The following is adapted from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon, titled “Christ’s Resurrection and Our Newness of Life”
“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.”
Romans 6:4 KJV
“Newness of life”-what does it mean? It means this. When we are born again, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ we receive a life which we never before possessed.
We begin to feel, to think, and to act as we never did before.
The new life is something foreign to our fallen nature: an exotic, a plant of another clime. The carnal mind knows nothing of spiritual things. The man who is not born again cannot understand what the new birth means. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and the carnal man is all abroad in reference to them. In your quickening, you received a light which had never before shone in your heart—a life that came not from men, a life that came not by men.
It is not a development of something which was hidden in our constitution; it is not the evolution of a principle which already exists, only it is hampered and hindered.
“You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
You had no life, you had nothing out of which life could come. Fostered you might have been; but all the fostering possible would only have developed your corrupt nature, and caused the evil within to grow at a greater rate. No seeds of eternal life lie buried in the dunghill of fallen nature. Eternal life is the gift of God.
This new life is swayed by new motives.
You live now to please God. You used to live to please yourself, or to please your neighbors. Once you lived for what you could get for yourself, for the passing pleasures of a fleeting life. But now you have launched upon eternal seas. Eternity holds your treasures; eternity excites your efforts; eternity elevates your desires. You live as seeing him who is invisible, and your conduct is controlled, not by the judgment of fallible men, but by the rule of the heart-searching God.
Your new life has new aims.
You aim higher; yea, you aim at the highest of all; for you live for the glory of God, and seek that your light may so shine, that men may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” The will of God has now become your law. You count yourself only happy as you may fulfill his purposes, honor his name, and extend his kingdom.
Your inner life has made you conscious of new emotions.
You feel now as you were not wont to feel. Your fears are new, your hopes are new; your sorrows are new, and your joys are new. If you were to meet your old self you would not wish to strike up an acquaintance with him, but would rather walk on the other side of the street. When I meet my former self I always quarrel with him, and he with me. I grieve to confess that I find another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and seeking to bring me again into captivity. Behold, all things are new to us. One said to me, when I asked her what kind of change she had undergone-“Either the world is quite altered, or else I am.” Yes, friends, the light is changed, because our eyes are opened to it. We feel the very opposite of what we felt by nature.
You are also cheered by by new hopes.
We have a hope of immortality; a hope so glorious, that it causes us to purify ourselves in preparation for its realization. We wait for the glorious appearing of our Lord. We look for new heavens and a new earth. We have a lively hope which defies death.
Now have we new possessions.
We used to wonder what the Christian meant when he spoke of “possessing all things.” We know now. God has made us “rich in faith”, and he has given us greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. When the Lord lifts up his countenance upon us, we no longer cry for corn and wine and oil. Though flocks die, and crops fail, our estate is entailed; our bread shall be given us, and our waters shall be sure. Instead of groaning that life is not worth having, we bless God for our being, because our well-being is in Christ. Truly our fellowship is with the Father; and this, even to ourselves, is so vast a joy that it overwhelms us. When we are nearest to God, and are absorbed in him, we cannot comprehend our own delight.
We have come into a new world altogether.
We are part of a world far more grand than that which nature reveals. I often compare myself to a baby chick, which for a time was imprisoned in the dark, narrow, and uncomfortable prison of its natural shell. In that condition I neither knew myself, nor aught that was about me, but was in a chaos, as one unborn. Do I not remember when the shell was broken and I came out into the open? Then, like a young bird, I was weak and strange, and full of wonderment at the life into which I had come. How strange was it to my soul to have the Godhead consciously perceived, and Christ and his redemption blessedly enjoyed! That young life begins to feel its wings and try them a little. It also moves with trembling footsteps, essaying a new walk. It sees things it never dreamed of when shut up in the darkness. The new-born soul beholds “new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.” That text has come true to some of us: “Ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
It is a wonderful thing, this new life. I beg to press home the inquiry, Do you know it? Do you enjoy it?