Study 11: Life in Christ
Introduction | Holiness | The Use of Force | Politics | Worldly Pleasures | Bible Study | Prayer | Preaching | Ecclesial Life | The Breaking of Bread | Marriage | Fellowship | Questions
Baptism gives us an assured hope of having eternal life in God's Kingdom. The more we believe and appreciate the certainty of this hope, the more evident it becomes that there are certain responsibilities upon us. These revolve around living a life which is fitting for someone who has the hope of being given God's nature (2 Peter 1:4), of actually sharing His Name (Rev. 3:12) through being made perfect in every way.
We explained in Study 10.3 that after baptism we are committed to a life of constantly crucifying the evil desires of our nature (Rom. 6:6). Unless we are willing to try to do this, then baptism is meaningless. It should only take place once a person is prepared to accept the responsibilities of the new life which should follow.
In baptism we die to this old, natural way of life, and are figuratively resurrected with Christ. "If ye then be risen with Christ (in baptism), seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead...Mortify therefore...fornication, uncleanness...covetousness" (Col. 3:1-5). After baptism we commit ourselves to a life of seeing things from God's Heavenly perspective, thinking of Heavenly (i.e. spiritual) things, exchanging our worldly ambition for an ambition to overcome our fleshly tendencies and thereby to enter God's Kingdom.
The tendency of human nature is to show enthusiasm for obedience to God in fits and starts. Frequently God warns against this. Regarding God's commandments, He says "which if a man do, he shall even live in them" (Eze. 20:21). If we are aware of God's commands, and begin to obey them in baptism, we should be committed to live a lifetime of obedience to them.