off the wages of your sins that He died on the Cross; and it was to give new life to you and me that He rose from the dead again. You must therefore have this kind of faith that is united with the Lord. We must all unite with Him. You must repent and turn around from faith in the Doctrine of Incremental Sanctification and unite with Jesus by placing your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Doctrine of Incremental Sanctification is nothing more than a man-made, religious doctrine.
 
 
We Must Unite with the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
You and I must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit uniting our hearts with it. Why? Because God has saved you and me from our sins, we must therefore unite our hearts with this righteousness of God and believe in it. My fellow believers, you must unite your hearts with the righteous works Christ has done for you. Whoever believes that Jesus took away all his sins is baptized into His baptism. You must have the faith that unites with Jesus, believing that all your sins were also passed onto Jesus when He was baptized.
There is only one Person who can save you from your endless sins. Everyone must know what Jesus Christ did, accept it into his heart, and unite with Him. To believe like this is the proper faith. My fellow believers, you must believe that Jesus blotted out the sins of the world by being baptized and dying, and that He rose from the dead again. You must receive the remission of your sins by believing with the heart united with the Word of God, not reject it in your own thoughts.
You must accept the baptism, death, and resurrection of Christ that He fulfilled for you. Only then can your heart be at peace and your faith can be approved as true faith. To everyone in this world, this Truth of Jesus’ baptism and death is now being preached. So the work of salvation is unfolding all over the world, as countless people are truly reaching their salvation and receiving eternal life by accepting this gospel. Yet even so, those who believe in their own thoughts are unable to unite their hearts with this Truth, saying incredulously, “How can I be sinless when I am committing so many sins out of my weaknesses?” However, it is precisely because you are weak that God has saved you from your many weaknesses; all by sending His only begotten Son, making Him accept all your sins by being baptized, putting Him to death on the Cross, and raising Him from the dead again.
Some people think that there are certain sins that can never be forgiven. One of them is the sin of adultery; whereas all other sins are committed outside of the body, adultery is committed inside the body, and so they think, regard, and believe that this sin cannot be forgiven. However, did Jesus ever say that He did not take away the sin of adultery? Is the sin of adultery then not a sin of this world? In the righteousness of God that fulfilled all righteousness and took away all sins, this sin of adultery is also included. That’s why the woman caught in adultery could receive the remission of sins by believing in Jesus (John 8:11).
However, my fellow believers, there is one sin before God that cannot be forgiven. This is the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, which is the sin of refusing to accept the Lord’s work, and instead blaspheming, standing against, and not believing in the righteousness of God. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the sin that prevents one from receiving the remission of his sins. Anyone who commits this sin cannot have the faith that makes him united with Jesus Christ, and he actually ends up standing against God. The religionists do not have the faith that unites them with Jesus Christ, God Himself. That’s why they are all bound to hell.
 
 
What Must We Then Do to Unite by Faith with His Death?
 
