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What Does it Mean to be Baptized into the Death and Resurrection of Jesus?

There are two types of death. First is the death Adam entered, which is the death that sin leads to. This death put him in the earthly mind, which produced great condemnation and gave life to the flesh and its works. Adam's death was passed on through people and continues in everyone who is born today. Then there's the death of Jesus Christ, which is a death to the earthly mind and the works of the flesh. Jesus died in the flesh and gave way to the life that comes through the Spirit. This death kills the sin in your consciousness and allows you to walk freely in the Spirit of resurrection and newness of life. The apostle Paul addresses all of this in Romans 5-8. 


Today, let's look specifically at the death of Jesus, which He took upon Himself to overcome sin, which is the death that Adam entered into when he disobeyed God. 


The death of Jesus was an act that He fulfilled in the flesh. He was crucified on a cross and died in the flesh. He was then buried in a tomb and changed in the resurrection from the dead by the Spirit of God. In His resurrection, His earthly dead body was changed to a new living heavenly body that never dies and can live in the new heaven and new earth.


What Jesus accomplished by the Spirit was an amazing feat never seen or done by anyone before Him, neither angels nor humans. It took God in flesh, with the help of the Spirit, to do this great work. 


After His resurrection, His apostles began to teach us that we can be crucified and resurrected with Him. But how we partake in this is the question. Do we physically die on a cross and get raised from the dead, or is this a spiritual work we partake of within?


 I'm sure many of you have asked how you are supposed to be crucified with Christ without having to be beaten, mocked, and nailed to a tree until you die, as Jesus did, especially if we are trying to accomplish this physically.


The answer is actually found in Jesus's life, not just the act of dying on a cross and resurrecting from a tomb. In His daily life, He submitted His flesh to the Spirit of God. His flesh served righteousness, not sin. He could do that because His heart and mind were filled with resurrection life, not sin and death. This is what we are being baptized into. 


Question 

What does it mean to be baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus?


Answer 

Through the Spirit, you are put into His death and resurrection and made a partaker with Him. You die to the flesh and walk as a believer in the newness of life every day. The old is made new, and you walk in life dead to sin and alive to God. This is accomplished with your mind, where the Spirit of God's Word guides you into all truth.


Explanation 

Dying with Christ is a big idea that should be desired by all who believe in Jesus. Yes, dying with Christ is a good thing and should be held as one of the highest honors among believers. Even the angels desire to look into this idea, but this is something that the sons of God, who live on the earth, take on for the kingdom. 


Let's start by looking at the originator of the apostle's doctrine and why they lived and taught such a wild idea to believers. It started with the teachings of Jesus. He created this idea of being crucified with Christ by teaching us to take up our cross and follow Him. 


Luke 9:23-25 He said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

The idea of taking up your cross refers to dying with Christ. Notice that Jesus said this is a daily work. That would explain what Paul was thinking when he said, "I die daily." Daily here represents continuing in something every day. Therefore, Jesus is teaching us that living the crucified life is a continual lifestyle while living on earth, and His cross is the path we take to accomplish this. 


What's interesting is how Jesus presented dying versus how the apostles presented it after His resurrection. Jesus taught everyone how to walk in life as the resurrection while dying to the flesh every day. In a physical sense, He was not carrying a cross daily, yet His life taught us that He was walking and living life carrying a cross of death every day. He accomplished this because of the mindset in which He approached death. He knew the flesh would stop the will of God, so He crucified it every day and committed Himself as a servant of God to live after the Spirit.


This is important because Paul's testimony teaches that he serves sin with his flesh, but with his mind, he serves God. He often taught that he serves God with his spirit, not his flesh. This lines up with what Jesus was saying. 


The apostles are a good example to show that while you may never hang on a cross or be killed physically for the name of Jesus, you are still accountable to God to take up your cross and follow Him. In short, you must die to the flesh and walk as a believer in newness of life every day. This is accomplished by the mindset in which you live. As a believer, whatever desires of the flesh interfere with God's desire for your life has to go. You must die to it. You must mortify, or kill, the deeds of the flesh. Your willingness to die to the world and life for Christ is a big thing in God.


We've learned that being baptized means you are put into something. So, if you are baptized into the death of Jesus, you will be in the same mindset of death that He lived in. 


Baptism of death means to be put into the lifestyle of dying to the flesh. Just as Jesus died to the flesh in his daily life and walked in the resurrection, living unto God, He then brought it to finality by putting off the flesh completely and raising up in the resurrection of a new body. 


What to do

Consider yourself dead to sin and alive unto God. Believe it and act on it. You are a child of God, and sin has no power over you. Mortify (kill) the deeds of the flesh. Do not serve sin! Serve righteousness, purity, and truth. 


And remember, Paul teaches that the works of the flesh are a choice we make to obey sin, while the fruit of the Spirit is accomplished after we crucify the flesh and walk in the Spirit.


Scriptural references

Luke 9:23-25; Romans 6:1-14; 8:1-6, 13; 1 Corinthians 15:31; Galatians 2:19-20; 5:16-26; 6:11-18; Colossians 3:5


Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

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