For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.

Have you been baptized? If so, why did you take that step of obedience, and what did it mean to you?

For the Christian, a mysterious but undeniable new relationship begins at the moment of confession. Being a believer in Christ means being united with Christ; we are identified with the One in whom we have believed. When we profess faith in Christ, an inseparable union occurs (Romans 6:1-10). That union assures us that we participate in His death and are freed from sin. Baptism serves as an illustration of that participation. It symbolizes death to an old way of life and resurrection to a new life.

While baptism is not necessary for salvation, it is an important representation of what has happened in the life of the believer. In His death on the cross, Jesus died to sin, once for all, and now lives to God. That life is the theme of our faith. Having died with Christ means we also live with Him. This is not only a possibility, it is reality! The foundation of our certainty is grounded in the resurrection of Christ.

We must accept the full reality of the Christian life—both death and life has occurred. We were once dead in sin, but the hold of sin is now broken in our lives! Forgiven, and freed from guilt and empowered to live in a manner that honors God, we live for God, giving Him every part of our lives.

• Which is a more accurate description of your life right now—dead in sin or alive in Christ? Why?

• How should Jesus’ death and life impact your own life today?

• Thank Jesus for the power of the resurrection. Ask Him to remind you this week that your sinful natures died with Christ, and that you were raised with Him to live in new freedom.