Rising to New Life in Christ
Scripture: Romans 6:6-14 (NIV)
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
As followers of Christ, we are called to a life of transformation. Just as our old self was crucified with Christ, we are invited to rise to new life in Him. In this podcast episode, we see the parallel between the process of baptism and our spiritual journey. Baptism symbolizes our death to sin and our resurrection to a new life in Christ. But what does it mean practically to live out this new life?
First, we must recognize that our old self, with its sinful desires and rebellious ways, has been put to death through the power of the cross. We are no longer slaves to sin, but free in Christ. This freedom, however, does not give us license to continue in sinful behavior. Instead, we are called to count ourselves dead to sin and alive to God. This means actively choosing to turn away from sin and align our lives with God’s will.
Just as the podcast host had to make the difficult decision to put their beloved dog down due to its suffering, we too must make tough choices in our spiritual journey. We must lay down our old ways of living and offer ourselves fully to God. This involves surrendering every part of our being to Him, allowing Him to mold and shape us into vessels of righteousness. It is through this surrender that we experience true freedom and become more like Jesus.
Practical Action Steps:
Reflect on your life and identify areas where you may still be holding onto sinful habits or attitudes. Ask God to reveal these areas to you and give you the strength to let go of them.
Commit to daily surrendering yourself to God. Pray and ask Him to take control of your life, guiding your thoughts, words, and actions.
Seek accountability and support from fellow believers. Share your struggles and victories with trusted friends who can encourage and challenge you in your journey towards holiness.
Meditate on God’s Word daily. Allow the Scriptures to shape your thinking and transform your heart. Look for practical ways to apply biblical principles in your everyday life.
Cultivate a lifestyle of worship. Offer your whole self to God in gratitude and praise. Seek to honor Him in all that you do, whether in your relationships, work, or leisure activities.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of new life in Christ. Help us to fully embrace the reality of our death to sin and our resurrection to righteousness. Give us the strength to lay down our old ways and surrender ourselves completely to You. Mold us and shape us into vessels of honor, reflecting the character of Your Son, Jesus Christ. May our lives be a testimony of Your transforming love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Podcast Transcript: Death and New Life
I have to admit to you that I am a dog person. I do not like cats. And if you like cats more than dogs, well, I’m sorry. Nobody’s perfect. But dogs have kind of been a part of my life since I was younger. I remember growing up, we’ve had several dogs growing up. And the reason why it’s fresh on my mind now is because we just recently had to put our dog down. We had rescued her when she was either three or four. They didn’t really know how old she was at the time. We rescued her. She became part of our family as soon as we were married. And we’ve had her for almost 10 years. So she was 13 or 14. Just a great dog. And we think she was a Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Terrier mix. It’s kind of a weird breed, but she was super good with our kids. She was really good with other dogs and other people. Hardly ever barked. Was just a loving pet. It was so sad for us recently that we had to lay her down because, I mean, she was having a lot of health issues. Just seemed like she was in pain a lot. So we, you know, we had to make that tough decision. And that was a struggle because that decision is so final, like you cannot… undo that decision.
Seeking Spiritual Renewal
So I had gone to the vet, we had gotten blood work done because I thought it was time, then we waited a few more months after that because we had gotten some medications to help with some issues that were going on and it just came to a point where it became more and more obvious as things were not getting any better at all. But we just wanted to make the right decision because it is so final and you know we do have four kids. Just going through this process, I mean, I guess it’s good for them, too, to realize what mortality is. Like, we don’t live forever. Our dog doesn’t live forever. We’re only here for a short period of time. Dogs shorter than us, hopefully, we are mortal just the same.
Baptism and New Life
And I’m reading through Romans. We’re in chapter 6 right now. And what stands out to me here, which is what I make this podcast about, it’s kind of what sticks out to me, is talking about baptism and it’s talking about our death to ourselves and baptism being a picture of that, what happens spiritually. When we give our life to God, what he requires of us for us to turn from our sin, we are to lay our life down. We are to put ourselves to death and be born again. Jesus talks about this in John chapter 3. He’s talking to Nicodemus. It’s become very popular. It’s John chapter 3, verses 16. It’s one of the verses that, like, everybody knows, right? For God so loved the world, he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. That’s actually a conversation with Nicodemus, who was curious about what it means to be saved and to be born again. Jesus is explaining to him what the process looks like spiritually, being born again. And in Romans, the Apostle Paul is also talking about it. He gives us a picture of baptism, of what happens spiritually to us, that we lay ourselves down and we put that to death, our own sinful ways, our own selfish life that we used to live in rebellion of God, that we have been called to lay that down, put that to death. And then when we rise new, that’s a picture of us going down into the water, we come out of the water, that we are a new person in Christ, that we receive the Holy Spirit, that He renews us, He sanctifies us, He molds us, He shapes us, He uses us. And we become more and more like Jesus as we grow in our relationship with Him. And you’re going to see that change in your life and in your heart. But that comes from repentance. It comes from turning from sin.
Struggling with Sin
And in Romans, they’re struggling with that. It’s like, if God has forgiven us of everything we’ve done, why can’t we just do anything we want now? Because we have been forgiven. So let’s just go to town and do whatever we want. And he’s explaining that, no, we have put that to death. If you have faith in him and you have trust in him, you are going to put that old life to death. That way, God can live within you and you can chase after him and live the life that he’s called us to live. You cannot live a life with sin and a life that pleases God at the same time. He has come to set us free from that.
Embracing New Life
Chapter 6, verses 6, For we know that our old self was crucified with him, so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now, if we died with Christ, we believe that we also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again, and death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once and for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God in the same way. Count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires and do not offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness for sin shall not be your master because you are not under the law but you are under grace.
God wants us to give up that old life so that He can work in us, He can use us, and make a huge impact on this world through us. And it’s going to be His love that transforms us. And as we lay our old life down, we are going to be seeing these changes. And we’re going to notice that you’re going to become more godly. You’re going to be looking more and more and acting more and more like His Son, Jesus Christ, because that’s who He’s redeeming. He is molding us and shaping us into people that are honorable and loving, that are a light into this world. Thank you.