Experiencing New Life

Key Verse: “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

Selected Scriptures:
John 20:1, 11-17;
Romans 6:3-8

IT IS ONE THING TO RECEIVE the grace of God, but quite another to act upon that grace in a way that is pleasing to him. We cannot expect to receive his mercy and favor if we are not seeking by proper daily living a proper character building. This is the point of our Key Verse. Having freely received of God’s grace, through Jesus Christ, we are asked to bury our will into his, even unto death, and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. We are to develop a godlike character, perform service for others while suffering for righteousness sake, and demonstrate loyalty to God under all circumstances. This is what is meant by being ‘buried with him by baptism into death.’

The Key Verse also reminds us that, although Jesus died a sacrificial death, he was ‘raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.’ The resurrection of Jesus was a most glorious event in God’s plan (see John 20:1-18). Although his own closest disciples did not at first fully understand its import, later, after receiving the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, their eyes were opened to the grand meaning of Jesus’ resurrection. It truly ushered in a new feature in God’s plan especially designed for those who would be footstep followers of the Master. Paul uses Jesus’ resurrection as a picture of the privilege his followers have of walking in his steps. As Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, ‘even so we also should walk in newness of life.’ As Jesus was the recipient of a new life upon his resurrection from the dead, so also we, having consecrated ourselves to God, burying our wills into death with Jesus, must begin to walk in a newness of life, attitude and character.

Paul identifies this newness by saying, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” (II Cor. 5:17) As New Creatures we are to walk, live our life, in newness of thought, word, and action, not serving sin as we once did, but serving righteousness to the best of our ability. Although we cannot do this perfectly, it should be our desire to do so. Because we are covered with the robe of Christ’s righteousness (see lesson for March 24), God is able to overlook the failings resulting from our inherited sinful condition. We do not ignore those blemishes and failings—but strive each day to overcome as much of the fallen condition as possible. God exercises his great mercy toward us by viewing us as New Creatures and looking at the robe covering us.

It is not only important that we strive to overcome as much as possible the sinful nature of the old flesh, but that we replace it with the traits and characteristics that should accompany such newness of life counseled in the Key Verse. Such characteristics as Paul mentions in Galatians 5:22,23 are but a few of the many positive ways we can develop this newness. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” In many ways, these characteristics of our new life in Christ begin in the mind, with our thoughts. This becomes the great battleground of life, as we strive to have our mind and its thoughts conform to those that would please our Heavenly Father.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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