My journey of being a follower of Jesus began at the age of seven. I grew up in the church, heard messages, devotionals, and songs that contained the premise of “new life” through Jesus. Naturally, I wanted that and made the decision to be baptized. I wish I could say that after that moment at the age of seven, I really leaned in and accepted that new life, but it didn’t pan out that way.
I remember hearing the phrase in every baptism I witnessed: “buried with Christ in baptism, raised to walk in newness of life.” Buried with Christ in baptism? Raised to walk in newness of life? I didn’t understand that statement at all or just how weighty those words were.
20 years later, I still forget how powerful this truth is. As Paul wrote in Romans 6, “now that we have been united in His death we CERTAINLY are also united with Him in the resurrection.” The use of the word “certainly” is a sigh of relief for me. That as a follower of Jesus, we surely and confidently have received everlasting life through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We have died to our sinful nature, turning away from death and being able to join in with the resurrection and our newfound freedom in Jesus.
Dying to our old self and rebuking sin’s attempted claim over us opens up a life free to know and be known by God. I daily have to choose to turn away from sinful patterns and temptations, and like all of us, I fall short. The story doesn’t stop there, though, as His grace and mercies are new every day, and we can rejoice in knowing that sin and death were defeated once and for all on the cross.