“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.” – Romans 6:4
As I read through Scripture in preparation for this article, I found countless verses that spoke of this new life and how we should use it. While I cannot create an exhaustive list in a single article, I hope to provide you with adequate support for the points that I am going to make.The primary message that I am trying to convey through this article is:
This life that you live is no longer your own—it belongs to Christ.
“He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” – 1 Corinthians 15:5
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
This is the part of salvation that is not often advertised. We often try to coax people to salvation by waving a free ticket to Heaven in their face. The truth is that there is more to the Christian life than a decision to believe. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23, emphasis mine). Christ has, according to Romans 6:18, set us free from sin. However, the stipulation is that we are now slaves of righteousness, bound to God and His will. The life that we live is no longer our own, seeking after our sinful passions; it belongs to God and we should spend it chasing after His will.
“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” – Colossians 3:9-10
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:2
“Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you but on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22-24
There is—or there should be—a drastic transformation in a person’s life when he comes to Christ. However, many people seem to think that this change will happen instantly and will be lasting and self-sustaining. Our transformation is a continual renewing of the mind and allowingthe word of God to be a “discerner of the thoughts and intents of [our] heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
This renewal process is illustrated very well in a video by the Skit Guys, (TRAVIS, CAN YOU LINK THE VIDEO TO THE WORDS “SKIT GUYS”???) where the character depicting God is chiseling away at the character who represents us. We see that it is a painful, ongoing process, but a necessary one. Likewise, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to use Scripture and situations to refine us and renew our minds.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” – Galatians 3:27
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21
I put these last three verses in that order for a particular reason; they flow together nicely. In Galatians 1:10, Paul asks a rhetorical question that cuts to the heart. He is a bondservant of Christ and no longer seeks to please anyone but his Master. Paul has put on Christ and now has no fear of death, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). This is my favorite verse and hopefully the theme of my life—for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. I want to walk in the newness of life, putting on the good things, putting off the bad things, allowing the Holy Spirit to renew my mind, and seeking only to please my Master. That is the goal for my own life and the challenge that I put to you.