Romans 6:1-4 (NIV)

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

How do immersionists/Baptists understand the meaning of being buried with Christ? What significant role does being buried with Christ have on the baptized person's spiritual life?

Do immersionists use this verse as support for Immersion Baptism?


4 Answers 4


I can only answer for my denomination (Baptist), but it was used as a supporting scripture for Immersion. During baptism, pastors would often say

Buried in the likeness of His death, raised in the likeness of His resurrection


...raised to walk in newness of life

The idea is that baptism is a the believer's public confession of faith. And the immersion itself is a symbol of Christ's burial and resurrection.


To be buried with Christ through baptism means to walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:1-4 (NASB)

6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

As to how is one buried with Christ through baptism, it is by faith alone.

Colossians 2:12 (NASB)

12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

The English word “baptism” came from the Greek word “baptisma” (to dip).This word has more than one meaning.

In Biblical contexts, it means “to identify with” (union with someone) and “to be washed with” (cleansing) whether literally or figuratively.

In both Romans 6:1-4 and Colossians 2:12, it means union with Jesus Christ in his death, burial and resurrection.

Immersionists (from the Fundamental Baptist POV) believe that to be buried with Christ through water baptism symbolically signifies the union we have with Jesus Christ.

  • This is a general/superficial answer, but it doesn't seem to address how immersionists particularly understand the passage. Jul 29, 2015 at 13:33
  • @Mr.Bultitude I edited my answer to address how immersionists particularly understand the passage. :)
    – R. Brown
    Aug 2, 2015 at 13:56

New Testament Baptism, which is enjoined upon new believers, is the first obedience required of those who united themselves by faith to Christ's crucifixion. Having been crucified with Christ, their body of sin is now dead, and they must bury the old man of sin. Baptism signifies that the believer has been crucified with Christ having embraced and received Christ's sacrifice for his sins. Notice that believing in Christ's sacrifice and resurrection must precede the "burial" that baptism signifies. This is important because baptism is the template for all future Christian obedience, as described in the rest of Romans 6. Believers are to present their members as slaves of righteousness, just as they initially presented their bodies of sin crucified with Christ in the rite of Baptism, they from then on present their members as slaves of righteousness. Presenting their members as slaves of sin is a denial of their baptism and must be remedied with repentance, which it always is among the truly redeemed.

  • 1
    Welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. Please consider registering an account to fully take advantage of what this site has to offer. Also, be sure to check out the site tour and read up on how this site is a little different than other sites around the web... Your answer is OK, but would be greatly improved by references showing which group of Christians this represents.
    – ThaddeusB
    Oct 2, 2015 at 18:20
  • 1
    Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview of what this site is about, please take the Site Tour. Thanks for offering an answer. Does this answer represent any particular church or group of immersionists? If you could identify that, it would help the answer. See: What makes a good supported answer? Meanwhile, I hope you'll stick around, and spend some time browsing the questions and answers here. Oct 2, 2015 at 18:21

To answer your second question first: This is one of a few passages that immersionists such as myself reference when baptism is discussed. Others include Matt. 3:16, which describes Jesus "coming up out of the water"--difficult to do without being surrounded by the water first? Acts 8:38 says "Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him."

So then this passage in Romans is in keeping with other passages that describe the circumstances of baptism in terms of immersion. However, I may or may not point to Rom. 6:1-4 during a debate on immersion. I might choose Col. 2:12 instead.

On your first question: My understanding of my baptism is that God requires me to put to death my old life. The immersion is a way of marking that division between those abandoned ways and my new ways that are more obedient to God's will. If I want to be like Christ, I have to behave like Christ. I have to put him on in baptism.


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