(Romans 6:6) “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.”
We must have the faith that unites us with Jesus Christ so that we would no longer serve this world and the lustful flesh. Paul said here that now that he was dead to this world and no longer belonged to it, he could be a slave to the righteousness of God. Do you have the faith that has partaken of the baptism of Jesus Christ and the Cross? Those who have this faith no longer live as slaves to sin, nor do they live for this world, but they live only for the Kingdom of God.
The faith that Paul is speaking of demands the kind of faith that is united with Jesus Christ. He is admonishing us not to just stop at receiving the remission of our sins by believing in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross, but to reach the kind of faith that allows us to die spiritually on the Cross with Jesus Christ, to work with Him, and to enter into His Kingdom together. This faith is the faith that is united with Christ.
Those who now have united with Christ by faith are no longer slaves to sin or to the people of this world, but they are slaves to the righteousness of God, living their lives to serve His work with His Church. If you would also like to live this kind of life, then you should have the faith that unites you with the baptism of Christ and His death. Then the salvation of God, the glory of death, and even the glory of resurrection will be yours. Such is the faith that Paul spoke of.
Our old selves were crucified with Christ Jesus by faith. This faith is attainable only when we unite our hearts with the righteousness of God. Through the unity of faith, we were crucified with Christ. Paul said, “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 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. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:5-11). In other words, Paul told us to unite with Christ by faith.
Jesus accepted the sins of the world by being baptized and was crucified to shed His blood and die. Our Lord Himself came to this earth, bore all our sins, and died for us in our place. You must all realize this, believe in it, and unite with it by faith. For us who have united with the Word of God, our old selves that had been in sin died by faith. Although we still have the flesh that has not changed much, our flesh actually died together with Jesus when He died on the Cross.
Our old selves had been slaves to sin, but now we have become servants of righteousness by faith. The Apostle Paul told us to “reckon” that our sins had died on the Cross with Christ, and here the word “reckon” means that this is how we should realize, how we should believe, and how we should unite. None other than this faith is the real faith in the Truth.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony” (Hebrews 11:1-2). Our proper faith that pleases God is one that believes with the heart in unity that Jesus came to this earth, took upon all our sins through His baptism, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby given us new life.
If we believe in the righteousness of God revealed in the baptism and blood of Jesus, then we come to unite with Him. Our united faith is one where we pass our sins to Jesus through John the Baptist, die with Jesus on the Cross, live again with Jesus, receive new life from Jesus, and enter the Kingdom of God with Jesus.
This is why the Apostle Paul said that before we met the Lord—that is, before we were baptized into Christ by faith, died through faith with Christ, and received new life into Christ—we were all just slaves to sin. Paul spoke about such old selves, and he also said that such old selves have already died with Christ. 
As the Lord has saved us, who had all been slaves to sin, and as we believe in this, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit God has made us His servants who now follow His will and obey His righteous work. However, we who have become servants of God are sometimes still insufficient and weak. But because of our faith that has united us with the baptism of Jesus Christ and His blood, we still have no sin at all.
That is right. Clearly, our old selves had been wholly slaves to sin, 100 percent. But we have now been 100 percent freed from this slavery to sin, and we have now become slaves to righteousness.
Everyone commits sin. Some people might say to the righteous, “Since you have no sin at all, then I suppose you wouldn’t commit any sin at all either?” But the Bible says, “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). It is because we have united with Jesus Christ that we are righteous. Although we still sin, we are without sin. This is God’s amazing work. God has made us sinless even though we still cannot help but commit sin. This is the omnipotent power of God and His perfect salvation. God has given us the perfect salvation.
Before, we were to reach death as disobedient servants, but now we have reached righteousness as obedient servants. Even after receiving the remission of our sins, our flesh still remains insufficient and we commit sin, but despite this, through our united faith we have become the servants of righteousness, doing what is right. Having received the remission of our sins, in other words, we are now at least qualified to do what is right, becoming someone who does the right thing. Even though we are still insufficient, we are now capable of doing the right thing if we would only devote our hearts to it even slightly.
Therefore, we should not offer our bodies to unrighteousness, but we should now offer our remaining lives to what is right and bear the fruits of righteousness. Our Lord has permitted us to bear abundant fruits of righteousness. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of our God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus.
Jesus Christ came to this earth as the King, the Priest and the Prophet, and to take upon all our sins as the High Priest of Heaven, He offered His body as the sacrificial offering. Jesus, who became our propitiation, was baptized for us, died for us on the Cross, and has thereby saved you and me. With the Word, Jesus Christ has awakened us to know and realize what life is, what man is, what the beginning and the end of the world are, and what the origin and result of sin are. Jesus Christ is fundamentally the God of creation, the King of kings and the Judge. The gift of God that is found in this Christ is everlasting life for us.
That’s right. By faith we have received eternal life and become the servants of righteousness. We must therefore unite by faith and live as the servants of righteousness. For those who have received the remission of their sins and become righteous, they at least have the faith that has united their hearts with the baptism of Jesus, enabled them to die united together with His death, and brought new life to them united together with His resurrection. Anyone who has become a righteous person by this faith is at least a servant of righteousness; someone who lives the life of righteousness doing what is right. In other words, by uniting with Jesus Christ and believing in Him, we have become those who are to receive everlasting life at the end. However, those whose end is hell cannot unite their hearts with what Jesus did for them, and therefore they still have sin. Like this, anyone who fails to be born again as a righteous person will bear the punishment of hell as the price of his sins.
