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Romans 6:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

We are buried with him by baptism into death - It is probable that the apostle here alludes to the mode of administering baptism by immersion, the whole body being put under the water, which seemed to say, the man is drowned, is dead; and, when he came up out of the water, he seemed to have a resurrection to life; the man is risen again; he is alive! He was, therefore, supposed to throw off his old Gentile state as he threw off his clothes, and to assume a new character, as the baptized generally put on new or fresh garments. I say it is probable that the apostle alludes to this mode of immersion; but it is not absolutely certain that he does so, as some do imagine; for, in the next verse, our being incorporated into Christ by baptism is also denoted by our being planted, or rather, grafted together in the likeness of his death; and Noah's ark floating upon the water, and sprinkled by the rain from heaven, is a figure corresponding to baptism, 1 Peter 3:20, 1 Peter 3:21; but neither of these gives us the same idea of the outward form as burying. We must be careful, therefore, not to lay too much stress on such circumstances. Drowning among the ancients was considered the most noble kind of death; some think that the apostle may allude to this. The grand point is, that this baptism represents our death to sin, and our obligation to walk in newness of life: without which, of what use can it or any other rite be?

Raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father - From this we learn, that as it required the glory of the Father, that is, his glorious energy, to raise up from the grave the dead body of Christ, so it requires the same glorious energy to quicken the dead soul of a sinner, and enable him to walk in newness of life.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Therefore we are buried … - It is altogether probable that the apostle in this place had allusion to the custom of baptizing by immersion. This cannot, indeed, be proved, so as to be liable to no objection; but I presume that this is the idea which would strike the great mass of unprejudiced readers. But while this is admitted, it is also certain that his main scope and intention was not to describe the mode of baptism; nor to affirm that that mode was to be universal. The design was very different. It was to show that by the solemn profession made at our baptism, we had become dead to sin, as Christ was dead to the living world around him when he was buried; and that as he was raised up to life, so we should also rise to a new life. A similar expression occurs in Colossians 2:12, “Buried with him in baptism,” etc. See the Editors‘ Notes at Matthew 3:6, Matthew 3:16.

Into death - εἰς eisUnto death; that is, with a solemn purpose to be dead to sin and to the world. Grotius and Doddridge, however, understand this as referring to the death of Christ - in order to represent the death of Christ - or to bring us into a kind of fellowship with his death.

That like as - In a similar manner. Christ rose from death in the sepulchre; and so we are bound by our vows at baptism to rise to a holy life.

By the glory of the Father - Perhaps this means, amidst the glory, the majesty and wonders evinced by the Father when he raised him up; Matthew 28:2-3. Or possibly the word “glory” is used here to denote simply his power, as the resurrection was a signal and glorious display of his omnipotence.

Even so - As he rose to new life, so should we. As he rose from death, so we, being made dead to sin and the world by that religion whose profession is expressed by baptism, should rise to a new life, a life of holiness.

Should walk - Should live, or conduct. The word “walk” is often used to express the course of a man‘s life, or the tenor of his conduct; Romans 4:12; Romans 8:1 notes; 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Corinthians 10:3 notes; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:1 notes, etc.

In newness of life - This is a Hebraism to denote new life. We should rise with Christ to a new life; and having been made dead to sin, as he was dead in the grave, so should we rise to a holy life, as he rose from the grave. The argument in this verse is, therefore, drawn from the nature of the Christian profession. By our very baptism, by our very profession, we have become dead to sin, as Christ became dead; and being devoted to him by that baptism, we are bound to rise, as he did, to a new life.

While it is admitted that the allusion here was probably to the custom of immersion in baptism, yet the passage cannot be adduced as an argument that that is the only mode, or that it is binding on all Christians in all places and ages, for the following reasons:

(1) The scope or design of the apostle is not to discuss the mode of baptism, Or to state any doctrine on the subject. It is an incidental allusion in the course of an argument, without stating or implying that this was the universal mode even then, still less that it was the only possible mode. His main design was to state the obligation of Christians to be holy, from the nature of their profession at baptism - an obligation just as impressive, and as forcible, from the application of water in any other mode as by immersion. It arises from the fact of baptism, not from the mode. It is just as true that they who are baptized by affusion, or by sprinkling, are baptised into his death; become professedly dead to sin and the world, and under obligations to live to God, as those who are immersed. It results from the nature of the ordinance, not from the mode.

