Your old life is gone. It’s dead and buried. It’s been cast off; discarded completely. When you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you died to sin.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:1-14)
Paul’s amazing exposition on sin and death strikes deeply to the core of what it means to be a follower of Christ. We have been set free from the penalty of sin and given new life in and through Jesus Christ. What an incredible and astonishing blessing that is! This is what baptism is all about.
Our baptism in water symbolizes our intimate identification with Jesus. In the act of being submerged under the water we are, in effect, dying to sin, dying to our old selves, and joining Christ in His death on the Cross. When we are raised up out of the water we are symbolically coming alive in Christ, joining together with Him in His Resurrection.
This is not just a symbolic act to make us feel good, but the very real and tangible beginning of a new chapter in our lives—“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Who do you know who needs to get baptized? How can you encourage them to take this next and important step of faith?