The faith that is ignorant of God’s righteousness is not the faith that is united with Christ. Paul said that the gift of God is eternal life in our Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ, there is remission of sins and everlasting life. We can also do what is right as the servants of righteousness. However, if we do not believe that Jesus Christ has saved us, and we do not unite our hearts with Him, then we will all be cast into hell, for the wages of sin is death. That is why the Apostle Paul said that we must offer our bodies to God as the instruments of righteousness.
As such, having faith in both the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross is extremely important. We must not take Jesus’ baptism lightly. If Christians were to believe in Jesus leaving His baptism out, then all their hearts would be bound by sin. They may profess to believe in Jesus everyday, but they will still remain as sinners always.
Christians all over the world now believe in the Doctrine of Incremental Sanctification rather than the righteousness of God. As a result, even the believers in Jesus are living bound by sin together with the unbelievers. They must believe in the righteousness of God as soon as possible and be freed from all their sins. We should thank God for the fact that He has saved those who believe in His righteousness from sin and made it possible for them to live as the instruments of righteousness and its servants. God also said that the wages of sin is death, and that anyone who has even the smallest of all sins would be cast into hell. But He has blotted out all our sins, leaving absolutely none behind. We should all thank the Lord for saving us like this, who had all been destined to hell, for turning us into the army of righteousness, and for giving us everlasting life.
Although our flesh is insufficient, those of us who believe in this gospel are servants of righteousness. Even as we go astray because of our insufficiencies, if we turn around and serve God’s gospel, then we immediately regain our glorious status as the servants of righteousness. Since Jesus has blotted out all our sins, we can always live as the servants of righteousness. Because we are the servants of righteousness, our hearts are joyful when we do righteous works and gloomy when we fail to do them. If our purpose is in line with God’s purpose, and if we set our hearts on this purpose, then our hearts are joyful. If, on the other hand, we pursue our own lusts, then our hearts are troubled and tormented. Why? Because we are servants of righteousness. You must believe in the Lord and unite with Him.
I cannot thank God enough. It is written, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Literally, the wages of sin—that is, the price of sin—is death. If one has sin, he must die for its price. Spiritually speaking, anyone who has sin is to be cast into hell.
“So I am then bound to hell. No matter how others might see me, whether they see me as decent and deem my faith as good, since I have sin in my heart, I am still bound to hell.” When you saw yourself accurately like this, as someone who was bound to hell because of the sins in your heart, you could then believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and be saved from all your sins by faith.
My fellow believers, the righteousness of man may be approved by human beings, but it cannot be approved by God. Through the righteousness of man one cannot meet God, nor can he enter into Christ. Therefore, one must examine himself carefully before God, turn around from his religious faith, believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the righteousness of God, and thereby be wholly saved from his sins.
My fellow believers, you must believe in God united together with the baptism of Jesus Christ, His death of the Cross, and His resurrection, which constitute God’s righteousness. You may have a bowlful of salt in the kitchen cabinet, but if you don’t actually put it on your food, it does not taste salty at all. Likewise, even though God’s perfection salvation is all prepared for you, if you do not take it into your heart, it is useless for you. Only when you accept the Word of God into your heart and believe in it wholeheartedly does salvation becomes yours. Then the Holy Spirit comes into your heart, there is everlasting life for you, and you become a servant of righteousness. If you otherwise do not believe and do not accept it into your heart, then the Word of God is irrelevant to you without any benefit at all.
What I am truly thankful to God for is the fact that I have become a servant who has united with Jesus by believing in His baptism and blood. Before I came into the Lord, I could not become a servant of righteousness no matter how much I wanted to, because I did not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit despite professing to believe in the Lord. At all times, I had been only a slave to sin.
However, now I have become a servant of righteousness. Have you also become a servant of righteousness? Even though you and I are insufficient, if we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then we are always servants of righteousness. Having obtained the righteousness of the Kingdom of Heaven, we are now the servants of God’s righteousness at all times. Although we are insufficient in our flesh, we have become servants of righteousness who know the will of God and who are capable of doing what is right at anytime. We live the kind of life that’s united with God’s will. We do what God has entrusted to us with thanksgiving, and we are always living as servants of righteousness.
You and I are servants of righteousness. We cannot become slaves to sin. As the Apostle Paul specifically explained in Romans, we had been slaves to sin before, but we have now become slaves to righteousness.
By believing in Christ united with His baptism and blood, we have become servants of righteousness. Our character may have flaws, but we are still servants of righteousness. We may be lazy, but we are still servants of righteousness; and we may be insufficient and make countless mistakes, but we are still servants of righteousness always, for we believe in this Truth. The heavens may split in two, this earth may break into a thousand pieces, the oceans may rise up to cover the earth, and this planet may all disappear; but we are still servants of the righteousness of God forever. We will live as the servants of righteousness and enter the everlasting Kingdom that God has prepared for us.
My fellow believers, are you struggling to live as the servants of righteousness in this treacherous world? Ask God for help then. God said that even as we are in trials, He would provide us with a way out. Stop worrying and ask for His help. God already knows everything. God has called those whom He already knew, justified those whom He called, glorified those whom He justified, and is always in union with us. Having raised us as His servants of righteousness, and made us do His righteous work and have the faith that is truly united with Him, God will take us to the Kingdom of righteousness in His time. I give thanks and glory to Him.
 
