WATER BAPTISM: MY STORY
One way to illustrate this whole paradox is by sharing about my water baptism. I was told, "Todd, something is going to happen when you go down in that water. You're going to come up a new man!" It was true. At the convergence of two acts, something happened. Here's how.
First, when I went under the water, I purposefully identified with Christ when He died and was placed into a tomb-symbolically I was dying to self. In other words, when you're baptized, you identify with the truth, and that truth is that you have died to your old nature-its sins and passions-you've died. Believe it! "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" (Romans 6:3 NKJV) It's done!
Second, when I came up out of the water, just as Christ was resurrected, so was I! Resurrection into newness of life! "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4 NKJV). Done! A spiritual impartation happened. It was activated by the power of what was taking place in the Spirit by that prophetic act.
"For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. "Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:10-11 NKJV).
You are no longer a natural being that has a spirit; you're a spiritual being that has a body! You're a brand new creation in Christ who lives, for a time, on the earth-one who is learning to live in your true nature, in Christ Jesus, which is Spirit (see II Corinthians 5:17).
I believe God is going to bring the body of Christ together in unity, positioned to receive a corporate revelation concerning the truth. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (see Galatians 2:20 NKJV). We need to be possessed by the Holy Spirit in such a way that we know it's no longer us who lives, but Christ who lives in us. And we'll be walking in this reality when Jesus actually lives through us like He wants to-through our eyes, ears, words, touch, and presence.
SO WHAT DOES RESURRECTION
I'm talking about the likeness of His resurrection (see Romans 6:5) and the idea that as we walk in "newness of life," we walk in victory. You cannot tell me that there is resurrection power operating in your life if you're being defeated in sin. (Sin shall have no dominion over you.) That resurrection power is yours if you'll use it! It is the work of the Holy Spirit in us. He is called the Spirit of holiness. "And who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power, by his resurrection from the dead" (see Romans 1:4 NIV). He is also the Spirit of resurrection, and only He can help overcome what the flesh wants. He responds when we seek holiness by grace and demonstrate reverential fear of the Lord.
Actually, the Spirit of holiness works in seven ways. The Holy Spirit corrects, counsels, strengthens, helps, intercedes, is our defense attorney, and the comforter called alongside. It's the Holy Spirit residing within us, and the effective working of His power working within us, that makes us holy, sanctifies us, and makes us righteous.
Two keys to this are His grace and our obedience-in love. In fact, we can only manifest God's kingdom to the extent we're willing to sacrifice, surrender, and be obedient to His will. The greater the obedience and total surrender, the greater the manifestation of power.
Victory is in the power of the Holy Spirit residing in us. Trust in Him today.