Have you ever had a brush with death? Those who have come near to death often see it as a transformational experience. It can cause people to reevaluate their past and choose a better future going forward. Baptized believers have had just such an experience. They have come face-to-face with their death. They know that eternal death awaited them, but God graciously gave His Son Jesus to die for them and rescue them from death. Baptism acknowledges the fact that we were doomed to die but God took our place in Christ. More than that, baptism is a resurrection to a new and everlasting life.
Baptism should be a time of reevaluation of the past and should inspire commitment to live a new life. Sin often has an addictive component that makes us feel powerless to embrace a new life. The enslaving power of sin weaves its way into the very fabric of our lives and makes us feel as if we are under the rule of a tyrannical despot. Fortunately, if we’ve expressed our faith in Christ through baptism, the power of sin has been broken. Through baptism, we’ve left the tyrannical reality that Adam created and embraced the liberating reality that Jesus established. In this new reality, sin no longer needs to be our king. We don’t need to obey the demanding lusts of sin (Romans 6:12).
When we are united with Christ in a death like His, “our old man was crucified” (Romans 6:6). Our old man is the person we were when we were living in the reality created by Adam. That person was crucified with Christ. Because that person is now dead, we no longer need to be slaves of sin (Romans 6:6). If we’ve died with Christ, we’ve been freed from sin (Romans 6:7).
How do we begin to live out the freedom we’ve been given at our baptism? First, we need to reckon ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11). In other words, we need to acknowledge what has happened when we put our faith in Christ and were baptized. The old me died, and all my connection to the reality of Adam has been severed. The new “me” is now connected to Christ and all that He is doing.
Next, we should present our members—our body parts—to God as those that have been brought from death to life. We must give our whole selves to God so that He can use us as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:13).