“Therefore 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).
Water baptism represents the believer’s identification with Jesus in His death and resurrection. Being immersed under the water represents the death of the "old man" with his old sinful way of life. Going under the water is also a picture of being buried with Jesus. Then coming up from the water is a picture of rising from the dead as a new creation in Christ in newness of life.
When Jesus was resurrected, God did not bring Him back to more of His same life, as when Elijah revived the widow’s son (1 Kings 17:17-24) or when Jesus resuscitated his friend, Lazarus (John 11). Rather, God raised Jesus from the dead to a brand new life.
Likewise, when we walk in newness of life, things will be different. We won’t do the same sinful things we did before, we probably won’t hang out at the same places we used to enjoy, and we should be doing new things as we serve the Kingdom with our gifts and talents.
Looks Like ...
My first husband was a pastor. We had gone through seminary together, and were just getting started in what I expected to be a life of ministry together. But then he did the unthinkable – he decided to leave the ministry and his family to marry my best friend.
I took care of the kids and prayed for a godly man for five years, and God answered my prayers with a sweet man I call my “treasure of darkness” (Isaiah 45:3). When we got married everything became new. We started a new career (as we bought a restaurant the day after our wedding), we moved to a new city, we joined a new church, and our children had new siblings with whom they could fight.
We had both been “dumped” by our spouses, so we both made an intentional commitment to “bury” hurt feelings and "bury" any remaining anger or bitterness. That let the door open wide for joy again, and we are still walking with joy in the newness of our life together - 32 years later. Likewise, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and bury the “old man”, we begin to walk with joy in the newness of our life with Him, and that joy will last for eternity.
Ask Yourself ...
Is there anything in my past that is blocking joy from my walk in the newness of life with Christ? Is there anything remaining that needs to be buried? “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts” (Psalm 139:23).