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.Romans 6:4(NASB)
There are many mysteries of our new life in Christ that are hard to understand, which remain a reality in the life of all who believe, and Paul's illustration of a believer's 'death to sin' through their 'baptism into Christ' is a difficult concept to grasp, while remaining a glorious truth in which to rejoice. "WE have been buried with HIM through baptism into death... so that just as CHRIST was raised from the dead, through the glory of the Father, so WE TOO might walk in newness of life." But why? Why should sinners, such as us, be so blessed?
As members of the human race, every one of us was 'IN ADAM' when he walked in the garden, six thousand years ago, because we are his physical offspring. Because of our lineage with Adam, the federal head of humanity, we are identified with his sin in Eden. As his physical descendants, Adam's sin in the garden became our sin, for we are all imputed with Adam's sin at birth. So how? How can we walk in newness of life?
Well, as members of God's family by faith, every believer was 'IN CHRIST' when He hung on the Cross and died - just as we were 'In Adam' when he sinned in the garden. Spiritually speaking, were 'in Him', when he was buried, and rose again from the dead, for we are His spiritual offspring. Because of our heritage in Christ, we were identified with Him when we were born-again. We were imputed with His righteousness, when we were 'baptised', by the Holy Spirit, into God's new creation in Christ.
Baptism means to 'place into'. It means to 'immerse in something', or 'cover over with'... and when we were saved we were 'immersed in Christ'. Being baptised with the Holy Spirit is to be immersed in the Holy Spirit, just as being baptised with water, as a declaration of our faith means being immersed in water. Sometimes we have to face a baptism of suffering, where we are surrounded by suffering and pain, and those who do not believe in Christ, will eventually be baptised with the fires of judgement.
At salvation, we were all 'baptised in Christ's BODY', which is the Church, which identifies us with His righteousness. At salvation, we were immersed in His righteousness - covered in His righteousness. But this verse tells us, "we have been buried with Him through baptism into death.." Why should we be identified with His death?
The answer is that the wages of sin is death, which means separation from God. Only a sinless person can escape the jaws of death. We were imputed with sin from the beginning. We were born in sin, and have committed sin. We have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory. But Christ, the only sinless Man, chose to pay the price of OUR sin through HIS death... so that ALL His spiritual offspring - all who believe in Him - all who are baptised into Him, would not have to die for our sin, but be identified with His perfect righteousness.
There are many mysteries of our new life in Christ that are hard to understand, but this one staggers the mind. God the Son, was born into the human race as the sinless Son of Man, so HE could identify with US - and WE could be identified with Him! He willingly died on the Cross to pay the price for OUR sin, so that HIS death becomes our death and His burial becomes our burial, "and as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might be raised and walk in newness of life."
Death had no hold on Christ because He was perfect. He CHOSE to be born as a perfect Man and live a sinless life, so that as His spiritual offspring - who might be born into this world thousands of years later, would be identified with His death - would be baptised into His DEATH. The reason we are baptised into His DEATH is so that we could also be baptised into His LIFE. Christ was RAISED through the glory of the Father, so that we, His spiritual children, might also live in newness of life, and not have to live by the letter of the law. WOW!
In reality, there are two ways to be saved!! 1) Keep the letter of the LAW perfectly, which is impossible for fallen man, or 2) Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ so that HIS death becomes our death, His burial becomes our burial, and His resurrected life becomes our new resurrected life. This is indeed a mystery that is hard to grasp. but a glorious truth in which to rejoice.
But why? Why should we be so blessed? WHY should the eternal Son of God, become a Man and live a sinless life, only to be despised, rejected, falsely accused, and nailed to a cross to pay the price for MY sin and YOURS too? Well, the answer is simple - it is because of GRACE - God's amazing GRACE.
For by GRACE you have been saved. You have not been saved because of anything that YOU have done. It is through God's grace. It has nothing to do with you or me. It is a free and unmerited gift of God that is given to ALL who believe in Christ. The blessings we receive by being identified with Christs's death, burial, and Resurrection are enormous - indeed they are eternal. "Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into His death, so that in the same way that Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of God the Father, so we too will be raised into eternal life and walk in newness of His life."
Heavenly Father, I stand amazed at Your plan of redemption - that just as I am identified with Adam and imputed with his sin because I am his physical offspring, so I am identified with Christ and imputed with His righteousness because I am His spiritual seed, by faith. Thank You that because I have trusted Him for my salvation, I have become identified with His death and burial. Thank You that His death, burial, and Resurrection, has become my death to sin - so that I too might be raised into newness of life, through the glory of the Father. I stand amazed at Your wisdom and grace, and offer this prayer of thanksgiving and praise, in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN.
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