Romans 6:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 6:3, NIV: Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:3, ESV: Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:3, KJV: Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:3, NASB: Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

Romans 6:3, NLT: Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?

Romans 6:3, CSB: Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

What does Romans 6:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has asked if Christians, those who have received God's free gift of the forgiveness of our sin through faith in Christ, should keep sinning. No, we should not, he has responded. He poses a counter-question to explain why: can those who have died to sin keep living in sin? His implied answer is again "no."

What does it mean that we have died to sin, though? Part of that answer is found in the question of this verse. All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death.

Paul does not seem to be talking about water baptism here. From the context of the chapter, we take him to mean a kind of baptism that happens when the Holy Spirit comes into a person at the time he or she becomes a Christian. In that "spirit baptism," a new believer is spiritually baptized into Christ's body (1 Corinthians 12:13). We enter into Christ's identity, in a sense, becoming so closely attached to Him that God gives us credit for Christ's righteousness and accepts Christ's payment for our sin. That baptism places us, our whole self, in Christ. Water baptism, on the other hand, is an outward sign of that spirit baptism. For those who practice believer's baptism, it is a public declaration to the world around us that we belong to Christ and to belong with all the others who belong to Him, as well (Acts 10:44–48).

So, then, Paul says here that when a person trusts in Christ for salvation, that person is baptized in the Holy Spirit into Christ's death. We die with Him. This death somehow breaks sin's rule over us and frees us from our need to obey our sinful desires. Those urges do not entirely vanish, however.