Over the years, I have frequently heard people who have baptized others say something to this effect as they have baptized people: “Buried with Him in the likeness of His death—raised with Him to walk in newness of life.” These words reflect the persuasion that Romans 6:4 is a key text concerning baptism:
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
While preparing recently to read Colossian 3:1-17 publicly as the Scripture reading for a worship service, I discovered that there is an illuminating parallel between what Paul teaches in Romans 6:4 and what he teaches in Colossians 3:1-17 because of how Paul begins Colossians 3:
Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Whereas Romans 6:4 teaches that we who have been buried with Christ by baptism into death should walk in newness of life, Colossians 3:1 (and the following verses) teaches that those who are risen with Christ must live their lives in certain specified ways. The conceptual parallel between these two texts shows that Colossians 3 provides us with a glorious passage that illuminates what comprises a walk in newness of life by those who are risen with Christ!
Based on the illuminating parallel between these passages, a walk in newness of life includes the following:
1. Seeking “those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1)
2. Setting “your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2)
3. Mortifying, “therefore, your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5)
4. Putting “off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth” (Col. 3:8)
5. Lying “not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds and have put on the new man” (Col. 3:9-10)
6. Putting “on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering” (Col. 3:12)
7. “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:13)
8. “Above all these things put[ting] on charity, which is the bond of perfectness” (Col. 3:14)
9. Letting “the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body” (Col. 3:15a)
10. Being “thankful” (Col. 3:15b)
11. Letting “the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16)
12. Whatever you may be doing “in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:17)
Praise God for giving us this marvelous passage that teaches us so much about what a walk in newness of life by those who have been raised with Christ looks like! Let us use this insight into Scripture to examine our lives about areas that we need to grow in as those who have been baptized in obedience to Christ.