May 3 – Walking In Newness

“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” –  Romans 6:4 (NASB)

In a very real sense spiritually, all who have truly  believed in Jesus Christ have been united with Christ by faith.  His death and burial become ours and we are saved from ever experiencing our own spiritual death. Even physical death becomes for us a temporary stay until the resurrection of believers. God our Father chose us for this by his mercy. What the Son of God, made real He did out of His own love and will. By God’s grace we walk in newness of life because in Christ we died and were buried with Him, and we have also become one with Him in His resurrection. Paul uses the word “baptized” in a figurative sense; in the same way we might say someone was immersed in his work or when someone experiences a hard test of their character, we might say they underwent a baptism of trials. We experience a new quality and character to our lives, and live according to a new principle of life. As Christ’s burial shows that He actually died, a Christians’ “burial with Christ” shows that they in fact died with Him to their former sinful ways of living.

196

 October 21 – One Means One

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” – Ephesians 4:4-6 (NASB)

We have been promised as faith believers that we are one together. So it may seem strange, after reading these verses and understanding this promise from God that there is myriad of versions of Christian bodies each following a different interpretation or teaching. Paul, the apostle is teaching the body of believers in Ephesus that in all the world there is only one body of believers. Paul lists seven elements of unity centered on the three Persons of God. He focuses on the Trinity—the Spirit in verse 4, the Son in verse 5, and the Father in verse 6. Paul’s point is not to distinguish between the Persons of the Godhead but to emphasize that, although they have unique roles, they are completely unified in every aspect of the divine nature and plan. These are the basis for unity that should exist in the body of believers. One body refers to the universal church. One Spirit is the Holy Spirit who indwells the church. The words, one hope when you were called, all believers have a common hope regarding their future with God, a confidence that began at the time they were “called” to salvation.

196