I’m going to hit this one more time, mainly because Paul does.
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).
Baptism is you identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. You are raised up with Him to newness of life. Old things are passed away, behold all things have become new.
This isn’t a metaphor or word picture.
This is what baptism is.
The result is that you lose all grip on your identity which has so long defined who you are.
Your old you, the old man, was filled with sin and sinful desire. It lived in sin. Was bound to sin. All it did was selfish. It lived for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
You focused on self-preservation and obtaining all the desires of your flesh.
The world around you foisted their ideas on you and you adopted them as wisdom and noble goals. You either exaggerated your gender’s qualities or despised them. You either elevated your race or despised it. You either promoted your class or hated it. Either way, it was all about you promoting you. These things defined you.
Your whole life was about you, you, you! Let’s make everything about me! I am the center of the universe!
Then Christ showed up.
By faith you received Him as your Savior. You get baptized to physically commemorate the moment. A rebirth. A rising up to new life.
All of a sudden Christ takes the preeminence. As John the Baptist himself said, “I must decrease, but He must increase.”
That is the exact description of spiritual growth. It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me.
All of a sudden, all that physical stuff you concentrated on and pursued is not important. As Paul said, once he saw Christ, he counted all his physical attainments to be dung.
Dung, people! There are other words for dung you could use to make it more impactful, but I’ll let you go there.
That’s how Paul saw all the things that were so important in his previous identity.
When people in the Bible are born again they change. They don’t mind rejection, swimming against the world’s current, getting on the narrow lonely road while those on the broad road seem to be having so much fun. They didn’t mind beatings, imprisonment, and even death. Their new life was everything.
For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. The bondage to the fear of death has been eliminated. New spiritual, eternal life overrides it all.
This is what baptism is all about. It’s demonstrating the reality of faith in Jesus Christ and His Gospel. It changes you. You can’t stay the same. Something far superior than you has taken over your sight!
Do you have this? It’s what the New Testament is all about. It’s what the Gospel does every single time it’s actually tried.
It’s cool stuff. There’s power in there and it will change you.
Count the cost.