Commentary on Romans 6:3-11

by George Stoeckhardt
translated by Nathaniel Biebert

The following commentary on Romans 6:3-11 is taken from Georg Stoeckhardt’s Commentar über den Brief Pauli an die Roemer (Commentary on the Epistle of Paul to the Romans), published by Concordia Publishing House in 1907. As was noted in Issue #2 of Studium Excitare, Stoeckhardt was recognized as an expert exegete of Scripture. His commentary on Romans is still considered by many orthodox Lutheran scholars to be the foremost commentary on Romans, even though it still has not been translated into English in its entirety. In his essay titled “Commentaries for the Pastor’s Study,” Dr. John F. Brug calls Stoeckhardt’s commentary “a Lutheran standard” and highly recommends it.

Stoeckhardt intended the book for pastoral use, and he wrote it with the idea that the reader would have a functioning knowledge of Hebrew, Greek (and its grammar), Latin, German, and English. For this reason the translation retains the original Greek and Latin phrases. It would be optimal for the reader to have a copy of the Greek New Testament in front of him, and to work through the Greek text with Stoeckhardt as he goes along. It is really written in such a way that the reader cannot fully grasp what Stoeckhardt is saying, unless he himself also works through the Greek.

However, this commentary contains too many well written comments and thoughts to limit it to those who know Greek, Latin, and German. Therefore translations of all the Greek and Latin phrases, if not translated by Stoeckhardt himself, can be found in the endnotes. Also in the endnotes can be found:

  • The explanation of the translation and/or the literal German text where the original German is peculiar
  • The full names and the lifespan of the seven biblical scholars who authored commentaries on Romans previous to Stoeckhardt’s time whom he cites
  • Bibliographic information for Stoeckhardt’s citations when the translator was able to locate them

The translator has again taken some formatting liberties for the sake of understanding and reading ease. It is his prayer that this commentary, which deals with the wholesome effect of the Means of Grace, will be understandable and beneficial to all who read it.

Romans 6:3-11 3Or do you not know that all of us who are baptized into Jesus Christ are baptized into his death? 4So we are now buried with him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ has been raised from the dead through the glory of his Father, we too walk in newness of life. 5For if we are entwined with the likeness of his death, then we will also be [entwined] with that [likeness] of his resurrection, 6for we know this, that our old man was crucified with him, in order that the body of sin might be put out of effect, that we might no longer serve sin; 7for whoever has died is released from sin. 8If, however, we have died with Christ, then we believe that we will also live with him, 9knowing well that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death is no longer lord over him. 10For that which he has died, he has died to sin once for all time; that which he lives, however, he lives to God. 11So also you consider that you are dead to sin, and on the other hand you live to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The apostle in verse 3 proves that we are dead to sin in an interrogative sentence, introduced with Ἢ ἀγνοεῖτε,1 which reminds Christians of a fact well known to them: Ἢ ἀγνοεῖτε, ὅτι ὅσοι ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν, εἰς τὸν θάνατον αὐτοῦ ἐβαπτίσθημεν; The meaning is: Or, if that which I have just said is still questionable to you, namely that we are dead to sin, then simply call to mind your baptism, whose importance is well known to you. We all, we who are baptized into Christ Jesus, are certainly baptized into his death.

Βαπτίζειν2 in the New Testament, with the exception of Mark 7:4, ordinarily denotes the religious act of baptizing with water, the baptism of John and then Christian baptism. The same is true of the substantive βάπτισμα.3 And although the original meaning “to dip into water” is consequently returned to again and again, the idea underlying such connections, as βαπτίζεσθαι εἰς ὄνομά τινος4 (Mt 28:19; Ac 8:16; 19:5; 1Co 1:13,15), εἰς τὸν Μωϋσῆν5 (1Co 10:2), εἰς Χριστόν, εἰς τὸν θάνατον αὐτοῦ6 (Ro 6:3), is not that the infant would be dipped into Moses, into Christ, into Christ’s name, or into Christ’s death. Rather the εἰς refers to the relationship into which the person, who is baptized, is placed with respect to the person or thing concerned. We are baptized into Christ Jesus. This means precisely that we have been placed into a relationship with Christ Jesus through baptism. We have been placed into connection and fellowship with him. “Christian baptism is a real share in Jesus and the salvation that is realized in him. In the same sense it is then, however, also used in the phrase εἰς τὸν θάνατον αὐτοῦ ἐβαπτίσθητε”7 (Hofmann8).

