What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:1-4 ESV)
For the first 17 years of my Christian life I did not know.
Here’s what I did not know:
- I did not know that I was baptized into Jesus’s death.
- I did not know that I was buried with Jesus in his burial.
- I did not know that I was resurrected with Jesus in his resurrection.
I did not know. I’ve told this before (and it’s really embarrassing, but true). For several years I drove a Chevy S-10 that had a 3rd door. Behind the driver’s door was a 3rd door! For years, when Trent wanted to ride with me, he would climb behind my seat into the back and sit on the fold-down chair. I never saw the door handle to the 3rd door. It was hidden in plain sight. That’s embarrassing.
But it’s more embarrassing to admit that for 17 years of my Christian life, I battled sin in my own power because I was ignorant. I was ignorant of this reality: when I trusted Jesus as my Savior (baptized into Christ Jesus) I was immersed in his death. My old sinful nature died that day. Death isn’t fun. My sinful nature hasn’t been happy ever since. As a matter of fact, every day my sinful nature (flesh) tries to rear its ugly head, tries to convince me to satisfy its desires, tries to deceive me into thinking I can be satisfied by its desires.
Death is devastating unless there’s a resurrection in the future! I did not know that I was baptized into Jesus’s death. And I did not know that I was buried with Jesus in his burial. And of course I did not know that I was resurrected with Jesus. That’s right!
How was Jesus raised from the dead? “By the glory of the Father.” That’s a loaded statement…one that this blog won’t allow today–tomorrow we will delve into it. Here’s what I didn’t know. I didn’t know that the death of my sinful nature had lead to the resurrection of a new man in Christ…one not bound by sin, one not under the sway of the world, one not gripped by the power of temptation.
Lamar Silver showed me the 3rd door on my truck. Chuck Swindoll, in his sermon series on Romans 1-8, opened a whole new vista into what it means to walk by grace, to be raised to life by the Spirit, to live an entirely new life.
Now I know. And I have choice. Climb over the seat to get to the back of the Chevy S-10…or open the 3rd door.