Summary: If we want to live in resurrection power, we must consider ourselves saints (set apart from sin unto God) and commit ourselves to the Lord.
On March 19, 2005, when a resident at an extended care facility in British Columbia, Canada, died, the medical personnel did what they usually did. They placed a call to Fraser Health Authority, who then sent a driver to pick up the deceased woman. The driver dutifully transported an elderly woman to the hospital morgue.
Unfortunately, the driver failed to check the wristband for identification and carried off the wrong woman. The 87-year-old resident he wheeled away was simply sleeping. And even after the driver left her on a gurney in the hospital’s corridor, she was still fast asleep.
Meanwhile, an employee at the extended care facility noticed the deceased resident was still in her room, but her living roommate was gone. The employee alerted the hospital, which promptly returned the woman to the facility in an ambulance. (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2005/03/21/sleeping-dead0321.html; www.Preaching Today.com)
Today, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, which is more than just a fact of history. The resurrection of Christ means that we too can live in resurrection power. It means a new and exciting life in Christ, but some Christians, like that lady, look like they are still dead in their sins.
How then can we experience the power of the resurrection in our everyday lives? How can the resurrection of Christ become more than just a fact of history for us? How can it make a fundamental difference in the way we live our lives today?
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (NIV)
If we as believers in Christ want to experience the power of the resurrection over sin in our lives, then 1st of all, we must realize that we have died to sin. We have to know that we are free from sin. We have to understand that we are separated from its power in our lives.
You say, “Phil, when did that happen? Because I sure don’t feel like I’m free from sin. In fact, I feel like sin has attached itself to me like ugly on an ape. I can’t get away from it. When did I become separated from sin? When did I die to sin?” Well, we died when Christ died.
Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
Now, don’t misread this verse. It is not talking about being baptized in water. It is talking about being baptized into Christ and into His death.
The word, “baptize,” literally means “to dip.” The ancient Greeks used the word to describe the dyeing of a garment. When you take a white garment and dip it into red dye, you no longer have a white garment; you have a red garment.
So it is when you take a sinner and dip him or her into Christ. You no longer have a sinner. You have a CHRISTian, a Christian, i.e., one who looks and acts like Christ.
When we trusted Christ as our Savior, the Bible says we were baptized; i.e., we were dipped into Christ. That means we died when He died. We were crucified when He was crucified.
Romans 6:4-6 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with (or better, rendered ineffective) so that we should no longer be slaves to sin. (NIV)
Certainly sin is still around, but sin no longer has any power over us. It is ineffective. It is powerless to control us anymore.
Romans 6:7 Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. (NIV)
Nothing can bother you when you’re dead.
When we buried my father ten years ago (2000), my mother had him buried in his bathrobe and pajamas. She wanted to communicate the truth that the Christian’s body is only asleep at death, that one day his body will awake, and there will be a resurrection! The bathrobe and pajamas were a beautiful illustration of that wonderful truth.
Now, if my dad had known what my mom did, he would have rolled over in his casket. He was a “proper English gentleman,” and the thought of anyone being buried in their pajamas… Well, it just wasn’t proper.