Christ has become the mediator of salvation and has won salvation for us through his death. Christ has redeemed us from sin by taking our sins upon himself, and by atoning for and expiating them through suffering and dying. He has primarily redeemed us from the guilt and punishment of sin. Along with that, however, he has also redeemed us from sin itself, from the dominion and mastery of sin. Through his death Christ has also broken the power of sin. And now, precisely because we are baptized into Christ and also into his death, we have thus, through the baptism of his death and the fruit of his death, become partakers of his redemption–redemption certainly not only from the guilt, but also from the dominion of sin. And if, because we are baptized into Christ and his death, we are freed from the dominion of sin, then the power of sin is broken in us.

Previously the apostle had repeatedly pointed to the gospel as the means whereby God offers and imparts to mankind Christ, Christ’s merit, the forgiveness of sins, and the righteousness that avails before God. At this spot in our text he testifies that through baptism we have received a portion in Christ and in the fruit of his death. The one does not exclude the other. God has instituted and appointed precisely these two means of grace, the gospel and baptism, Word and sacrament.9 And the mention of baptism is right at the place where Christians are reminded of the beginning of their Christianity. For we have become Christians through baptism. Baptism is the sacramentum initiationis.10 Christ has entrusted his disciples to make all peoples into disciples, μαθητεύσατε, by baptizing them, βαπτίζοντες etc. (Mt 28:18-20). According to Acts 2:41, those Jews and converts to Judaism, who were baptized on Pentecost day, were added to the congregation in precisely that way. That was the beginning of the first Christian congregation at Jerusalem.

When the apostle writes ὅσοι ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν,11 he has in mind primarily such Christians who were baptized as adults. He himself had received baptism in his riper age, and most members of the Roman congregation had previously been heathens and Jews. Proclamation of the gospel preceded and precedes the baptism of adults. In Christ’s Great Commission (Mt 28:18ff.), baptism and doctrine are connected with each other. On Pentecost day those Jews and converts to Judaism were baptized who had first heard Peter’s message about Christ and joyfully received it (Ac 2:41). The adults, the aged, who are able to understand human speech and doctrine, are joined to Christ–his death and redemption–through the Word. Baptism for them is a seal and verification of the gospel’s promise of grace. Since the instruction preceding baptism chiefly has baptism in view and Christ has expressly appointed baptism as the sacramentum initiationis, Paul is quite right in viewing and designating baptism as the entrance into Christianity and the means of union with Christ. Paul does this by combining baptismal instruction and baptism itself into one. Children and infants on the other hand, who are not yet able to grasp the Word (and there were also already baptized children everywhere in the first Christian congregations), enter into the fellowship of Christ and his death solely through baptism, with the act of baptizing itself.

We noted above (v. 2) that we, we who are Christians, we who became believers, have died to sin. Becoming a Christian coincides with becoming a believer. Throughout Scripture becoming a believer, πιστεῦσαι, is set down as the entrance into Christianity. That however does not contradict what Paul writes about baptism at this spot in our text. According to Christ’s Great Commission baptism and faith are connected with each other. “The one who believes and is baptized is saved” (Mk 16:16). Galatians 3:26-27 says: “For you are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as are baptized have put on Christ.” Through baptism and faith we have put on Christ, entered into connection with Christ, and thereby become children of God. In our passage the ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν12 implies faith. For the relationship and fellowship with Christ, designated with εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν, is not possible or imaginable without faith. Faith is truly nothing other than personal contact with Christ.

Word and sacrament are the media δοτικά13 and correspondingly have faith as the medium ληπτικόν.14 Faith, produced in adults by the Word, produced in children by baptism itself in the act of baptizing, takes and applies to itself that which God offers and imparts in the Word and Sacrament–Christ and the fruit of his death. The one who believes is thus a partaker of Christ and his redemption, and as such is free and rid of sin, not only from the guilt and punishment, but also from the power and the bonds of sin.

