Verse of the Week
“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.” [Roman 6:4]
The Big Picture
Baptism is not just an act that we do. It is not just a ritual that we perform as kids when our other friends are doing it in front of the church. Baptism is the outward expression of the inward transformation of God in our hearts. It signifies that we have been buried with Christ to sin and self and raised with Christ into new life. The old has gone, the new has come.
3 Things Baptism Represents:
Union with Christ: Jesus Christ came and lived a perfect life on earth without sin. He came and died to sin. He was resurrected in victory over sin. Now all who die to sin with Him are going to be resurrected with Him. That means when we unite ourselves with Him, He lives inside of us and what we do, we’re carrying Him around with us. The original Greek word that we get baptism from is Baptizm. It literally means to plunge or to dip. It’s the same word used for dying clothes. With dying clothes, the shirt soaks into the dye and it absorbs the color. The properties of the dye become part of the cloth. As Christians we’re dipped into the blood of Christ, so that the properties of Christ may become part of us. Galatians 2:20 → It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. This means that we literally die to sin and self and begin a union with Christ as part of who we are.
Being Dead to Sin: In Baptism when we are submerged we are being buried with Christ in His death. As Christ died FOR our sins we are dying TO our sins and their power over us. There’s an old life that is now dead. We’re a dead man. There was an old body, an old life that was RULED by sin, that is the difference. (You ever wondered why you could never stop doing blank?)Before, we were fighting with worldly weapons, that just doesn’t work. Nobody ever white knuckled their way into a God honoring life. What do I do with sin? We don’t live in it, we now make war on it! We’re not slaves to it, we’ve been set free from it! “The desires don’t go away, we just have the power to say no. That old flesh may show signs of life at times, but it no longer calls the shots. Now we have a choice. When we die to sin and self understand that even though we may still struggle with it, it no longer has authority over you. When we struggle it leads us directly to confession and repentance before God. If you’re living in continued, willing, unrepentant sin and there’s no conviction to change, you need a relationship with Christ. If there is sin in your life that you do continually and willingly and it brings no conviction before Christ then you haven’t truly died to sin and self. Baptism is a symbol that our old life that was ruled by sin went down in the water and died with Jesus.
Being Made Alive in Christ Jesus: It’s a new life coming out of the water! It’s time that we start believing that the Gospel brings new life. We don’t overcome sin with sin, we overcome sin by focusing on Christ. How do we walk in the newness of life? If I have a new life in Christ, why is it so hard to overcome? We have to buy into the new identity and invest in it. We have to invest in what strengthens our new life in the spirit instead of our old life in the flesh. We must invest in the word of God and Prayer. Remember it’s about a pursuit of Christ not perfection. Who you are in Christ isn’t about you or your faults, it's about seeking and believing in the righteous one who has no faults. Here’s the deal, when we begin to live like we’ve been made alive in Christ, I firmly believe others are going to be made alive in Christ! Our problem is not a lack of power, but it’s a lack of vision.
As you focus your eyes on Christ, as your vision is set on Christ, you’ll have the desire to obey. Life in Christ leads to Obedience. John 14:21, If we Love Christ, we obey Him, one comes with the other. Loving Him is pursuing Him. Life in Christ leads to Holiness. 1 Peter, Be Holy for I am Holy. We are different. If we want to make a difference, we have to be different. Life in Christ leads to Righteousness. We change because we know the right man, therefore we do the right thing. Identity isn’t a thing, it is THE thing. We must see ourselves as God sees us in Christ. There will be days when you feel like God is walking right beside you.There will be days where you even wonder if you’re saved. Thank God that His Word holds more weight than our feelings. Your emotions are not your master, Christ is. Baptism is a declaration that our old life went down in the water and died. A new life has been raised up.
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What are some of the obvious observations from this passage?
What does walking in the newness of life mean to you?
What next step is God calling you to take?
Question for personal accountability.
(doesn’t have to be answered out loud)
Have I truly believed, repented and died to sin and self ?
If you realize you haven’t and feel God drawing you to that tonight make sure to talk with your Connect Group Leader, or reach out to our staff on connectiondublin.com. We would love to talk to you and celebrate God working in your life.
Who in your life do you know isn’t dead to sin and self and alive in Christ Jesus?
Are you praying and interceding for them?