(Romans 6:7) “For he who has died has been freed from sin.”
Anyone who believes in the righteousness of God absolutely needs the faith of spiritual death where he himself was also crucified with Jesus Christ. Only when one has the experience of faith to be crucified with Christ can he offer himself to God’s righteous works while living in this world. If you have the spiritual faith of being crucified with Christ, then you can live as servants of God’s righteousness like Paul.
Before, when I found it hard to dedicate my entire life to God’s work, and unable to cut myself off from this world, I had a moment of reflection. At that time, I realized that Jesus Christ took upon my sins by being baptized, and that when He died on the Cross, I had died there also. I was awakened to the realization that because Jesus Christ died on the Cross for taking upon the sins of the world through His baptism, His death was my death. I then came to the inevitable conclusion: “When Jesus Christ was crucified, He died while shouldering my sins at that time. So doesn’t this then mean that I was crucified also? How could I, who was already crucified, say that I am alive?” So because I had died at that time, I could then dedicate myself entirely only to God’s righteous works, no longer concerned about my relationship with the people of this world. What Paul spoke about here is this faith.
 
 
United Together with Him
 
(Romans 6:8) “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,”
The Apostle Paul said that only those who died with Christ by believing in Him will live with Him. That’s right. Whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit where the righteousness of God is revealed will receive the remission of his sins, and he will also be crucified with Jesus. However, the problem is that we think we are still alive, when in fact we were crucified to death with Christ. All of us must be remitted from all our sins through Christ, be crucified with Christ, and have the faith of hope that we will live with Christ.
We need such faith of hope because God has decided that those of us who believe in His righteousness would take part in the first resurrection with Him on the last day. Therefore, we must have the faith that will enable us to obtain our resurrection when the time of the Millennial Kingdom comes, and to reign for a thousand years as God’s children.
We must also believe that when the Millennial Kingdom is over, we will then enter the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven and live there forever. That is because Jesus Christ, having been baptized, died on the Cross, and risen from the dead again, went to the Kingdom of the Father. Therefore, we the believers in the righteousness of God also believe that just as He rose from the dead again to live forever, we, too, will live again. Since we believe in the first resurrection, it is clear that we would live again. Do you have such faith? God has given such faith and such blessings to the righteous.
 
(Romans 6:9) “Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.”
Death no longer has dominion over the believers in the righteousness of God, and the reason for this is because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead to live again. To become someone who is no longer ruled by death is precisely to become a true Christian. So we are reminded once again what a great joy and blessing this is. Death can no longer have dominion over the saints. That is why the saints are to live forever. We are then led to wonder, “What would the saints do then, and what would they enjoy in their eternal lives?” God said that the saints would live for eternity enjoying splendid glory with Him.
Perhaps one may think that not to die is a tragedy. Only someone who still has not been freed from sin would have this kind of thought. In contrast, the believers who have received the remission of sins by believing in God’s righteousness are happy, for all their sadness and curses have disappeared, and there are only everlasting joy and blessings for them. Death can no longer have dominion over the righteous ever again precisely because the righteous have attained eternal life by believing in the righteousness of God. Death is now forever incapable of ruling over the righteous. That’s because God has made it so.
 
(Romans 6:10) “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.”
Jesus’ death on the Cross was effective because He had taken upon the sins of the world once for all through His baptism. Jesus Christ came to this earth to blot out the sins of all humanity. He died because of the sins of the world, and His death was a death suffered for all human beings. Yet despite this, there are not many people who believe that His baptism and death are actually their blessings. His resurrection was to bring all human beings back to life from death. This Truth, however, is also known by only a few.
To save us from death, Jesus Christ was not only baptized, but He was also crucified and rose from the dead again. As such, His death was the Truth of everlasting love that He fulfilled before God the Father in order to save you and me.
 
(Romans 6:11) “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The phrase “reckon yourselves” here means that we should believe and consider this. We are dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ. In other words, we are dead to this world, but in God we have been brought back to life. That is why the Apostle Paul is admonishing the saints to live with living faith.
Romans 6:10-11 states, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” When Paul said here to “reckon” ourselves, he was not talking about the Doctrine of Justification. He was telling us to believe that we have become righteous in God’s righteousness. In other words, Paul was saying that we have been brought to life by believing in the righteousness of God.
“Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now, therefore, we who believe in this Truth have also attained eternal life by believing that Jesus Christ bore all our sins when He was baptized, that we died with Him when He died on the Cross, and that we were born again as God’s children when He was resurrected. It is by believing this with the heart that we have been saved from all our sins.
You must know exactly how Jesus Christ has saved you from your sins and believe in it. Jesus has saved you from all your sins by accepting them through His baptism and by being condemned for them on the Cross. Therefore, you actually died with Jesus Christ and were brought to life with Him. The phrase “reckon yourselves” here means that we should believe, “Our old selves died and we were brought back to life again in Jesus Christ.” By saying, “Reckon yourselves,” Paul is admonishing you to have this faith.
Those who have been saved from sin by believing in the righteousness of God no longer live for their own flesh. They now live for this righteousness of God. As such, the biggest reason why God has made us live on this earth is to expand His Kingdom through us, the born-again. If we have truly been born again from sin by believing in the baptism and blood of Jesus, then we should have the right faith, realize how we ought to live and for what purpose God has left us on this earth, and live the rest of our lives according to His will. For what should we the born-again live from now on? We must live with a clear purpose for the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The carnal thoughts of man are all wicked. However, for the born-again there is the guidance of the Holy Spirit. “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). The righteous know how to be spiritually minded. Since the righteous know what pleases God, they must clearly set the direction of their lives toward the life of righteousness. Only then can they live for God’s righteousness for the rest of their lives and deliver the souls that have fallen into sin.
My fellow believers, we need to think carefully here. After being born again, we at first may not easily discern how we should live. But as we hear the Word and are led by the Holy Spirit, we gradually begin to think about the spiritual, righteous work of God. As we ponder, “What will happen if I live like this? What is my purpose for life, and what should I live for?” we eventually come to realize clearly that we must live for the righteousness of God. We must know and realize what it is that pleases God, make it our goal, and run toward this goal without losing its sight.
We, the born-again, can follow our flesh or follow the Holy Spirit. We may do either. If a sailing boat does not have a rudder, it can only go in whatever direction the wind blows. However, if the boat has a sail and it has a rudder at the stern to steer it, although this boat is propelled by the force of the wind, the rudder can set its direction.
Like this, it is only when we entrust our thoughts and faith to the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we can move forth in the right direction. We must think about God’s work and ignore our carnal thoughts. We must discern the will of God and advance boldly by faith toward the lost souls of this world for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. Only then can we live out our faith until the end of our lives as the servants of righteousness.
 