The apostle continues: “So we are now buried with him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ has been raised from the dead through the glory of his Father, we too walk in newness of life” (v. 4). Paul does not infer Christ’s burial from his death, which was just mentioned in verse 3. Nor does he infer our participation in Christ’s burial from our participation in his death. Rather the stress is on the statement of result and on his argument in verse 5, where he makes an assertion about the resurrection of Christ and our participation in his resurrection. In this entire section, both points–Christ’s death and resurrection, our participation in Christ’s death and resurrection–are arranged face to face with one another. Mention is made of the burial only in passing, only here in verse 4.

The thought, that we are baptized into Christ’s death (v. 3), can also be expressed in this way: We have died with Christ in baptism; we have died in a spiritual way. We Christians have gone through a death in baptism. We have died to sin there; we are freed from the power of sin. And that is a joint dying with Christ, in that we are baptized precisely into Christ’s death and thus have become partakers of his death and the fruit of that death. This exact thought is again taken up in verse 4, only in another, stronger form, with οὖν, “now.”

Paul says, “We are buried with Christ through baptism into death.” Συνετάφημεν αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος εἰς τὸν θάνατον. People often connect the words εἰς τὸν θάνατον15 with διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος16 and then for the most part understand the word θάνατος to mean the death of Christ. But then the αὐτοῦ should not be missing after τὸν θάνατον.17 Without αὐτοῦ the words only yield the meaning that we are baptized, or sunk, into death–that spiritual death which corresponds to the death of Christ. But that would still not be a clear concept, that we are submerged into our own death. The εἰς after βαπτίσματος would then have a different meaning than the doubled εἰς after the doubled ἐβαπτίσθημεν in verse 3, as particularly Hofmann stresses. We rather apply εἰς τὸν θάνατον to συνετάφημεν and comprehend θάνατος as a state of death, together with Hofmann, Luthardt,18 and others. To become buried into death is only a stronger expression for dying. The one who is buried is now classed with the dead. We have died to sin and are truly and fully dead for sin. The bond that chained us to sin is completely severed. That is the meaning. We have died and are buried with Christ precisely through baptism, and thus we have become partakers of the death and burial of Christ.19 Christ’s burial was also only an end to his suffering and dying. It was evidence and verification of his death. When Christ lay in the tomb, he was regarded before the whole world as one of the dead.

However, the purpose that God had in mind with our death and burial with Christ was this: Just as Christ has been raised from the dead, so we too walk in newness of life, ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς.20 Our walk in newness of life or in a new life was the finis ultimus.21 That however presupposes that we stand in a new life. By our baptism we Christians stand here in a new life. And this has its likeness in the new life to which Christ has been raised. Christ has been raised from the dead through the glory of God. God’s glory or majesty is the encompassment of all divine attributes and perfections. Here we are obliged to think of the omnipotence of God in particular. By his resurrection Christ has entered into a new life. And the new life corresponds to the life in which baptized Christians stand. This is the tertium comparationis,22 nothing else.

The ἐκ νεκρῶν,20 which applies to the resurrection of Christ, has no correlation in the parallel. In another context, e.g. Ephesians 2:1ff., Paul sets forth that we Christians have risen from death with Christ. There, when he mentions the death from which we have risen, he means the spiritual, moral deadness. He means our condition, when we were dead in sins, completely ensnared in sins, had been drowned in sins as it were. We have stepped out of this condition, which we have overcome, since we rose in a spiritual way. On the contrary, the spiritual death Paul is talking about in Romans 6 is an entirely different matter than what one usually calls “spiritual death” according to Ephesians 2. Here it is the opposite of ensnarement into sin, slavery to sin, and service to sin. It is namely release from the bonds of sin. And it cannot be properly said that we have risen from the bonds of sin. Death to sin is the negative side, standing in a new life the positive side of sanctification.

