Notice Paul's words from Romans 6: "Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death [as baptism symbolizes our old sinful self being put to death when we repent and accept Christ's atoning 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.
"For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin . . . For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:3-6, Romans 6:10, emphasis added).
Here Paul gives us a vision of how we are to live once we have repented of living contrary to the spiritual laws of God and made a choice to obey Him and turn from a path and a culture of death to one that puts us squarely on the road to eternal life. To begin this life, this journey, is to begin to live as we have never lived previously. It is a new life, "alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This new life is about Christ in us by the power of God's Holy Spirit. It's about a different approach and attitude toward life than we would have without this help. It's about a choice we make to become free from sin and its consequences.
It's about turning over our power for His power in us to overcome, to do His will. It's about deciding to stop the destructive behavior of addictions to whatever may currently enslave us. It's about deciding to forgive others and letting go of past hurts and moving on in life. It's about deciding to avoid the people, places, attitudes and temptations that keep us in the holes of life.
It's about asking the Power that created the universe to come into our life and give us the strength and courage to be transformed. Not to change a little bit; that's not what transformed means. But to become new, a new creation in Christ. Think about what God is proposing here—for you to become new. How incredible is that?
Eternal life for all mankind is possible not only because Jesus died, but because God raised Him from the dead and placed Him at His right hand, for through His resurrection and life He is our hope of salvation.
In Galatians 2:20, Paul writes: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (King James Version).
That's a powerful scripture. It brings home that He is our Savior. We're to die to our old selves, our old way of life, and become like Jesus Christ. That's the reality Paul describes here. The reality of the resurrection for me is that Christ lives in me, as He does in all who have truly received Him as Savior—and He can live in you too.
That's what Paul was saying. The life I live, I live by faith or the faith of Christ within me. That's a hugely powerful concept. Being a part of the true faith means my life can be changed. I don't have to have the same worries, the same concerns, the same old perspective that would override our thinking otherwise. Because of the faith of Jesus Christ, we can be different. We can live a different life. We can be a different person.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a central doctrine of the Christian faith. Its meaning for you is far greater than anything you can learn through the religious traditions that obscure the real meaning of the event. When we understand it within the completeness of the life and death of Christ, it completely changes everything!
The disciples found an empty tomb. Jesus was not there. He had risen. And today He sits at the right hand of the Father as the Head of a spiritual body called the Church. He is directing our lives—if we let Him.
Will you heed the voice of the Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep? Don't be afraid to know the truth, to heed that yearning within you to find better pasture and live in peace and in confidence in God!