WALKING IN NEWNESS OF LIFE AND BEING IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION
Romans 6 and 8 are an explanation of what it is to be saved in the life of Christ minute by minute. Romans 6:4-5 says, “We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into death that as Christ was raised from among the dead through the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have grown together with Him in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” Being saved in the life of Christ in Romans 5:10 corresponds with walking in newness of life in 6:4. If we are being saved in His life, then we are walking in newness of life. Sometimes a husband may give his wife an unpleasant look. In this situation the sister should simply walk in newness of life. This is to be saved in the life of Christ. However, if she returns the unpleasant look, she is not walking in the newness of Christ’s life. Rather, she is in the oldness of Adam’s death.
The newness of life in verse 4 equals resurrection in verse 5. When the Lord Jesus came out of the tomb, He had the newness of life. Resurrection is the newness of life, but death is oldness. With a dead person there is nothing but oldness, but in a resurrected person, there is newness of life. When a husband gives an unpleasant look to his wife, the wife should return an exulting face. Such a face is a face in the likeness of resurrection. Our salvation in our daily life is a walk in newness of life, and to walk in newness of life is to live a life in resurrection.
In order to live in resurrection, we must first die. Without death, there can be no resurrection. Verse 4 says, “We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into death.” We have been buried into His death. Jesus was first slain and then buried, but we are first buried, and then we die. In baptism we bury living persons into death. However, this death remains in the baptistry. When we come out of the water, we are resurrected. We all need to see a vision of Christ’s death and of His resurrection. When He was crucified, we were crucified with Him (Gal. 2:20a). We were all included in Him when He was crucified on the cross. Whoever believes in Him was crucified on the cross at the same time and in the same death. Moreover, when He was resurrected, all of His millions of believers were resurrected with Him (Eph. 2:6; 1 Pet. 1:3).
When we believed, we believed into Him. The preposition into signifies that one person is now in the other. We were in Adam, but when we believed in Christ Jesus, we believed into Him. We have been transferred. Now we are in Christ, who died and resurrected. Because we are in Him, whatever He experienced has become our history. We died in Christ almost two thousand years ago, and we were also buried with Him in His tomb. Now we are in His resurrection. Therefore, we should not live in our old life. That old life was terminated and even buried. Now we should live in the resurrected life, in the resurrection of Christ.
Husbands and wives who have exulting faces are living in the life of Christ. The expression of this life is resurrection. The resurrection of Christ is the expression of something new. Therefore, to live in the life of Christ is to live in the newness of life. Romans 6 shows us that we are dead and buried and are now in His resurrection. When we live in this resurrection, we live in the newness of Christ’s life. If we desire to be saved daily and constantly, we must realize that we are persons who are dead and buried. But we are no longer in the tomb; we are now in resurrection.
When the Lord Jesus resurrected from the tomb, He left behind the linen cloths and the handkerchief that bound Him (John 20:5-7). When Peter came to the tomb and saw them lying in a good order, he realized that the Lord had resurrected. All the things left in the tomb were a testimony to the Lord’s resurrection. The cloths and the handkerchief signify the old creation, which the Lord wore into the tomb. He was crucified with the old creation and buried with it. When He resurrected, He left the old creation in His tomb, and He became the firstfruit, the germination, of God’s new creation. All of the old creation, including us, was terminated and left in the tomb of Christ. We were a part of the old creation, typified by the linen and the handkerchief which the Lord Jesus wore. We were all buried with Him, and when He resurrected, He left us in the tomb. Now we should remain in the tomb. The termination and burial of the old creation is fully signified by baptism. The old creation was buried in the baptistry.
To display an unpleasant face to our spouse is to revive the buried old man. We should not allow the old man to return to live with us. If we allow the old man to return, we are not living in newness of life. Rather, we are in the oldness of death. We must live a life in resurrection, and this life is based upon the all-inclusive death of Christ. The Christian story is a wonderful story. There is the historical side of the story, which consists of the facts, and there is also the experiential side, the side of our daily life. According to history, the old man was buried, but in our daily life, the old man is still lodging with us. A house is a lodging place for living persons, while a tomb is for dead persons. In a sense, our body is a tomb for the old creation. We have to tell the old man, “I am not your house for you to live in. I am your tomb for you to be buried in.”
(The Experience and Growth in Life, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)