The following sentence says how we have arrived at this new life: “For if we are entwined with the likeness of his death, then we will also be [entwined] with that [likeness] of his resurrection” (v. 5). Εἰ γὰρ σύμφυτοι γεγόναμεν τῷ ὁμοιώματι τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἐσόμεθα (v. 5). We are, namely in baptism, entwined23 (for this is the only meaning of σύμφυτοι that works here) with the ὁμοίωμα τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ,24 namely of Christ. That can only mean: We are entwined with the death of Christ himself; we have stepped into the most intimate fellowship. It cannot mean: entwined with our own spiritual death. For a person is never intimate with himself, but always and only with another. But because the death of Christ has a likeness in our spiritual death, the apostle here calls that likeness a ὁμοίωμα, a thing that is like or similar to another thing. Ὁμοίωμα is here to be grasped concretely in the sense of a picture or image, and τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ as a genitive of apposition.

Consequently, the protasis in verse 5a says essentially the same thing as the preceding sentences: We are baptized into the death of Christ; we are buried into death with Christ through baptism. From this first fact the second one follows, and the emphasis is on the latter, namely that we are also entwined with the resurrection of Christ. In the apodosis in verse 5b, τῷ ὁμοιώματι25 from the protasis is to be supplied before τῆς ἀναστάσεως,26 and σύμφυτοι27 before ἐσόμεθα.28 The future ἐσόμεθα is the futurum logicum29 and designates that which is out in the future from the standpoint of our spiritual death, the joint dying with Christ, when in reality it lies behind in the past. For in this entire section (v. 3-11) Paul points back to that which we have undergone in our baptism.

Thus in baptism we are also entwined with the resurrection of Christ, which is quite an image of our spiritual resurrection. This follows necessarily from being entwined with his death. With Christ death and resurrection are closely connected. Christ is the Crucified and Risen. For this reason the one who has a portion in his death is also a partaker of his resurrection. In the preceding verse (v. 4), it was only noted that the new life in which we Christians stand has a likeness (ὥσπερ) with the resurrection of Christ. This also lies in the word ὁμοίωμα. But here, in verse 5, it is now further added that this, our new life, issues and flows from the resurrection of Christ. In baptism we have received a portion in the resurrection of Christ and in the new life, into which Christ has entered by his resurrection. In baptism the new life of Christ, Christ’s life of resurrection, is implanted in us, wherefore we are flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone (Eph. 5:30). And if we are reborn into a new life, then we have arrived at the new life in which we Christians now stand and walk.

Paul continues in verse 6: τοῦτο γινώσκοντες, ὅτι ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος συνεσταυρώθη etc., “for we know this, that our old man was crucified with …” Too much is carried into the τοῦτο γινώσκοντες when one grasps it as “empirical perception” and sees the advance of the discourse precisely therein, as e.g. Hofmann, Luthardt, Philippi,30 Meyer,31 and Weiss32 do. They think that the apostle, who has previously spoken and taught objectively, is now talking about that which is known to the Christian from his or her own experience.

The τοῦτο γινώσκοντες runs parallel to the Ἢ ἀγνοεῖτε in verse 3, as it does to the εἰδότες in verse 9. The entire section (v. 3-11) contains a reminder. The apostle is reminding Christians of what they know, what they have already learned, when they became Christians. The participial phrase τοῦτο γινώσκοντες, ὅτι etc. conveys a more detailed explanation and further exposition of what was previously said. We Christians know and should know and reflect on the fact that our old man is crucified with Christ.

The παλαιὸς ἄνθρωπος, the old man, is the sinful I. … He is παλαιὸς viewed from the standpoint of the ἀναγέννησις33 and παλιγγεσία34 (Jn 3:3; Titus 3:5). He is the previous, former man, to which the ἄνθρωπος νέος, καινός35 or the καινὴ κτίσις,36 created through the rebirth, is opposed (Eph 4:24; Col 3:9-10; 2Co 5:17). The expression παλαιὸς ἄνθρωπος thus contains a personification, not of the former way of acting (the πράξεις αὐτοῦ37 is distinguished from the παλαιὸς ἄνθρωπος itself in Colossians 3:9), but of the former (sinful) nature or original tendency of the whole life.38

The old man is the sinful, corrupted aptitude of man. He is the sinful nature and disposition planted through sinful conception and birth. From him all sinful desires, thoughts, and willful endeavors proceed. And this old man is now crucified, crucified with Christ in baptism, since through baptism we have become partakers of Christ’s death on the cross and the fruit of the same. The old Adam is drowned and killed in baptism, that is to say, has lost all power over us. That has happened, however, for this purpose: ἵνα καταργηθῇ τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἁμαρτίας, “in order that the body of sin may be put out of effect.” And this goal is also achieved with baptized Christians.

Τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἁμαρτίας39 is not sin as an organism (Philippi and others) und τῆς ἁμαρτίας is thus not the genitive of apposition. Rather τῆς ἁμαρτίας is the genitive of characteristic quality, and τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἁμαρτίας is obviously the same as τὸ θνητὸν σῶμα40 (v. 12) and τὸ σῶμα τοῦ θανάτου41 (7:24). So these phrases are referring to the actual body. It is called the body of sin or, as Luther has translated it, “the sinful body,” not as though the body were the actual seat or even the source of sin, but because it is the organ or tool of sin (Godet42). Sin or the old Adam seeks to accomplish his evil desires through the medium43 of the body and the members of the body, and he also accomplishes them with the natural man.

With baptized Christians, on the other hand, the body of sin is put out of effect. Καταργηθῆναι is to be taken here in its original, actual meaning: inertem, inefficacem reddi44 (Grimm). Wherever the old man is crucified, wherever the power of sin is broken, there also is the body of sin, the body precisely as a tool and organ of sin, put out of power and effect. It follows then that the purpose of annulling the body of sin and the final goal of crucifying the old man is this: τοῦ μηκέτι δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ.45 That is God’s will and design, that we henceforth serve sin no more as we formerly did. And our baptism has set us into this Christian position for this very purpose. We do not need to serve sin anymore, because the old Adam is killed and no longer master of the body.

We find the basis for the fact that we need not serve sin any longer in verse 7 with the universal axiom: “Whoever has died is released from sin,” ὁ γὰρ ἀποθανὼν δεδικαίωται ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας. This is essentially saying the same thing as before: The old man is crucified; we have died to sin. When the apostle uses the word δικαιοῦσθαι,46 he here does not mean the release from the guilt of sin, since he is not talking about justification in the solemn sense of the word here. Δικαιοῦσθαι, however, is the same presupposition and foundation for that which Paul here has in mind. In the entire section (v. 3-11), the discourse is about the liberation from sin itself. It is about the power and mastery of sin. The power that sin has over man can be thought of as a right, a legal claim, which sin maintains against man. That mistress sin demands that man, conceived and born in sins, must obey her. And now whoever has died is released from sin; they have been set free from this δίκη, from the jurisdiction of sin.

This is a universal truth that primarily refers to physical death. Rf. Meyer, Weiss, Hofmann, Godet. Whoever has died in a bodily way is thereby taken away from sin’s authoritative command and jurisdiction. For sin and service to sin fall into this earthly life. At death the judgment takes place. After death the wages of sin is paid out to the servants of sin; as the man has acted during his bodily life, so he is repaid.

That universal axiom, however, is also true concerning the ethical dying, with which the entire section is concerned, which we Christians have undergone in our baptism. We have died with Christ. Our old man is crucified with Christ. Therefore sin has lost all power and all right in us and we no longer need to serve and obey sin. “Nil jam in eum (qui mortuus est) juris est peccato, ut non jam sit debitor, c. 8, 12” (Bengel).47 Accordingly the stress in both verses 6 and 7, in which the earlier assertions are repeated, is on the fact that we do not need to serve sin anymore as we did before, and that this very freedom is made possible through the dying undergone in baptism and through the crucifying of the old man. The final phrase of the verse, τοῦ μηκέτι δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, indicates the thought progression.

