Lectionary Year A
June 23, 2002
Romans 6:1b-11

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) The major theological focus of this lection is the God to whom baptized believers who have died with Christ are made alive. The death and resurrection of Christ are certainly also most major images in this passage. Then, our dying with Jesus and rising with Christ which lead to new life comes next in the prioritizing of major concerns in this paragraph. Next, the part of Baptism is of a major matter, here, too. These notes leave as minor concerns in this text to include sinning, dying to sin, burial with Christ, grace (?), old/sinful selves, death with Christ's bringing freedom from sin's power (?) and Christ's death being once and for all.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 1b Should we continue in sin, so that grace might extend/grow/become more? 2 No indeed. All have now already died to sin, so, how shall we ever again live in it? 3 Or do you fail to understand that as many as were baptized into/in Christ Jesus, into His death were thereby baptized? 4 Then we were buried together with Him through the baptism into the death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of His Father, so also we might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in/of the resurrection; 6 this we know - that our old/former self was crucified together with Him, so that would be rendered ineffective the body/seat of sin, so that no longer shall we be slaves to sin; 7 for all having faced death are declared righteous free from sin. 8 But since we died with Christ, we believe that also we shall live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ was raised from death no more does He have to die, death over Him no longer has any power. 10 For He died, the sin died once for all time; but the life He lives He lives to God. 11 And in this way you are to be reckoned/counted as righteous yourselves [to be] dead on the one hand to sin and on the other hand alive to God in Christ Jesus.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) On pages 102f ff Goppelt's TNT, vol. 2, we read of Christ's dying that brought the newness of life to those baptized in Christ. One of the approaching-concluding remarks in those pages says, "According to Romans 6:1-13, no one could become obedient, in fact, in any way that through the dying-with toward living-with Christ! . . . Paul understood the syn-concept not as a partnership-connection, but as something that came to one from without, established and generated from God through Jesus' dying and rising. Hence this syn led frequently to the much more plentiful use of the preposition en. And en Christo in Rom. 6:11 followed the syn Christo in 6:2-10, just as it did in II Cor. 5:17 after 5:14f.. . . Thus, 'in Christ' were those who through baptism had been taken into his (Christ's) body the community of faith, and through this action were exposed to the activity of the Spirit through the word. . ." These sentences begin to explain how we get in on the processes of the gifts God gives us in Christ, etc.

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