Today’s reading: Roman’s 6.
Today’s reading contains one of the most powerful and important passages in scripture. Paul writes:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
There are several important implications to this statement. First, Paul tells us that it is the uniting in death by baptism which destroys sin. “For he who has died is freed from sin”. (v.7) Thus, we can see how Baptism cannot be a meaningless symbolic ritual. Second, Paul says it is Baptism which makes resurrection possible. “For IF we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (v. 5). Thus again, we can see where the Catholic understanding of sacrament comes in. Paul is saying that Baptism has actual effects in our spiritual lives. (One quick aside, this does not mean that a person that does not receive Baptism or believes it to only be a symbol cannot be saved. As the Catechism says (paraphrase), ‘we are bound by the sacraments, God is not’.)
Finally, we see that although sin causes an outpouring of grace for us, that does not give us the license to sin more.
Are we to continue to sin that grace may abound? By no means!
This verse helps to establish free will. In fact, Paul tells us that we are to do our best to stop sinning:
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life….
The highlighted phrases imply that yielding to sin or God is a choice we can make.
Tomorrow: Romans 7.