The apostle, proceeding from our participation in the death of Christ, here concludes again with our participation in the life of Christ: “If, however, we have died with Christ, then we believe that we will also live with him” (v. 8). We understand the future συζήσομεν αὐτῷ48 just as we understood the expression τῷ ὁμοιώματι τῆς ἀναστάσεως σύμφυτοι ἐσόμεθα49 (v. 5). That earlier statement is not, however, merely repeated here. Rather here it explains in further detail what kind of a life that is, in which we Christians stand from baptism: “knowing well that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death is no longer lord over him. For that which he has died, he has died to sin once for all time; that which he lives, however, he lives to God. So also you consider that you are dead to sin, and on the other hand you live to God in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (v. 9-11). It is chiefly talking about the condition and nature of Christ’s present life; but then something similar is also true of us, because in baptism we have become partakers of the resurrection of Christ.

Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death is no longer lord over him. With the life into which Christ has entered with his resurrection the case is quite different than with his previous life on earth, which was subjected to death and has concluded with his death and burial. The nature of Christ’s present life is attested by this sentence, the second part of which has the emphasis: “For that which he has died, he has died to sin once for all time; that which he lives, however, he lives to God.”

The expression ὃ ἀπέθανε50 is to be solved thus: τὸν θάνατον, ὃν ἀπέθανεν.51 Concerning the death of Christ, it is true that he has died to sin. When it is recorded that Christ τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ἀπέθανεν,52 that is to be grasped in exactly the same way as when it is recorded that we ἀπεθάνομεν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ53 (v. 2). The dative τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ is here the dative of relation, like it is in verse 2. Also Christ with his death has gotten free of the connection to sin, except that he had a different connection to sin than we do. The former life of Christ, which concluded with his death, was also determined and governed by sin, namely by sin that was not his own, the sin of mankind, which he had taken upon himself. That which Christ has done, undergone, and suffered in the days of his flesh was directed at sin. It all served for the one purpose of atoning for, expiating, and blotting out the sin of mankind. This goal is fulfilled with his death. Sin is now atoned for, blotted out, and abolished once for all time. Therefore sin is also abolished for us by virtue of our baptism into the death of Christ.

And so for Christ that former connection to sin has ceased. He now does not have anything more to do with sin for all eternity. That which he lives now, ever since he has risen from the dead, he lives to God. His present life only has connection to God, is determined solely by God, is turned towards God. The divine nature and glory has also now pervaded his human nature and life. With his resurrection he has entered into the status gloriae, the state of glory. “Vivit Deo, vitam ex Deo gloriosam, divini vigoris plenam” (Bengel).54

“So also you consider that you are dead to sin, and on the other hand you live to God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” So, just like Christ, we Christians are also dead to sin, and we live to God. We now find ourselves in a godly condition and life, because the new life of Christ is implanted in us through baptism. The only difference is that the ζῆν τῷ θεῷ55 “in connection with Christ is true of the physical nature of his natural life; in connection with us, on the other hand, it is true of the ethical nature of our personal life” (Hofmann). Ever since his resurrection Christ lives to God completely, in every respect, even according to his body; ever since our baptism we live to God according to the inner man. The new life of rebirth is turned towards God. The new man who is created in baptism is directed to God, rejoices in God, thinks, devises, loves, and wants only what is God’s. So we now live to God with Christ and at the same time “in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” We live in the fellowship of Christ, and therefore our life is enclosed with Christ in God.

The last statement (v. 11) comprises a short recapitulation of the entire exposition (v. 3-10). So we Christians should consider about ourselves, λογίζεσθε, that we are dead to sin and that we live to God. “This is how we should judge ourselves; for the empirical reality often makes itself altogether different perceptibly” (Luthardt). We often perceive very little of the godly manner in us; on the contrary, sin often makes itself much more perceptible to us. But then we should simply believe that which God’s word says to us, that we are free from sin, and that we actually conceal a godly life in ourselves. This status quo,56 established by God, is that which we have undergone, not done, in baptism; it is the innermost nerve of sanctification, as was previously noted already. This is the source from which the true Christian conduct flows. This is the foundation upon which the apostle now builds up his exhortation to the true Christian conduct.

  1. “Or do you not know?” 

