Colossians 3 opens with the following charges to those who were raised with Christ: “seek those things which are above,” and “set your mind on things, not on things on the earth.” These charges are given with the following reason, “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
There are two points of import that must not be overlooked.
First, who are these ones who have been “raised with Christ”? Looking back to chapter 2, we find in verse 12 those who were buried with Christ in baptism, “in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God.” Only those who submit to baptism can be rightfully said to be risen with Christ.
Second, baptism is the point at which those who are dead to sin are buried and raised in newness of life. Romans 6:1-7 pictures this for us as well. Those who are baptized are those who “died to sin” (v 2), being then “buried with Him (Christ) through baptism into death” and raised to “walk in newness of life” (v 4).
Also, the text tells those who have been baptized to put off some things while putting on others. In other words, after one is born again, there is still work to be done by the new Christian. The purpose of this observation is two-fold.
First, Reformed theology wrongly teaches that the sinner is completely unable to think or do any good thing while in his spiritual deadness because of his sinful nature. But when he is regenerated, he receives a new nature given to him by God. However, the Bible says nothing of the sort. If such were true, then it should follow that the new nature given by God would be impervious to temptation and sin. But such is not the case. Many people struggle with the problem of having to continue to deal with sin after salvation. This is surely one of the reasons.
Second, baptism is not a “ticket punch” for admission into heaven. Though no Christian would think along this line, too many end up living as if it is so. After the initial rush of excitement about becoming a child of God, a contentment with self and indifference toward making a daily effort to be conformed to the image of Christ sets in. The dedication of a diligent and daily searching of the Scriptures falls by the wayside. His prayer life becomes anemic and ineffectual. This is neither the picture nor the purpose of a resurrected life!