“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”. (I Peter 1:3-5)
Maria came up out from the waters of baptism crying tears of joy because she knew Jesus set her free from her sins. She had a brand new life – she was alive again! Mark thought he could jump higher after baptism because the weight of sin was gone. He had a brand new life – he was alive again. Tim had a bounce in his step that demonstrated he had relief from the old life and born again to a new life in Christ.
The air smells fresher. The sky is more beautiful. It’s great to be alive again. It might happen in our conversion to Christ, when by faith we are baptized into Christ and receive the grace of God in the blood of the Lamb. Maybe you experienced that new, clean feeling, when after becoming a Christian you allowed the world to creep back into your daily living, and now you are repenting and turning back to following Jesus. Either way, it’s a beautiful day being close to Jesus and feeling spiritually alive again. We want to stay close to Jesus more than anything else in this world.
Jesus told Nicodemus he needed to be born again (John 3:1-21). Jesus knows eternal life. He even has the water of life (John 4:10). He is the bread of life (John 6:35). He is the light of the world and all who follow Him shall have the light of life (John 8:12). He came for the explicit purpose of giving us abundant life (John 10:10). Jesus is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25-26). Jesus Christ is the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Him (John14:6). The apostle John, nearing the end of his awesome gospel, writes, “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).
Read Romans 6:1-23 and listen to Alive Again by Matt Maher.
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.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.