When we truly see God as He is and understand the power of His salvation, we will want to have nothing more to do with sin. God calls for a changed heart that yearns for God and His righteousness. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth, Matthew 5.3-5.
What motivated those in the first century to become Christians? Reading through Acts, you see men and women who responded when they saw their desperate need for God. They longed to be delivered from sin. They quickly acted in a faith based response – repenting, confessing, and being immersed for the remission of sin, Acts 2.38-41; 4.4; 8.31-38; 16.25-33.
These individuals understood immersion to be the line of demarcation between the old life that was and what is made new through Christ. Ananias told Saul to Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name, 22.16. The thought of the freedom that comes from being completely finished with one’s past can be quite motivating.
Time and time again, the New Testament writers reminded Christians that what was, is no more. As a Christian, you totally new. Think of yourself for a moment.
- What you once identified with is no more. Once you walked following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, Ephesians 2.2. But not now. There was a moment when you died to sin, Romans 6.2.
- Where you were is no more. Your soul has taken up a new residence. Previously dwelling inside the domain of darkness, it is in the waters of baptism that God transferred you into the kingdom of His beloved Son, Colossians 1.13; 2.11-14.
- Who you live for has changed. You no longer live for yourself, but for Him, who for your sake died and was raised, 2 Corinthians 5.15.
Since these things are true, set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God, Colossians 3.2-3. Death and life are incompatible. You cannot be dead and alive. In Romans 6, Paul’s intention is to convey the message that it is completely contradictory for a Christian to be living in sin when he has died to it. At the moment we were baptized, we made a definite break with sin. Sin no longer defines you. Now, God defines you. Jesus not only died for what you did, but He died to make you who you are.
- The Thief on the Cross
- What It Means to Have a Brand New Life
- New Life. New Reality.
- What Happened When You Were Baptized?
- Has He Made You Righteous?
- Have You Died With Christ?
- How Important is Baptism?
- Three Steps to a Life Without Regret