(2) if this was the mode commonly, it does not follow that it was the only mode, nor that it was to be universally observed; There is no command that this should be the only mode. And the simple fact that it was usually practiced in a warm climate, where ablutions were common, does not prove that it is to be observed amidst polar snows and ice, and in infancy, and age, and feebleness, and sickness; see the note at Acts 8:38-39.

(3) if this is to be pressed literally as a matter of obligation, why should not also the following expression, “If we have been planted together,” etc., be pressed literally, and it be demanded that Christians should somehow be “planted” as well as “buried?” Such an interpretation only shows the absurdity of insisting on a literal interpretation of the Scriptures in cases of simple allusion, or where the main scope is illustration by figurative language.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Baptism teaches the necessity of dying to sin, and being as it were buried from all ungodly and unholy pursuits, and of rising to walk with God in newness of life. Unholy professors may have had the outward sign of a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, but they never passed from the family of Satan to that of God. The corrupt nature, called the old man, because derived from our first father Adam, is crucified with Christ, in every true believer, by the grace derived from the cross. It is weakened and in a dying state, though it yet struggles for life, and even for victory. But the whole body of sin, whatever is not according to the holy law of God, must be done away, so that the believer may no more be the slave of sin, but live to God, and find happiness in his service.
Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 133

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him, and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16, 17. SD 133.1

Jesus was our example in all things that pertain to life and godliness. He was baptized in Jordan, just as those who come to Him must be baptized. The heavenly angels were looking with intense interest upon the scene of the Saviour's baptism, and could the eyes of those who were looking on, have been opened, they would have seen the heavenly host surrounding the Son of God as He bowed on the banks of the Jordan. The Lord had promised to give John a sign whereby he might know who was the Messiah, and now as Jesus went up out of the water, the promised sign was given; for he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God, like a dove of burnished gold, hovered over the head of Christ, and a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” ... Jesus, the world's Redeemer, has opened the way so that the most sinful, the most needy, the most oppressed and despised, may find access to the Father,—may have a home in the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare for those who love Him.17The Youth's Instructor, June 23, 1892. SD 133.2

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 372

When the Former Baptism Does Not Satisfy—There are many at the present day who have unwittingly violated one of the precepts of God's law. When the understanding is enlightened, and the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the conscience, they see themselves sinners in the sight of God. “Sin is the transgression of the law” and “he that shall offend on one point is guilty of all.” Ev 372.1

The honest seeker after truth will not plead ignorance of the law as an excuse for transgression. Light was within his reach. God's Word is plain, and Christ has bidden him search the Scriptures. He reveres God's law as holy, just, and good, and he repents of his transgression. By faith he pleads the atoning blood of Christ, and grasps the promise of pardon. His former baptism does not satisfy him now. He has seen himself a sinner, condemned by the law of God. He has experienced anew a death to sin, and he desires again to be buried with Christ by baptism, that he may rise to walk in newness of life. Such a course is in harmony with the example of Paul in baptizing the Jewish converts. That incident was recorded by the Holy Spirit as an instructive lesson for the church.—Sketches from the Life of Paul, 133 (1883). Ev 372.2

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Ellen G. White
God's Amazing Grace, 150.4

By our baptismal pledge we avouched and solemnly confessed the Lord Jehovah as our Ruler. We virtually took a solemn oath, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that henceforth our lives would be merged into the life of these three great agencies, that the life we should live in the flesh would be lived in faithful obedience to God's sacred law. We declared ourselves dead, and our life hid with Christ in God, that henceforth we should walk with Him in newness of life, as men and women having experienced the new birth. We acknowledge God's covenant with us, and pledge ourselves to seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. By our profession of faith we acknowledged the Lord as our God, and yielded ourselves to obey His commandments. AG 150.4

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Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 302.3

He [the Christian] may die; but the life of Christ is in him, and at the resurrection of the just he will rise to newness of life. Mar 302.3

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