We all have favorite Bible verses. The beauty of God’s Word is that it tells the complete redemptive story through His Son from Genesis to Revelation, and yet, there are particular verses that we gravitate towards because they speak to us in various times in our life.
There are several verses I have highlighted and underlined in my Bible, but the verse that has had a profound impact on my walk with the Lord is Romans 6:4. Paul is saying a lot about the believer’s relationship with Christ in so little words that I think it’s worth commenting on today.
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
Identified with Christ
Can I tell you, for the longest time I considered myself simply a recipient of the salvation that came from Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross. However, Paul paints a different picture of the believers interaction with Christ’s death in Romans 6:4. In fact, I’ve come to realize that we’re not just recipients, but active participants with Him.
Paul says in Romans 6:4 we have been baptized into the death and burial of the Lord Jesus. The word baptized in Romans 6:4 carries the meaning of identification, that is, we didn’t just sit on the sidelines when we placed our faith in Christ and surrendered our life to Him, we actually died with Him, putting to death once for all our old nature. Paul goes on to say that if we’ve been identified with Christ’s death and burial then we’ve also become participants in His glorious resurrection!
The Resurrected Life
If you’ve ever wondered how Jesus was resurrected from the dead Paul explains that while Jesus’ body lay in the dark tomb God acted and “the glory of the Father” raised Him up from the dead. As Paul told us earlier, we’ve been identified with Christ in His death and burial, this participation was necessary so that we could be associated with His resurrection!
Our old self died and it was buried with Christ, but Christ didn’t remain in the tomb, and neither did we. We’ve received a new nature, better yet, a new disposition in this life. If you’ve believed in Jesus, you are no longer the same you were before, you are a new person because the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Since we have the power of God on our side, today we have the capability to walk in newness of life. Dr. Showers in his book says, “Paul is teaching that there is some sense in which a person actually experiences resurrection with Christ when that person becomes a Christian.” We experience in someway a spiritual resurrection, and yet we await that day when our salvation is complete and our bodies physically resurrect. Paul uses the verb “to walk” in a most peculiar way, he uses it in a way to suggest the realm of possibility.
English versions translate the verb as “might walk”. I believe Paul understood that even though we have a new disposition, we also still battle the flesh. He didn’t say, NOW YOU WILL BE NEW! He’s implying that we as believers with a new disposition have every spiritual resource and tool provided by the Holy Spirit that you might walk in newness of life.
I always get excited whenever I think about this notion, the very “glory of the Father” and power of God that physically raised Christ from the dead now lives within each an every believer enabling us live a resurrected life today!
Are you living the resurrected life?
Thank you, Chris, for sharing your verse, Romans 6:4. Romans 7:4 is the New Testament equivalent of my favorite, “And I will betroth thee unto me forever” ! ( Hosea 2:19-20 )