Having finished the analogy between Yeshua and Adam, Paul began a discussion on the believer's position in Messiah. He asked another leading question that connected to the material he had just covered. If sin should cause grace to abound ......?
Romans 6:1-4 (KJV)
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Simple reading of the text might lead someone to conclude that if grace abounded because of sin, sin should be increased so that grace would abound even more (verse 1). But Paul's response in verse 2 is a very strong negative, "God forbid!" Then he reminded his readers that believers are dead to sin. How could someone dead respond as he had in the past? How could a believer ever want to live in a sinful manner again?
To many of Paul's detractors Christianity appeared to be an easy religion. Salvation wasn't based on works, all you needed to do was believe. It seemed as if the Christian God overlooked sin. The Jews especially had a difficult time and thought that Paul was down playing the Torah too much. What they didn't realize was that by true faith, a believer is changed internally. No longer is the believer bound in sin. Paul wasn't describing a cheap grace, or the overlooking of sin. A believer should want to live perfectly!
Verse 3 begins another analogy, this time comparing the believer's experience of faith to Yeshua's death and resurrection. With Christian baptism, believers are baptized into Yeshua's death. Although Paul was using the word baptism and, indeed Christians are to be baptized upon faith in Yeshua, it isn't the baptism itself that causes the connection to Yeshua's death, but rather the coming to faith which is then symbolized by water baptism. Just as a believer is immersed into water, it is as if he experienced a death like Yeshua's. Another way of looking at it is that Yeshua paid for all the sin of the world in His death. The believer symbolically participates in that death when he or she is immersed.
Verse 4 continues by comparing the believer's baptism to the burial of Yeshua. Then just as Yeshua was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, believers are "raised" from the waters of immersion to walk in a new life. They are changed and are no longer held in the power of sin. Again, this is not cheap grace that overlooks sin, but rather a heart change! The true believer will be different regarding sin!