  2. “To baptize” 

  3. “Baptism” 

  4. “To be baptized into someone’s name” 

  5. “Into Moses” 

  6. “Into Christ, into his death” 

  7. “You were baptized into his death” 

  8. Johann Christian Konrad von Hofmann (1810-77) 

  9. The word “means” in English can be singular or plural. Some Lutheran theologians talk about only one Means of Grace, the gospel, in two forms, the Word and the sacraments. Others will describe those two forms as the Means (plural) of Grace. Still others will individually name both of the sacraments and say there are three means of God’s grace – the Word, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. Lutheran theologians are chiefly concerned that people seek God’s grace only in the means by which he gives it. Stoeckhardt here understands the “gospel” as synonymous with the “Word.” Some Lutheran theologians would hesitate to make the two synonymous, because it runs the risk of dividing the “gospel” and “baptism,” thus giving the impression that the two somehow differ in what they are communicating. The fact is that, according to Scripture, they both communicate the good news of Jesus Christ, the gospel, which is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. In the future Studium Excitare hopes to offers Stoeckhardt’s comments on Romans 1:16, which would further clarify his understanding of “gospel.” 

  10. “Sacrament of initiation” 

  11. “As many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus” 

  12. “We were baptized into Christ Jesus” 

  13. “Conferring means [of justification]” 

  14. “Receiving means” 

  15. “Into the death” 

  16. “Through the baptism” 

  17. αὐτοῦ means “of him.” Stoeckhardt is saying that the Greek text would say “the death of him (i.e. Christ)” or “his death,” if Paul had Christ’s death in mind, which, according to Stoeckhardt, he does not. 

  18. Christoph Ernst Luthardt (1823-1902) 

  19. The German reads: “That is the meaning. And that [is the meaning] for this reason, because we have died and are buried…” Since that is clumsy English, and Stoeckhardt is just further explaining his thought, “And that for this reason, because” has been omitted. 

  20. “From [the] dead”  2

  21. “Ultimate purpose” 

  22. “Point of comparison” 

  23. German: verwachsen. The literal idea of verwachsen matches the literal idea of the Greek word σύμφυτοι: joined in growing, grown together. The picture is of tendrils of a vine that grow together so that they are interlaced or entwined. The German idiom innig verwachsen sein mit means “to be very intimate with.” 

  24. “Likeness of the death of him” 

  25. “With the likeness” 

  26. “Of the resurrection” 

  27. “entwined” 

  28. “We will be” 

  29. “Logical future” 

  30. Friedrich Adolf Philippi (1809-1882) 

  31. Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer (1800-73) 

  32. Carl Philipp Bernhard Weiss (1827-1918) 

  33. “Rebirth” 

  34. “Regeneration” 

  35. “New man”; νέος and καινός both mean “new.” 

  36. “New creation” 

  37. “His [the old man’s] practices” 

  38. Philippi, Commentar über den Brief Pauli an die Roemer (Frankfurt a. M., Germany: Verlag von Heyder & Zimmer, 1866) 240-241. 

  39. “The body of sin” 

  40. “The mortal body”; Stoeckhardt cites verse 11 in the German text, but τὸ θνητὸν σῶμα is not recorded until verse 12: “Sin should not therefore reign in your mortal body…” 

  41. “The body of death” 

  42. Frédéric Louis Godet (1812-1900) 

  43. “Medium” or “means” 

  44. “To be rendered inactive, ineffectual” 

  45. “In order that we might serve sin no longer” 

  46. “To be set free” 

  47. “Sin no longer has any right against him (who has died), that he may no longer be under its obligation (Ro. 8:12).” Johann Albrecht Bengel (1687-1752), Gnomon Novi Testamenti (Stuttgart, Germany: J. F. Steinkopf, 1891) 570. 

  48. “We will live with him” 

  49. “We will be entwined with the likeness of the resurrection” 

  50. “That which he died” 

  51. “The death, which he died” 

  52. “[He] died to sin” 

  53. “[We] died to sin” 

  54. “He lives to God, a glorious life from God, full of divine vigor.” Gnomon Novi Testamenti 570. 

  55. “Living to God” 

  56. “State in which things are” or “existing state of affairs” 

Commentary on the saving means of grace.

 Aug 4, 2006