 
Offer Your Bodies as Instruments of Righteousness to God
 
(Romans 6:12-13) “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
The bodies and hearts of the saints have now been enabled to practice the righteousness of God. As such, they are someone who is capable of living for God’s righteousness. This passage reveals just how completely blessed the saints have become.
Since the righteous are now able to live their lives practicing the righteousness of God, they are the most blessed ones among all human beings. Think about it. People cannot avoid committing sin and live under its oppression; yet they have now been enabled and blessed to practice the righteousness of God. Do you not see what a great blessing this is? We who believe in the righteousness of God have now been blessed to live our lives practicing righteousness before God. I thank God for this. I give Him glory. I give all my thanks to Him for blessing us to live righteously.
In chapter 6, the Apostle Paul clarified how the righteous should now live their lives by referring to the Word of Jesus’ baptism. It is by believing in the baptism of Jesus, His blood on the Cross, and His resurrection that we have become perfectly righteous people. If we had believed in Jesus without the gospel of His baptism and of His blood on the Cross for us to be saved from our sins, could we have obtained the righteousness of God? Jesus Christ was baptized and died on the Cross for us. But if He had not taken upon all the sins of the world when He was baptized by John the Baptist, then His death on the Cross and our faith in it would all have been in vain. Only those who believe that the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus because He was baptized by John the Baptist can come to have the righteousness of God. God has surely clothed all the believing souls in His righteousness.
It is written, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1) While we who are still living in the flesh have attained the righteousness of God, we cannot continue in sin so that the grace of God may abound. The Bible says, “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” My fellow believers, the Bible clearly states that we were baptized into His death. In other words, because Jesus Christ was baptized and crucified, anyone who believes in this is dead to sin, but he is now alive to righteousness. This is possible only by faith.
The Lord accepted the sins of the world through His baptism and He died on the Cross instead of sinners. Our Lord is fundamentally sinless from His origin. Yet Jesus still shouldered all the sins of the world through His baptism to save sinners from these sins, and for them He shed His blood and was condemned on the Cross. Do you believe in this, my fellow believers? Do you believe that the sinless Lord was baptized to take upon all the sins of the world, including your personal sins, and was condemned on the Cross for you? It was for all of us that Jesus Christ was baptized and condemned. It is written, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death.” Those who believe in Christ as their Savior were baptized into Jesus and were resurrected together with Him.
The Apostles placed extraordinary emphasis on the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross. They preached Jesus’ baptism and blood as the remission of sins. That the Apostles emphasized Jesus’ baptism in their preaching is not biblically unsound. The people of Israel in the Old Testament were remitted from their sins by laying their hands on the head of their sin offerings and passing their sins onto them. In the same manner, Jesus also accepted all the sinners’ trespasses and sins once for all through His baptism, and He died in their place for them.
Jesus was our propitiation that atoned for all the sins of the world once and for all. He was baptized by John the Baptist to be the Scapegoat for all mankind. Like the Old Testament’s sacrificial offering of atonement, Jesus accepted all the sins of mankind by receiving His baptism from John the Baptist. The baptism of Jesus was our baptism. The death of Jesus was the death of the believers. We who believe in Jesus were baptized into Jesus Christ and died on the Cross together with Him.
However, anyone who is not baptized into Jesus by faith—that is, anyone who does not believe in His baptism—is not someone who has been wholly saved. Such a faithless person cannot deny himself, nor can he overcome the world by faith. Only those who believe that the baptism of Jesus is absolutely essential for their salvation believe that they themselves have died in this baptism of Jesus. Only those who believe in Jesus’ baptism believe that all the sins of mankind were passed onto Him through His baptism, and only those people can be saved from any and all sins by faith.
At the core of salvation that remits away our sins is faith in the baptism Jesus received. No matter how Jesus died on the Cross, if He had not taken upon all the sins of the sinners of this world through His baptism beforehand, then His death would have been in vain. As such, the crux of the righteousness of God lies in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross. My fellow believers, all of us must believe that all our sins were passed onto Jesus when He was baptized, and we must also believe that He was crucified to die for our sins.
That is why the Apostle Paul said, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death.” We who were baptized into Christ Jesus have received the remission of our sins by faith, died with Him, and have been brought back to life together with Him by faith. My fellow believers, to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and God Himself, to believe in His baptism and His blood on the Cross, and to believe in His resurrection from death—this is the giant faith founded on the rock.
Paul said, “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. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:4-5). What about you then? Do you also believe in this? The faith that can unite us together with God is the faith that is placed in the baptism of Jesus, His death on the Cross, and the newness of life of His resurrection.
Now, whoever believes in Jesus Christ died with Him and was resurrected with Him by believing in His baptism. My fellow believers, the born-again do not live according to their old ways. The reason why we must deny all our old ways is because our old selves have died. The Apostle Paul says, “Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). By believing in the righteousness of God, we have become new. Our Lord was baptized in the Jordan River to take upon Himself our sins, He shed His blood and died on the Cross, He rose from the dead again, and He has thereby saved us from all our sins. All our tragedies of life and all our injuries and sadness inflicted by sin have disappeared now, and having received new life by faith, we have now come to live new lives. Salvation is the beginning of a new life. You and I who have been saved and born again are to live new lives from now on.
Once we receive the remission of our sins, the difficult, bitter task of denying ourselves invariably awaits all of us. It is at that time we must believe that we had died with Christ and were brought to life with Him. As Paul said, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:10-11).
This is the faith that is united with Jesus. Of the things that the Lord did for us, it is by believing in His baptism, in the Cross, and in His resurrection that we can unite with Him. We believe in our Lord’s birth, baptism, death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming. Faith in this Truth is the faith that saves us from all our sins, the faith that enables us to escape from condemnation, and the faith that is placed in the righteousness of God. This then, is the faith that is united with Christ.
 
