Author Name: Sam Freney
Author Bio: Sam Freney is a translation consultant with the Bible Society of Australia. He’s a professional Bible nerd. He works as the specialist in the original languages of the Bible with several translation teams, helping them to accurately communicate the Scriptures in their languages.
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Christians often talk about character, or moral formation. Which makes sense, since God cares about how we live the lives he has given us. But sometimes we can give the impression, or even believe ourselves, that doing the right thing is what is necessary for life with God.
The reality, though, is much more about Jesus.
Paul wrote a letter to Christians in Rome. He talks about baptism — you know, the water on a new believer — and how baptism points us to something that comes first.
Believing in Jesus — trusting in him for life — isn’t just about following or imitating someone. We participate. Jesus died, martyred on a cross, for us. But trusting in Jesus means we’re united with him. The death that Jesus dies, our old self of being apart from God dies as well. That’s the picture that baptism paints: that old life goes under the water, under the earth, and is buried with Jesus. Done and dusted.
Of course, Jesus didn’t stay dead. So just like him, just like he was raised from the dead by God’s incredible glory and power, we are given new life as well.
God unites us to Jesus Christ. So whatever happens to him, happens to us as well. Our past and whatever might have gone along with that has died and is done away with. And whatever good we do now, whatever moral change might happen in us now by God being active within his church and his children, whatever life we have now is a reflection that Jesus died for us and was raised by God’s power, so that we can live a new life.
Our lives are a testament to Jesus’ death and resurrection.
And Jesus? He’s all about life.
Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, who died for us and was raised again by your glory. Thank you that in the same way, our old self has died and been buried, so we can live in newness of life. Thank you that Jesus means life, and life for us.