by Christopher Harbin

This content is part of a series.

Joined with Christ (8 of 52)
Series: Discipleship Part 2
Christopher B. Harbin

Romans 6:3-14

Many generations ago, Confucius spoke to the need to define our terms. He was a Chinese ruler and philosopher to whom many sayings have been attributed across the centuries. This saying, was of great importance if for nothing else that the Chinese language and people as we know them were in effect a conglomeration of a thousand languages and peoples. Across the cultural and social milieu, words were ripe with disparate meanings from one culture to the next. Communication across social and cultural divides called for close scrutiny of what one meant by the words one chose. Confucius was wise enough to recognize that we do not always mean the same thing with the same word, and therefore we need to take the time to define our meanings in order to communicate effectively.

We sometimes get hung up on terminology in a way that abuses the use of those terms. When it comes to the Bible, the problem is greater, as we give special ritual or sacramental value to certain terms, even or especially ones we don't actually understand. One of these words that has become sorely abused and misused is the term baptism. We have a problem with it because it is the term we use for a specific rite of the church. Then again, it has a basic meaning of immersing something or someone in water. On the other hand, it can also mean to join one thing to another or our lives with that of Christ.

That is what we find here in Romans 6 when Paul uses the term. The whole passage details that we are joined with Christ Jesus through baptism. He then goes on to expound upon that. It is in our being joined with Christ in his death that we are also joined in his resurrection from the dead. Then end result is that the entire scope of our living is to be joined with Christ Jesus.

This joining of our lives to Christ Jesus should be understood as a present reality, just as much as it is a future real ...

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