 
Offer Your Body as an Instrument of Righteousness
 
(Romans 6:14) “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
No sin whatsoever can reign over the believers in the righteousness of God. That’s because the believers in God’s righteousness are no longer placed under His Law. That they are not under the wrath of the Law of God is because they are now under God’s righteous law of salvation. For the believers in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, sin cannot have dominion over them. This is why we can all live in the righteousness of God practicing it at all times.
On the face of this planet, those who can live practicing the righteousness of God are only the righteous people who believe in it. So the saints are the truly noble ones on this earth. That’s because they have faith in the gospel Word of the righteousness of God. They are the ones who will reign in the Millennial Kingdom, and they are the ones who will live with God in His eternal Kingdom. I thank God for giving His righteousness to those living on this earth. From now on, the saints will live forever practicing righteousness. I thank the Lord for giving us such a righteous life.
Verse 14 says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” This passage tells us that no matter what flaws we might have, we will never be under sin again. Since we are still in the flesh, many insufficiencies will continue to be exposed as we live on in this world. But for us who have come under grace by believing in God’s righteousness, there can be no sin in our hearts. Because of the baptism of the Lord and His condemnation of blood on the Cross, we can never revert back to being sinners ever again.
All of us are still insufficient. That is we sin, but this sin can never have dominion over us again. So that sin may no longer reign over us no matter what insufficiencies we might have, our Lord took upon all the sins of the world by being baptized, cleansed us from all our sins once for all by shedding His blood, and with this Truth He has made us sinless. Jesus has paid off the wages of our sins with His baptism and His blood on the Cross. Because our Lord has already paid off the wages of our sins with His baptism and His blood on the Cross, all who believe in this are clearly without sin.
Even the saints who have received the remission of sins cannot help but continue to commit sin everyday because of their insufficiencies. In faith, however, sin cannot have dominion over them, and moreover there is actually no sin in their hearts before the Lord. Therefore, they can always live in newness of life. The Lord has blessed the righteous to live renewed everyday. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!”
 
(Romans 6:15) “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!”
Paul says here that even those who are capable of practicing the righteousness of God still need their own determination not to sin. Although God has blessed the righteous to practice righteousness, they can still commit sin if they intentionally want to sin. So we can see that even those who have been blessed to practice righteousness in their lives must still be able to control themselves.
 
(Romans 6:16) “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”
Once one becomes a righteous person, he is forever righteous. Therefore, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit may be described as someone who believes in the righteousness of God before Him. Anyone who believes in this gospel is saved from all sins. However, this is not all that there is to the spiritual life. Even if one has become righteous by faith, every time he serves to spread God’s righteousness he becomes a slave to righteousness. But if he otherwise fails to do so he becomes a slave of sin. We can become either servants of righteousness or slaves of sin. So depending on whether or not we obey the will of God, we either live as the servants of righteousness or fail to do so. In other words, it tells us that in each and every moment in our lives, we sometimes live as the slaves of sin, and other times as the servants of righteousness. This is what the passage means.
 
(Romans 6:17-18) “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”
By nature, the believers in the righteousness of God had also lived as the slaves of sin. But once they believed in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, they were made righteous and were freed from their sins. For anyone to be freed from the sins of the world by himself is actually more difficult than to harvest the stars in the sky. But since people think that they can somehow harvest the stars in the sky with their own devotion, they are trying so hard to blot out their sins by devoting themselves to lead pious religious lives.
However, no religion in this world whatsoever can ever blot out the sins of the world. Even Christianity is taken and believed by many as no more than one of the many religions of the world. But with this kind of religious faith, even Christians cannot blot out their sins at all. Only the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God can and has indeed blotted out the sins of the world. Therefore, only the believers in the righteousness of God can serve it, because only they are qualified to serve this righteousness. This is the gift of God that has come to the believers thanks to His righteousness. Those who have been made righteous have become servants who serve the righteousness of God. They have received the privileged blessing to live as the servants of righteousness for the rest of their lives, if they only so desire. So we are thankful to God.
“God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin.” By nature, we, too, had been slaves of sin. Before we received the remission of our sins, we were all experts at committing all kinds of sins. “God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.” Indeed, we who have become righteous by faith are the free people who can now do what is righteous, completely liberated from sin and capable of practicing righteousness. As the righteous, we have become slaves to righteousness who can practice God’s righteousness.
 
