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Friday, October 24, 2014

#25. Baptism Calls Us to Live in the Light of our Union With Christ, Part 3 - We Rose with Christ

Colossians 2:11–12 — and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 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 fact of the believer's union with Christ is proclaimed in baptism, and that calls us to live in a certain way.  So far we have seen the practical outworking in our lives of our union with Christ in His death and burial.  This time, we want to consider how we should live given our union with Christ in His resurrection.

Paul tells us in our text above that we were raised up with Jesus when He rose from the dead. In Ephesians 2, he tells us that when we were dead in transgressions and sins, God made us alive together with Christ.  But what should this actually mean for us?

If our burial with Christ meant that the old life is dead and buried, so that we shouldn't live in that way any longer, this resurrection in Christ means that there is a new life for use to live! SO radical is the change, so fundamental and far-reaching, that Paul tells the Corinthians it is in reality a new creation:

2 Corinthians 5:17 — Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

He tells the church in Rome a little more about what this new life ought to look like:

Romans 6:1–14 — 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. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

So believers are to count themselves dead to sin, but alive in Christ.  On the one hand, they are no longer to present themselves as instruments of sin, as they used to do - that life is dead and buried.  Now that they are alive with Christ, they are to offer themselves as instruments of righteousness, to do those things that they could never have done (and never would have wanted to do) when still dead in sins.  To put it in a slightly different form, believers are to stop doing the things they had no choice but to do before, and are to begin doing the things they could never have done before and had no desire to do. We are not to live in sin, but are to do good works out of love for our wonderful God and Savior!

Think of that in relation to your baptism, and the baptisms of others that you witness, and let those events call you again to count yourselves dead to sin and risen with Christ.  And heeding that call, by God's grace live the life and do the works for which He saved you!