“Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Baptists and others like to ask, “When where you saved?” They like to be able to point to a specific time and experience when they “accepted” Christ and committed themselves to follow Him. A friend in Northern Ireland recently gave me a good response to that question. When he is asked, “When were you saved?” he responds, “About two thousand years ago.”
We were not saved by some decision we made or by committing our life to Christ. We were saved by Christ’s death and resurrection alone. When Christ died, we died. Jesus bore all the pain, suffering and shame of our death for us, and by faith we have received all the benefits of His death. So when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, we are also celebrating our own resurrection.
Now we have a totally new and glorious life. We died to sin. We died to the Law. Now we live with and for Christ. We have been raised with Him to “walk in newness of life.” It is a glorious, joyful life with God.
We cannot describe that new life any better than God Himself did when He inspired Paul to write Colossians 3:1-17. Read these words slowly, thinking of how this is your new life, for you are risen with Christ.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Risen with Christ! What a glorious life that is. Rejoice! And enjoy
Your Risen Life!
David Reim is pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Vernon, British Columbia.