You must die in order to live
by Sparta Live | April 16, 2018 6:39 am
By Derrick Coble – West Sparta church of Christ
Everyone should be interested in putting sin to death and becoming a Christian. Sin is anything that we do which God tells us not to do (1 John 3:4), and sin is anything that we don’t do which God tells us to do (James 4:17).
A person who has never become a Christian is a sinner and considered as “dead” (Ephesians 2:1-3). We all want to live for Christ and live with Him in eternity (Titus 2:11-14). To do this, the apostle Paul spoke about dying to sin: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Paul was still alive, but he had been crucified with Christ so that Christ could live in him.
When a person becomes a Christian, the old man is gone. “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Eph. 4:22). In other words, that person does not do what he “normally” would have done when he was a sinner because now he is a Christian. A Christian is “dead” to all the old things he used to do. John said, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9).
When Paul wrote to the Romans, he gave instructions on how a person must die to sin and be buried like Christ died for sin and was buried (Romans 6). This process includes baptism. Baptism means, “immerse, dip, or plunge.” It carries with it the idea of being fully covered. Paul mentions that we are “buried with him [Christ] in baptism” (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). This eliminates the idea sprinkling or pouring water. New Testament baptism is an immersion or else it is not a burial. When you walk around at cemetery, the bodies are fully covered with dirt (buried). In the same way, a person who is baptized must be fully covered with water. That is why it is sometimes called, “the watery grave of baptism.” You are “dead and buried” (Rom. 6:11). This doesn’t mean that the only thing a person must do to be get rid of sin is be baptized, and it doesn’t mean that there is anything special about the water. There are other steps of salvation that are equally important: faith (John 8:24), repentance (Acts 17:30), and confession of Jesus (Romans 10:10). When one chooses to follow this plan, he is obeying God and can truly say that he is a new person (a Christian) (Romans 6:16,17).