Consider that this thought process rules out infant and children baptism. You must know what you are doing. Your parents getting you baptized is not the answer. This illustration was not given to say that we need to throw people in water against their will even if they do not know what they are doing. You must know what you are doing. Look at the words again: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” You need to know what is going on. You are making a powerful statement that you are at this moment are joining yourself to Jesus, becoming dead to sin and alive to Jesus. We are renouncing our citizenship in the country of sin and are now living as citizens of heaven.
Thus, those who are baptized have this status: joined with Christ. You are not baptized into a church. You are not baptized into a denomination. You must be baptized into Jesus and Jesus only. You are no longer joined with Adam, under sin’s reign and power. Now we are joined with Christ and are reigning in life through Jesus (5:17). Now, through this faithful act, we are those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness (5:17). The old life is dead and buried. We leave that life behind in the waters of baptism and rise up from the water to live a new life in God’s grace. We are dead to a self-centered way of life and embrace a new, Christ-centered life, a life that acknowledges Christ as Lord over all.
Now, why did Paul come here? Why is Paul talking about how important it is for us to be in Christ and joined to Christ? Let’s return to Romans 5 and notice how Paul is working this together. While we were weak and helpless in our sin (sin ruling over us), Christ died. He died for us while we were sinners (5:8), while we were ungodly (5:6), and while we were enemies (5:10). Now that we are reconciled, much more will be surely be saved in his life (5:10). Salvation is in being in Jesus. It is in Jesus that we have reconciliation to God (5:11). It is in Jesus that grace has abounded (5:15). In Jesus we find justification (5:16). In Jesus we reign in life (5:17). In Jesus there is life and justification for all (5:18). In Jesus the many are made righteous (5:19). We must be united to Christ to receive the super-abundance of God’s grace overflowing. Jump ahead to Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We unite ourselves to Jesus when we make the commitment to no longer live with sin as the rule of our lives, but with Jesus as the rule of our lives. This is what is happening at baptism. Again, Paul is not saying that we never sin now. Rather, sin is not in charge. Sin is not the rule of our lives. We have kicked out the rule of sin. We have renounced our citizenship in the country of sin. Now we live in a different kingdom, the kingdom of Christ. Now we follow his rules and submit ourselves to his grace and love. Now we walk in a new way of life (6:4). The power of baptism rest completely in the death and resurrection of Christ.