As we continue our walk through Romans, we’re seeing how God deals with sin in our lives. In my last post, I started talking about baptism. It’s the first step in our freedom from sin and its affects.
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
I ended my last post by saying that baptism is a spiritual work. Let me get into more detail.
This passage tells us that not only were we immersed into the death of Christ, but we were buried together with Him. Please understand, this isn’t just a mental identification with Christ.
The verse says that I WAS buried with Him. That has to have been a spiritual work. However, it gets better as we continue in the verse.
The phrase, just as, literally means exactly like. So, the glory that God used in raising Christ Jesus from the dead, was used in exactly the same way at my baptism.
The glory of the Father raised me up from death to enter a new life. I rise up with new life exactly like someone who has been raised from the dead.
This is key in understanding God’s work of salvation in us. It’s more than just reciting a prayer and receiving an initiation rite into church membership. We’re talking about a powerful spiritual work that’s being done in us.
Listen to how Paul describes it elsewhere.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
In my last post I said that there was a spiritual work being done in our baptism that we needed to attach our faith to. Here it is.
I cannot see my baptism as a one-time occurrence. On the contrary, it was the beginning of an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in me.
By faith I can look back on my baptism and say, “Up until that day, I was living in death. Then, on the day of my baptism, I was raised from the dead. I now have the life of Christ in me by the power of His Holy Spirit.”
Understand what I’m saying. I was saved when I put my faith in Christ and prayed the sinner’s prayer. But, until the day of my baptism, I hadn’t yet placed a faith-demand upon God for victory over my sin nature.
The question is; did I know any of this when I was water baptized so many years ago? No, I didn’t. But I know it now and I can release my faith to receive the benefits of it. You can too.
If you haven’t been water baptized when you were old enough to accept it on your own, let me encourage you to seek it out. You won’t be sorry. Use it, not as a church tradition, but as a springboard to new life by faith.
Question: What was your life-changing experience in baptism?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi