“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
Union with Christ means participation in His death, burial, and resurrection.
Believers are united with Christ not only in His life, but also in His death. When believers come to faith in Christ, they symbolically share in His death, dying to sin in order to live to God (Rom. 6:10-11).
That reality has profound implications. Having died to the old life of sin and been raised to share new life in Christ, believers cannot continue in the same old patterns of sin. They now live in an entirely different realm. Those who die in Christ live in Christ.
In the words of the great nineteenth-century theologian Charles Hodge, “There can be no participation in Christ’s life without a participation in his death, and we cannot enjoy the benefits of his death unless we are partakers of the power of his life. We must be reconciled to God in order to be holy, and we cannot be reconciled without thereby becoming holy.”
As a result, believers cannot help but “walk in newness of life.” Walk describes daily spiritual conduct. Believers have a new direction in life; they no longer live like they did before they were saved (1 Peter 4:3-4).
In his classic hymn “And Can It Be?” Charles Wesley wrote:
No condemnation now I dread:
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, thru Christ my own.
Is that the song of your heart today?