“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me….” Galatians 2:20
There are two words used to describe the main aspects of salvation – redemption and regeneration. Redemption means to literally buy something back. The Old Testament speaks of the redemption of slaves, property, fields, animals, people and even the redemption of nations.
In the New Testament, redemption refers to the act of salvation. There are many verses that convey this. Romans 3:24 says, “…and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 1:7, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…” We are redeemed, rescued and reconciled to God so that we may become regenerate, which means to impart life, or more technically, to re-impart life. Regeneration presupposes that there was life and it was lost, but has now been restored. In Romans 5:10, Paul says, “If, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son (our redemption), how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” That is regeneration.
Baptism is not merely identification with Christ’s death and burial, but is resurrection to newness of life. Without that aspect, we only have half the Gospel. We have been crucified with Christ (going down into the water), buried with Christ (immersed in the water), but we are not left there to drown. We are raised with Christ and given His life to indwell us. Paul said, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection…” (Philippians 3:10). The power of Christ’s resurrection is that we are living in the strength and power of a life that has died, and cannot die again. It has fully met the demands of sin, but is now raised from the dead and lives the power of an endless life in us.
For many people, the Christian life is about as exciting as pushing a bus up a hill, because they have yet to discover the engine within them. The indwelling presence of Christ is the engine; He is the fuel we were meant to run on. The Christian life is not methodology or spiritual disciplines, but is a person who lived on earth and now lives and works in us and through us. God has only one thing to give us and that is His Son. Having been raised with Christ, we are intended to be in a love relationship with Him, where we genuinely come to know Him. It is a life of intimacy with God, designed to shine and work with Jesus Christ as Lord.