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Summary: Baptism pictures the transformation that has taken place in the life of the child of God. How can we, then, continue to live as thought we were dead? To live as the world lives is to attempt to dig up the corpse we buried!

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 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, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

“If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So, you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” [1]

The message I seek to deliver this day is intended for those individuals who follow Christ as Master of life. For any who are outside the precincts of grace, the message does not apply directly. It is not that I am unconcerned for those who do not follow Christ—I am tremendously concerned that all who are outside of Christ should be saved. Any who are not following Christ are lost; they are under divine condemnation now. Walking with Christ is an impossibility until such are born from above and into the Family of God.

Christ-followers struggle with sin. I don’t mean that they look for opportunities to sin; I mean that they are conscious that they do sin, and the knowledge disturbs them. The ongoing struggle is prominently displayed when the Apostle writes in his Letter to the believers in Rome, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death” [ROMANS 7:15-24]?

When we turn again to actions identified with our sordid past, we are digging up what is buried and out of sight, hauling a stinking, rotted corpse into the light of day where it is again displayed for all to see. The idea of zombies, commonly identified as “the walking dead,” has been popularised in this day. Popular television shows promote the concept of zombies. Movies are filmed that focus on the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. Even ammunition is marketed for “the zombie apocalypse.” [2] While zombies are not real, I do know that there are a lot of “walking dead” among the churches. These are people who were buried with Christ, and they now walk among us, living as the dead creatures they were when the Lord found them. They were dead with Christ, and now, they seemingly want to live as they once lived. There is no sin in the cemetery, but they have dug up what was dead, and sin now is on full display again.

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