Justification, Sanctification, and Baptism

Text: Romans 6:1-14
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF

Romans 6:1-14 teaches how baptism symbolizes our union in Christ, which serves as a reminder of how God has justified us and how He continues to sanctify us.

This passage clearly answers a few of the most important questions people have about the Christian faith:

  1. How can a person be made right (justified) with God?

    Paul raises and answers the objection that if God saves us solely by grace through faith apart from works, then why shouldn’t we keep on sinning since that will magnify God’s grace all the more.

    This objection would only be made to a gospel in which our good works play absolutely no part in salvation. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that if our proclamation of God’s Word doesn’t receive the same criticism, then we aren’t really preaching the gospel.

  2. How does a Christian grow in holiness?

    This is perhaps of greatest concern among our congregation. Some begin with the law, but often become frustrated. Others want to cast away all rules and effort, but also fail to grow in holiness. Many are looking for formulas and experiences for ‘instant holiness’.

    Paul explains that while the gospel is solely of grace, this gospel of grace inevitably produces more fruit (holy conduct) than the law. We are transformed by the reality of our union with Christ in His death and resurrection. The key to holiness is to remember (and reckon) that we are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. Then in light of that truth we are called to put off sin and to put on righteousness.

  3. What is the meaning of baptism and which method of baptism properly reflects that meaning?

    Given that baptism symbolizes how God has justified us and reminds us of how He is sanctifying us, the only appropriate subjects for baptism are believers who are personally united with Christ by faith.


Posted on April 5th, 2009 | Permalink