Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Hope of Resurrection
Romans 6:1-14 Commentary
by J.R. Daniel Kirk
For many of us, Romans 6 is scripture we have turned to as we have developed a theology of baptism, debated the merits of immersion versus sprinkling based on the imagery of burial and resurrection, and to whom it should be applied.
Let’s mute those voices for a few minutes.
Because here is another message awaiting us here, a message for all of us regardless of where we fall in such debates. Romans 6 depicts the power we have in our everyday life to live in ways that are faithful to God.
The future or the present?
If you look closely in Romans 6:1-11, you will see that the verbs referring to Christ are consistently past tense. But the verbs referring to our new life are regularly in the future tense (we shall also walk, 6:4; we will be conformed, 6:5; we will live with him, 6:8). Thus, New Testament scholars will often argue that Paul is intentionally hedging here: we can only say that we have died with Christ, not that his resurrection intrudes upon our present.
But it might not be so simple. On the one hand, it is certainly correct to say that Paul envisions a future salvation that will include a resurrection from the dead. This hope is the ultimate fulfillment of the claim that as we have died with Christ ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL180: Hope of Resurrection
May 17, 2015
Narrative Lectionary podcast on readings for May 17, 2015: Romans 6:1-14 (Accompanying text: Matthew 6:24).