Living Holy Lives
Category : General
Colossians 2: 12 (KJV)
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
It is noted, ‘By a firm belief on the agency of God in raising Him up; that is, a belief of the fact that God has raised Him from the dead. The resurrection of Christ is often represented as the foundation of all our hopes; and, as He was raised from the grave to die no more, so, in virtue of that we are raised from the death of sin to eternal spiritual life. The belief of this is shown by our baptism, whatever be the mode in which that ordinance is performed, and as well shown in one mode as another.’
The apostle here compares Christian baptism with the Jewish circumcision, and shows, that the signification and spiritual intention of both was one and the same, obliging all persons who took the outward sign upon them to put off the old man and put on the new; to die unto sin, and live unto God. Throughout history the saints of old made use of divers ceremonies in baptizing adult and grown persons, thereby to represent the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; immersion, or putting the person three times under water, either as our Savior was under the earth three days, or in allusion to the three persons in the Trinity, in whose name we are baptized; and likewise immersion, their coming up out of the water, resembling our Lord’s arising out of his grave.
He goes on to observe how complete and perfect the saints are in Christ; that they are not only circumcised in Him in a spiritual sense, and the body of the sins of their flesh is put off, and removed from them, in allusion to the cutting off and casting away of the foreskin in circumcision; but that they and all their sins were buried with Christ, of which their baptism in water was a lively representation. Christ having died for their sins, was laid in the grave, where He continued for a while, and then rose again; and as they were crucified with Him, they were also buried with Him, as their head and representative; and all their sins too, which He left behind him in the grave, signified by his grave clothes there; and baptism being performed by immersion, when the person baptized is covered with water, and as it were buried in it, is a very significant emblem of all this; it is a representation of the burial of Christ, and very fitly holds him forth to the view of faith in the state of the dead, in the grave, and points out the place where the Lord lay; and it is also a representation of our burial with him, as being dead to sin, to the law, and to the world, by him.
The spiritual fruits and effects of baptism, namely, mortification of sin, and accepted in by grace, by virtue of the death and resurrection of Christ, apprehended by such a faith as is of the operation of God, that is, produced by the energy of the gospel, and the efficacy of the Holy Spirit. Let us learn that neither sacraments, nor the death or the resurrection of Christ, in themselves, will avail to the mortification of sin, and the quickening of grace, if Christ himself be not applied to by such a faith, as is of the special operation of God, the faith of his working, and of his approving: This alone will effectually enable us to die unto sin and live unto God.
Therefore, if God has seen it fit to call on us for lives of service. If He has allowed us to live on, some of us to grow old, others to look forward, so far as man can look forward, to years of life, and all sorts of toil and labor in His Church upon the earth. We must, therefore, all our lives long, repeat and enlarge, and draw out into Christian habit and the long use of holy living, the rising with Christ which in summary we partook of when we were baptized; working hard and faithfully in our several callings, doing all the good we possibly can to our neighbors, helping on the kingdom of God in all ways, showing good examples, praying for one another, seeking more and more those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, lifting up our minds to high and heavenly things.
Have a Great and God filled Day