(Romans 6:19) “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”
Depending on where you offer your bodies, you either become slaves of righteousness or slaves of sin. Therefore, we must offer our hearts and bodies to the righteousness of God and live holy lives for our remaining lifetime. Where do we want do offer our bodies? Do we want to offer our bodies to God’s righteous work, or do we want to offer them to uncleanness and lawlessness? This free choice is up to each and every one of us who believe in God’s righteousness. So Paul is admonishing us to set our hearts wisely.
Do you want to live as a righteous servant before God for the rest of your lifetime? Then do so. Have you still not made up your mind? Then you will end up turning into a slave of sin. May the peace of the righteousness of God be with you.
 
(Romans 6:20) “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.”
This passage tells us that although the righteous that are living as slaves of sin are free to serve the righteousness of God, because they offered themselves to sin, they became slaves of sin. Here, we need to pay particular attention to the word “free.” The righteous are free to do whatever and serve whomever they wish. But it is proper for them to be bound to serve the righteousness of God. The saints and servants of God who are not bound by His righteous work are prone to degenerate into dissolute lives and may very well become slaves of sin. Therefore, given that we are free to do what is right, we should not squander this freedom to debauchery. Instead, we should be bound by what is right and remain slaves to righteousness for the rest of our lives. This is what Paul is trying to tell us here.
 
(Romans 6:21) “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.”
The consequences of sin are completely devoid of any benefit. Paul is admonishing us here to cast aside the lifestyle that we had led before we were born again, and to now live bound by God’s righteous works. The righteous must live bound by the righteous work of God. For the righteous to try to escape from the bondage of righteous work is akin to trying to serve sin.
 
(Romans 6:22) “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”
The righteous who live all their lives bound by righteous work are given the righteous title and honor as God’s servants, and have eternal life. The righteous must live bound by righteous work. If one lives bound by righteous work, then he has been blessed to live a holy life. Do not reject this life of privilege. On the contrary, you should be thankful that you are bound for righteousness. That is Paul’s desire for you and God’s Word of admonishment. Do you volunteer to be bound by God’s righteous work?
My fellow believers, once we receive the remission of sins, what should we then do with our bodies? How are our bodies? There is no sin in our hearts, but our bodies often fall into sin, for they are fundamentally weak. Therefore, only when we offer our bodies to the righteous work of God can we avoid continuing in sin.
My fellow believers, after being saved by believing in the righteousness of God, there might be times when you think, “Am I really sinless, even as my body is this weak?” However, it is beyond any doubt whatsoever that anyone who believes in the Lord’s baptism, the Cross, resurrection, return and judgment has no sin. All who believe in the righteousness of God are without sin.
Once we receive the remission of our sins by believing in God’s righteousness, we must offer ourselves as instruments of righteousness. Our hearts desire to do what is right, but it’s also true that this is difficult for us to do, for our bodies are too weak. Therefore, as the Bible says, “But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7), we need to exercise ourselves.
We have to continue to try to spread the gospel, precisely because it’s hard to achieve it all at once. You may wonder, “Should I hand out gospel pamphlets to people? Wouldn’t I be embarrassed if I meet someone I know?” It may be embarrassing at first, but when you muster up enough courage to do it once, and continue to do it several times, then eventually you will come to think, “What does it matter, now that I am already dead?” And you will be able to shout out boldly, “Receive this gospel pamphlet! See and believe in the gospel and receive the remission of your sins!” My fellow believers, as you offer your bodies to the work of righteousness step by step, gradually your entire bodies will be offered to the righteous work of God.
As Paul admonished us in Romans chapter 6 to present our members as slaves of righteousness for holiness, we need to train our bodies as instruments of righteousness as often as possible. Even if our flesh makes mistakes while doing the work of righteousness, we shouldn’t stumble or despair, but we should instead continue to carry out the work. Attending God’s Church is the same: You can discover the spiritual joy of coming to Church and hearing the Word only if you actually come to Church as often as possible. If only your heart is in the Church and your body is sitting at home, then nothing can be accomplished. In contrast, once you offer your flesh to righteous work and continue to do so even if you think you are not good at spiritual work, you will eventually see faith growing stronger in your heart. My fellow believers, you must offer your bodies as slaves of righteousness. Do you realize this now? If your heart desires to unite with Christ, and yet your body is somewhere else, then without meaning to, you may very well turn into God’s enemy and stand against Him.
The believers in the righteousness of God must discipline their bodies. That is why the Apostle Paul told us to obey God’s righteousness. It is when we are led and reined by the righteousness of God that we are used as instruments of righteousness. Even for the righteous who have received the remission of sins, if they are not reigned by righteousness in their lives, then they are bound to claim their bodies as their own and follow the lusts of the flesh. That is why the Bible tells us to offer our bodies in obedience to the Lord as instruments of the righteousness of God.
To be saved by faith takes only a moment’s decision, but to follow the righteousness of God is our lifework. Depending on where we place our bodies, our lives may change. When we offer our bodies to righteous works, our hearts and bodies are always clean. Soon after being saved from our sins, we are not quite sure how we should live; but we must live centered around God’s Church that serves God’s righteousness.
The Bible calls the Church as an inn (Luke 10:34). The Church is a spiritual inn where the saints drink spiritual water and eat spiritual food and have fellowship with each other. As the people of this world talk over a drink in an inn and share their friendship, the Church is the same. Since it is in the Church where we have fellowship with each other, promote friendship, and share our hearts, we need to gather together at the Church. If one comes to the Church often, he becomes a spiritual person. But those who do not come to the Church often cannot become workers of righteousness, no matter how good their faith might be and how much grace they might have received. Those who come to the Church as often as possible can become workers of righteousness no matter how insufficient they might be, for the power of the Word is with them. This is the spiritual life that we must live after receiving the remission of our sins.
After believing in the righteousness of God, whatever we do, we must think about the Word, follow the Word, do not cease to gather together, and adjust our lives around the gatherings of the saints. Your life of faith will not fail then, but succeed instead. Such people will be used by the Lord as His precious instruments and they will enjoy His blessings. I admonish you all to offer your body to the Lord as an instrument of righteousness.
 
