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)
Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father.
God’s glory is difficult to define. Glory is an ambiguous term. Let me try to illustrate it. Let’s say Lebron James goes to play for the Chicago Bulls. He walks into the United Center as a Chicago Bull and demands to wear jersey #23. What would happen? The place would go crazy, the fans erupt! Why? The number 23 has great significance in Chicago…it belongs to Michael Jordan and no one else will ever wear it as a Bulls player–no one. As good as Lebron James is, to insist on wearing #23 would insult Jordan and steal his glory.
God’s glory is what distinguishes him from all of creation. He stands alone as God. You can say that, when Jesus died on the cross, his jersey was retired. No one has ever done nor ever will do what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross. But that wasn’t enough. When Jesus went into the tomb, God’s glory was on the line. Would he raise? Would he live again? If he didn’t, God’s reputation, His distinctiveness, would be marred forever. What kind of Father leaves his Son in a borrowed tomb. Three days later, God defended his glory by raising His Son. God defended His honor by making good on his promise. The dead Christ would come to life again! Nothing, not even death, would steal God’s glory.
Here’s the catch. Romans 6 asserts that, when God saved you, He put his glory on the line. He is committed to getting you home and with joy in the journey. Your holiness is His project. Your sanctification is His aim. Your righteous living is His objective. His glory is on the line. The result is this: just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Your new life is a display, not of your own dogged determination to get it right, but of God’s ability to get it right. His glory is on the line.
Just as death had no power over Jesus in the tomb, sin has no power over you. As a new believer you get to live a new life. And God will see that you do–He will raise you by His glory.