Your Real Independence Day ~ blog
Today, July 4th, 2020, is called Independence Day in the United States of America. We are celebrating the 13 American colonies winning its freedom from being ruled over by the British and ceasing to be part of the British Empire. Our friends up north in Canada celebrate their independence from the British on July 1st.
However, for us as Christian believers and Christ-followers, our real Independence Day was the day Jesus died on the cross. This historical event which happened sometime in the Spring outside of Jerusalem on a hilltop named Golgotha. Jesus went to the cross as our representative and though you may not have even known this…when Jesus died, we were in Him. So, what literally happened to him has been applied to us the day we accepted Christ as our Savior.
Sounds weird, I know, but let me show this to you from the Bible. Romans 6:3-4 reads;
“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 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.”
Very strange words…I know, so let me unfold its meaning. The word baptized confuses us because when we hear the word baptism we think of a literal baptism done by immersion in water or sprinkling with water. Literally baptize means to dunk or immerse something into either water or a vat of colored dye.
To change the color of a cloth into something more beautiful they would put the material into a vat of dye and use a stick to push it into the water so that the color of the cloth would become equal to the color of the dye. Literally it meant to immerse the cloth.
However, there is a figurative meaning to baptize as well. That meaning is that the thing being baptized has become united with whatever is was baptized in to. Literally it has become the same color but figuratively whatever happens to the real person it is as if it has happened to us. We share in the effects or the results of what Jesus, our representative, went through.
Therefore, Paul says because we have been baptized into Christ, which was done by the Holy Spirit the moment we believe, we also have been baptized into His death. So, when Christ died it is as if we also died. When Christ was buried, we were also buried, and therefore, when Christ rose from the dead we also rose from the dead. And because of that spiritual reality, he writes…
“…so we too might walk in newness of life.”
Because Christ was crucified, buried, and rose to new life…so also we have been crucified, buried, and now have the possibility of walking in newness of life…away from sin.
Our spiritual independence from sin is the result of what Jesus physically endured through His death, burial, and resurrection. The results of which became a reality in our lives when we accepted Christ. The work was done on the cross by Jesus. The gift of all of that became ours when we placed our faith in Him to be our Savior.
Now notice one other thing. Just a little later in the passage we read;
“For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”
First, notice that Paul changes the word “baptized” with the word “united”. We became united with Christ in the likeness of His death…and therefore we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection. Then he clarifies what he means by telling us our “old self” was crucified with Him. The person we were before we accepted Christ was crucified with Him…the old you dead and buried with Christ.
And then he makes this incredible conclusion. All this has happened so that the new creation we are in Christ does not have to be a slave to sin. This is true because someone who has died is freed from sin.
Obviously, that does not mean we will no longer sin. We are not freed from the presence of sin in our sinful nature. We are freed from the penalty of our sin because they are all paid for by the shedding of His blood. But the presence of sin remains in our flesh, and in our fallen world as well.
However, what has changed is that God has given us independence from being controlled by our sin nature. Its monopoly of controlling us is broken. We were held in prison because we were sinners. However, the lock has been broken and we have been set free, rescued from the domination of the power of sin over us.
The good news is that this has truly happened. The bad news is that we can go back and live in our prison cell if we choose to go back and sin. We have been freed from sin’s monopoly over us, but it will gladly welcome us back which is what is happening when we go back to porn and sexual sin.
Sure, we think we can slip back in, get an orgasm, feel the rush of all the chemicals again and it is exciting and all that…but how does it leave you feeling??? It’s like going back to that old prison all over again.
When being tempted you need to look beyond the images of flesh and sex and its promise of escape with temporary pleasure and see what is down at the end of that road. It’s a dead-end with a prison cell with your name on it. Is that where you really want to go?
I think not. You have been united with Christ. You have been crucified with Him, buried with Him, and resurrected with Him. Why not flee your youthful lusts and live in the freedom He has purchased for you today?
If you would like a more careful exposition of Romans 6-8 get my devotional 40 Days of Purity and I will walk you through these 3 incredible chapters of Scripture in a daily devotional specifically for those struggling with sexual sin. Just click the image below.
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