“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:3)
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
We’ve been discussing our Realized Union with Christ in His Death, Burial, and Resurrection. According to our text for this series, believer’s baptism is a public profession of faith that we were in Christ and partook of His Death, Burial, and Resurrection. The creedal statement testified hereby is quite obvious. But our Realized Union with Christ means that we are to experience the effects of this Union in our lives. Thus, we “reckon” it so that we are “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11).
Our Realized Union with Christ expresses the Truth that the man who is indeed dead in Christ; who is indeed buried in Christ – is also indeed risen with Christ (Colossians 3:1, 3). The Resurrection of Jesus Christ required a special work of God’s Power (Ephesians 1:19-20). So too, we are to realize this special work of Resurrection Power extending to us as Christ’s Body. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). God has called you, by His Power, to come forth from the grave of sin, a New Creature to live Eternally the Christ-Life.
Consider the Power of the Resurrection. Christ did not simply forgive us for sin, because the Divine Law had to be satisfied in regards to the penalty of Death. Neither does He simply clean us up and ‘help’ us to live a good and moral life. Neither does He simply teach us how to live a life that pleases God, or enable us to do so. In the Sovereign Mind of God, a person is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. It is impossible for a dead man to praise the Lord (Psalm 115:17). And so Life must be given to the dead.
Notice what our text says: “Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” While it certainly required a special work of God’s Power, more is indicated by “the glory of the Father.” ‘Glory’ indicates grandeur that God alone may claim, here being displayed in the Resurrection of Christ. The Glory of God is co-existent with Himself – all that God Is is His Glory. Thus we see that all the Divine Attributes were at work and in evidence in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Is God Wise? His Wisdom was seen in the Resurrection. Is He Loving? His Love was seen therein.
What does our text say? “That like as Christ was raised… by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” As all the Attributes of God were at work in Christ’s Resurrection; so too did we, as His Body, experience the Work of God therein. We need to realize that the New Man created in us required all the Attributes of God at work. The Life of Christ is entirely different from the life we lived before coming to a saving knowledge of Christ; for in this New Life, all the Glory of God is at work, and our life is to be lived therefore to the Glory of God.
Our Realized Union with Christ means that we have knowledge of our Oneness with Him. As this Oneness is lived, we have the experience of His Resurrection Life in all of its Glory. This Life is characterized by the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The only claim a Child of God has to experience these Attributes of God is according our experience of Oneness with Christ. Thus we have to come to experience the Truth of our Union with Christ in His Death, Burial, and Resurrection.
Child of Grace, you who have been baptized as a testimony of your Faith in the efficiency of all that Christ’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection accomplished; witnessing that you are the beneficiary to Sovereign Grace – you have professed before men that you believe the Gospel’s Truth as it effects your salvation. This is Representative Union with Christ. You have said to all: I believe Christ died for me; that He was buried, and rose again three days later.
But there is a deeper Truth being depicted by believer’s baptism. That is, our Realized Union with Christ. By this, you experience Death to self, sin, and the world. You experience a Burial whereby the body of Death is put away (Romans 7:24-25), never again to be a stench in the nostrils of God. You experience a being Raised again with a view to walking in Newness of Life. You experience this Resurrection Life by the Glory of God as all the fulness of God indwells you. This is the New Man; this is the Life of Christ.
Child of Grace, you are no longer under the Law’s condemnation of Death (Romans 8:1), but have passed from Death unto Life (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14). Death has no more dominion over you, that you should serve it any longer, or feel its consequence (Romans 6:9). Realize your position of Oneness in Christ, and know that in His Resurrection you have been made Free to serve the Lord your God. Delight yourself in Him and in the New Life given to you by His Grace.