“When a man drives down a road full of potholes in the dark and never hits a single one, you know that he knows where the holes are.” So said Alan Highers at the Freed-Hardeman Lectures a number of years ago, speaking about baptism in John 3 and how deftly denominational teachers managed to avoid it.
In like fashion, no one who promotes the teaching known as “the Roman Road to Salvation” manages to travel through chapter 6. They can find chapter 3, chapter 5, chapter 8, etc., but like Highers noted, anyone who can preach salvation from Romans without finding baptism knows exactly where those texts can be found.
Consider some easily discovered truths about baptism and its necessary relationship to salvation from Romans 6:
- Vv 1-2 – Baptism is the point at which we are recognized as being dead to sin.
- V 3 – Baptism is the means by one gets into Christ (cf Gal 3:27) and becomes a participant in the blessings of His death (cf Heb 9:22).
- V 4 – Baptism is a burial (cf Col 2:12). The word so translated means immersion and never is identified as sprinkling or effusion/pouring. Baptism is the point at which one is raised to walk in newness of life.
- V 5 – Baptism is the point at which one becomes united with Christ in the likeness of His death. Only those who have become united with Christ in baptism will share in the likeness of His resurrection.
- V 6 – Baptism is the point at which the old man of sin is crucified. Baptism is when the old body of sin is destroyed. Baptism is the point at which one is no longer the slave of sin.
- V 7 – Baptism is the point at which one is freed from sin.
- V 11—Baptism is the point at which a dead man becomes alive to God in Christ Jesus the Lord.
- Vv 17-18 – Baptism is the point at which one is set free from sin and becomes a slave of righteousness.
Anyone who can swerve and miss all these texts will give you religious whiplash.