Baptized into New Life
The self-help section of the bookstore wouldn't be so crowded if more people accepted God’s solution for their well-being. His provision for man’s redemption isn't self-improvement but rather a complete replacement of the old “flesh” nature.
From God’s perspective, those who receive Jesus as Savior and accept His sacrifice for their sin are crucified right alongside Him. Their old self, puffed up with pride and riddled with sin, is put to death, and a new spotless Spirit takes up residence within. Baptism is a symbolic act representing that transition from death to life. Not only does it symbolize Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection; it also reflects our own experience of being buried with the crucified Christ and raised to walk in newness of life.
In our new life, we are free from bondage to sinful habits, harmful attitudes, and hurtful speech; the power of sin is cancelled. But daily life doesn't always reflect spiritual reality, and we’re left wondering why. When we can’t seem to meet godly expectations, we try harder to do right. At times we return to the self-help section when what we should do is turn to the Deliverer. In redeeming us, Christ became our life. He lives in us through His indwelling Spirit, and He will live through us if we allow Him to do so.
People can’t fix themselves. Jesus calls believers into a relationship wherein they are remade. When He’s the center of our life—when we eagerly read Scripture, pray that His will be done, and seek to follow in His way—we change for the better. That is “walking in newness of life.”
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