Is Romans 6:3ff Talking About Water Baptism Or Holy Spirit Baptism?

Romans 6:3 reads “… so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.” We can see from this verse that sinners are:

· baptized into Jesus, meaning baptized into fellowship (saved relationship) with Jesus

· baptized into his death, meaning baptized into the benefits of Jesus’ death

So clearly, salvation occurs at this baptism.

To get out of the obvious force of this passage teaching we have to be baptized in water to be saved, many Baptists in recent times say this passage is talking about Holy Spirit baptism. But all through the years Baptists have correctly used Romans 6:3ff (against those who advocate sprinkling for baptism) to prove water baptism is a picture of the burial and resurrection of Christ (“likeness of his death” – verse 5) and is therefore an immersion. So it is contradictory / inconsistent for them then to turn around now and say Romans 6:3ff is talking about Holy Spirit baptism when arguing against the necessity of water baptism to salvation, at the same time using Romans 6:3ff to prove water baptism is an immersion when debating the Methodists.

The bottom line is Rom 6:3ff proves the baptism that pictures the burial and resurrection of Christ (which is water baptism) is necessary in order to get “into (fellowship with) Christ,” in order to get “into (the benefits of) His death,” that is, to be saved!

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