 
The Wages of Sin and the Gift of God
 
(Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What the Apostle Paul said here, that “the wages of sin is death,” is the Truth that summarizes all the Law and the justice of God. If anyone has sin before God, then he must pay its price, which is spiritual death called hell. This is why everyone must be remitted from all his sins by believing in the true Word of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God; and everyone must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. If one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, he will be remitted from all his sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So I admonish you all to believe in this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit and receive the remission of sins and new life that Jesus has given you. This is the Truth that Paul is speaking of. This is also the will of God, and it is also my sincere hope for all of you.
With one single sentence, “The wages of sin is death,” Paul made it clear that if anyone has even the slightest sin in any shape or form, then he is bound to hell. Paul concluded that “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Simply put, Paul declared that if we believe in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross, we will be remitted from all our sins, and as a result we will become God’s children and receive eternal life.
It does not matter whether you now believe in Jesus or not. What matters is this: Do you now have sin before God? If you have sin even though you believe in Jesus, then you are a sinner, and since all sinners will be cast into hell, called spiritual death, you must turn around, believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and be remitted from all your sins. In doing so you must attain the righteousness of God. This righteousness of God can be attained only by those who are remitted from all their sins.
Do you truly know the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Do you really believe in this gospel before God? If not, then learn and believe in it now. The righteousness of God will then be yours.
 
 
The Wages of Sin Is Death
 
If we consider “death” and “eternal life” in contrast to each other, as the Apostle Paul explained in this verse, then we come to think about our souls that lie beyond death. My fellow believers, the wages of all the sins committed by everyone is death. So we must consider carefully here whether or not our souls are truly without sin. If our souls have any sin at all, even as small as dirt, then our souls will be cast into hell. Regardless of whether we believe in Jesus or not, and whether our faith in Him is strong or weak, if we have sin, then we are inevitably bound to hell. This is not just man’s own words, but it is the judgment according to the Law of God, and it is the Truth.
Before, I used to adhere to the Calvinist beliefs of the Presbyterian Church. I used to think that the Calvinist faith was “the faith that went where the Word went and stopped where the Word stopped.” By the time a decade had passed since first believing in Jesus, I was attending a theological seminary. But by then I was also having serious doubts about my faith. One day, I came to reflect on my faith before God, asking myself, “Am I a sinner before God, or am I a righteous man?” My answer to this question was that there was sin in my heart. This presence of sin brought the greatest shock to my life, and the sins that remained in my heart did not disappear no matter how much I devoted myself to offering prayers of repentance.
I had believed that I was remitted from all my sins through the precious blood of Jesus. But even the smallest sin in my heart that I myself could not tolerate was eating up my soul and suffocating me. This sin had never left me but followed me around everywhere. Even as I tried to pray, this sin blocked me from God, preventing me from having communion with God through prayer. After this, I realized that the Word declaring “the wages of sin to be death” was the never-changing Truth. At that time, I finally realized that the sins in my hearts would lead me to fall into hell, and when I believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I could at last be freed from all these sins.
It is in this faith placed in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is received. My fellow believers, if you know the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it, then you will surely taste the true fountain of God’s eternal life.
What Paul said in Romans chapter 6 is that if we have indeed been delivered from sin by Jesus Christ and put on the gift of God, then we should offer our bodies as instruments of His righteousness. It is only proper to do so, if you have indeed been baptized into Christ and truly believe in His righteousness.