All living things are highly organised. This organisation occurs in levels. The simplest structures are…
NEW LIFE IN CHRIST
Romans 6:1-4, 12-14; Colossians 3:1-17
Paul’s idea of a new life in Christ is that some virtues ought to distinguish someone who says he is living such a life. He also lays emphasis on the sacrament of baptism, a rite during which the convert declares publicly his union with Christ. Paul asks: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life”. (Romans 6: 3- 4).
Essentially this is the implication of baptism to one who now lives a new life in Christ. By immersion one is buried with Christ; and by bringing one up from under water, he resurrects with Christ. This is what baptism by immersion symbolizes. The new convert, after being baptized, begins a phase of an entirely new life, cutting himself totally from former lifestyles and assuming a new pattern of life modelled after that of Christ.
For the new convert, he should not allow sin to reign in his body neither should he yield to the desires of the flesh which are evil. The new life begins with the mind. It must also involve the creative power of God. Similarly, he should not offer parts of his body to sin as instruments of wickedness, rather, he should offer himself to God having been brought from death to life. The convert should now offer parts of his body to God as instruments of righteousness.
By so doing, he will be able to subdue sin as one under grace, not Law, instead of allowing sin to control him. (Romans 6:12-14)
The bottom line here is that as a christian, the convert should be able to discipline his flesh so as to be able to subdue the lusts of the flesh like drunkenness, fornication, adultery etc. By offering his body to God instead, his life will be distinguished by love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, self-control etc.
Having been raised with Christ, the christians ought to set their hearts on things above where Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God. A christian should remove his heart from what is in the world, since his life is now hidden in Christ, having died with him (in baptism).
The new convert must put to death whatever that possesses worldly nature such as sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed etc. which characterized his former life .. Having acquired a new life, he must rid himself of such vices as anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language, as well as lying. He must be aware of the fact that in the new life, there is no discrimination especially on lines of circumcision, neither should there be such things as a slave or free born. Christ is all and is in all.
The new life requires compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, forgiveness and most importantly, love. The peace of Christ should be allowed to rule on his heart and should be thankful always, teaching others and admonishing them with all wisdom, singing hymns, psalms and spiritual songs with gratitude in his heart to God.
Finally, whatever he does, should be in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colo. 3:1-17).
- New life in Christ demands that the new convert strips himself of the old clothings in readiness for the new life.
- He should therefore begin to live a Christ-like life having been buried and having resurrected with Christ by way of baptism.
- Most importantly, he will now discipline his flesh so as not to yield to its evil desires which run counter to the demands of the new life.
- Among his colleagues, they should be admonishing each other and doing everything in the name of Jesus.
- For a person to be administered into new life he has to take the following steps:
- Hear the word of God.
- Confess his or her sins.
- Repent and be baptized.
- Determine to live a Christ-like life as a full member of Christ’s body.