Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life Romans 6:3-4
First, we show in our baptism that we believe in the death of Jesus, and desire to partake in it.
Second and equally important is our experience, a manner of dying, of being buried, of rising, and of living in Christ which must be displayed in each one of us if we are indeed members of the body of Christ.
The next thought in baptism is burial. Death comes first, and burial follows. What is burial? Burial is, first of all, the seal of death; it is the certificate of decease. "Is that guy dead?" asks one, "Of course he was buried a year ago", says another.
There have been instances of people being buried alive, and I am afraid that happens with sad frequency in baptism. I fear that many have been buried alive in baptism, and have therefore risen and walked out of the grave just as they were.
But if burial is true, it is a certificate of death.
If I’m able to say in truth, "I was buried with Christ 30 years ago," I’ve gotta be dead to sin…. But actions speak loud.
I think there are a lot of dead ringers in Christendom!
Fear of premature burial was widespread in 18th and 19th century Europe, leading to the invention of the safety coffin. Over thirty different designs were patented in Germany in the second half of the 19th century. The common element was a mechanism for allowing the 'dead' to communicate with people above ground. Many designs included ropes which, when pulled, would ring the church bell, or a purpose-mounted bell. Some say expressions “saved by the bell” and “dead ringer”, come from this little bit of trivia.
Burial is the displaying of death.
While the corpse lies indoors those passing by don’t know that he is dead; but when the funeral takes place, everybody knows that he is dead.
This is what baptism ought to be.
The believer's death to sin is at first a secret, but by a public confession he invites every one to know that he is dead with Christ.
Water Baptism is the funeral rite by which death to sin is openly shown to the public.
We’ve looked at death and burial; but baptism, according to our text is more, it also represents resurrection. That like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Notice next that the man who is dead in Christ, and buried in Christ, is also raised in Christ.
This is dependant upon Christ.
All the dead are not raised, but our Lord himself is "the first fruits of them that slept" He is the first-begotten from among the dead.
Christ was raised from the dead and what began with Him, will continue until all the members of His church partake of it, for…
The Lord by his power has called you out of your grave, and now you are alive in the midst of death.
There can be no real fellowship here for you; for what communion have the living with the dead? Notice next, that this life is entirely new. We are to "walk in newness of life."
The life of a Christian is an entirely different thing from the life of other men, entirely different from the life before conversion, and when people try to counterfeit it, they utterly fail.
And this new life is an active thing.
We Christians are given an awesome responsibility. We are actively alive, and we begin walking, and so the Lord keeps us all our lives in His work; He does not allow us to sit down contented with the mere fact that we live, nor does He allow us to spend all our time in examining whether we are alive or no; but he gives us one battle to fight, and then another.
The life that is given to those who were dead with Christ is an energetic, forceful life, that is evermore busy for Christ, and would, if it could, move heaven and earth to bring others to Christ. What did Christ do after he rose from the dead?
To bear any more sin? No, just to live unto God. That is where you and I are.
We have no sin to carry now; it was all laid on Christ. What have we to do?
Every time we have a headache, or feel ill, are we to cry out, "This is a punishment for my sin"?
Nothing of the kind. Our punishment is all done with, for we have borne the capital sentence, and are dead: our new life must be unto God.
I have only now to serve God and delight myself in him, and use the power which he gives me to call others from the dead, saying, "Awake, you that sleep and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light."
I am not going back to the grave of spiritual death!
I am not going back for my grave-clothes of sin; but by divine grace I will serve God by faith in Jesus, and go from strength to strength, not under law, not fearing hell, nor hoping to win heaven, but as a new creature, loving because loved, living for Christ because Christ lives in me, rejoicing in glorious hope of that which is yet to be revealed!
I am a new creation raised from the dead by my oneness in Christ.