Read: Romans 6: 1 - 13
One of the many facets of the meaning of our baptism is that we are by the grace and Spirit of Christ baptized unto a new and holy life. This is the teaching of the passage from God’s Word which you were asked to read from Rom 6.
Our baptism is a sign of our mystical union with Christ. Christ is our legal and representative head. This in part is the meaning of the truth that He is our Lord. God laid upon Christ the guilt of our sins according to which we stand condemned before the just and holy God of heaven and earth. Jesus satisfied for all of the guilt of our sins through His death on the cross. We are also made spiritually one with Christ. Christ has given to us His Spirit when we were born again. Of this, baptism is the sign. The power of the Spirit of Christ is the power of Christian living.
By the Spirit of Christ, we are made new creatures. Our old man of sin, representing the old sinful nature that we all inherited from our fallen parents, was crucified with Christ. It was put to death at the cross of Christ.
We still have the remnants of our old sinful nature. Our old sinful nature is our corrupt and sinful nature out of which arises all kinds of sinful, corrupt thoughts, lusts and evil passions, such as unclean thoughts, thoughts of pride, hatred and envy, covetousness and worldliness. As long as we are still in the body of sin, we still struggle with these evil inclinations. We must resist these sinful inclinations and strive to overcome them and put them entirely away. Christian living involves an ongoing spiritual battle. This battle is not only with the devil, and the temptations of the ungodly world we live in, but also with the remnants of our own sinful nature.
However, thanks be to God, we have been delivered from the bondage of sin because our old sinful nature was crucified with Christ. Therefore sin can no longer have dominion over us. We have been freed from the slavery of sin. We could never have conquered sin in our own strength. Christ has given to us the victory over sin.
Our baptism is also a sign that we have the new life of Christ in us. The new life of Christ is the principle in us of love for God, and desire after holiness. Because of the new man in Christ, we delight in the law of God in our inner man, desiring to do that which is pleasing to God in obedience and service to God. Christ Himself gave us this new life. He works that new life in us more and more. For this, we are continually thankful to God. The Christian life is one of complete reliance on Christ, trusting in Him and seeking daily His grace and Spirit, and glorying in Him as our Lord.
That Christ gives us the new life does not exclude our own will and efforts. The Reformed believer confesses that his or her life is in Christ Jesus. This does not mean that we are passive in the new life. The new life of Christ makes us ready and willing to serve Christ and live unto Him. Read again Lord’s Day one of the Heidelberg Catechism, where we are told that the comfort of belonging to Christ is also that He makes us ready and willing to live unto Him.
In every area of our life, our personal life, our life in society, and our life in the church of Christ which is His body, we are called to serve and glorify Him.
Rev. Arie denHartog (Wife: Sherry)
Ordained: October 1974
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1974; Foreign Missionary, Singapore - 1979; Randolph, WI - 1987; Redlands, CA - 1990; Minister-on-Loan, Singapore - 2001; Southwest, Grandville, MI - 2005Website: www.southwestprc.org/
Address4895 Ivanrest Ave. SW
State or ProvinceMichigan
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