Buried with Christ – living a new life – Romans 6:4

“Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)

In II Corinthians 13:5 the Apostle Paul encourages us to “examine ourselves” to see if we are truly “in the faith”.

In a world where “Christianity” is often “practiced” as a fashionable mode of operation or a regimen of rules rather than experienced as a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ, it’s so easy to get sucked in to the “normality” and various pulls of life and forget that our relationship with Jesus should result in us living a new life — a life in which our visions, goals, time and viewpoints are markedly different than the world’s “me-first” prototype.

“… we have been buried with him through baptism into death …”

Jesus was crucified (for us!) and buried in a tomb. In the same way our old life characterized by “me-first” priorities should be dead, gone and buried. (See Luke 9:23.)

This is not to say we suddenly, magically lose all human and selfish desires. The difference is the “me-first” motivator is no longer in control. It doesn’t lead us around by the nose telling us what to do with our thoughts, time and life. In essence, it’s no longer enthroned as “god” of our life. Why? Because we’ve decided that God should have the place of God rather than allowing our own selfishness to usurp that position. We’ve therefore traded a temporal path of limited fleshly reasonings for God’s eternal path of truth and light. (I Peter 2:9)

WAIT! someone may exclaim. What’s so “bad” about a “me-first” attitude? Isn’t it natural, after all?

I think the answer to this is clearly visible in the world around us. Flip on the news (or just look around) and we can see the results of the me-first attitude. What’s the motivating factor of every crime? — “I want that!” (me-first). (James 4:1-3) What’s the motivator of every unkind action? “I’m more important — I need to consider myself first.”

Me-first attitudes are not just actions — they’re characterized by lack of action as well. If love is seeing a need and filling that need, me-first attitudes are seeing needs and doing nothing.

“… as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.”

Now the power and life of God enters the equation and provides the solution to the me-first attitude.

Jesus was raised from the dead through the power of God. This same power (God’s Spirit) baptizes (immerses) and transforms our spirit when we truly make the decision to yield our life and receive Jesus as Lord — letting Him be God instead of us. See I Cor. 12:13, Titus 3:5, Lk. 11:9-13, John 1:12 and Acts 5:32.

This baptism and renewing by the Spirit of God is what gives us the power to live a new life in Christ. No longer do we need to try on our own to do the right thing, figure out eternal truths, etc. Now we have God’s Spirit and Word as a guide, counselor, and provider of power to live a new life. See John 14:15-17; 16:13; Acts 1:8.

Have we truly been “born from above” (John 3:3) by enthroning Christ as Lord in our life, and are we thus living our life with God’s Heavenly Perspective instead of a me-first attitude? (Col. 3:1-4) When people look at us do they see the love, joy and “peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) which comes as a result of living a new life with Jesus? Are we walking by faith instead of sight — looking past the temporal enticements and keeping our eyes, heart, visions, plans and actions within God’s eternal realm of love and truth? (II Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:1,6, Heb. 11:13-16; II Cor. 4:18; I Peter 4:1-2; Romans 8:5-17)

“I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:16–21)

Let’s make a difference in this world! Let’s let God’s light shine through us in such a way that people will clearly see Him. Let’s live a new life — in Jesus.