RAISED WITH CHRIST
As the world is celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we also need to understand how His resurrection is a pattern for our own. In Col. 3:1 Paul wrote, If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Obviously, these Christians were still alive physically and were able to read what Paul wrote. So, what did he mean by saying, you were raised with Christ,? The answer to that is found in Romans 6:4-5: 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. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.
Our baptism into Jesus Christ is in likeness to His death, burial and resurrection. When we die to sin through repentance, are buried in a grave of water, and are raised to walk in newness of life we are symbolically reenacting the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is also the way we obey the gospel.
Keep in mind that Paul made it clear that the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I Cor. 15:1-4. He also made it clear that those who do not obey the gospel will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. II Thess. 1:7-10
If these had been raised with Christ (Col. 3:1), then they of necessity must have been dead. But how? Dead in sin. Likewise you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 6:11. They had been dead in sin but then they were dead to sin.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ established a pattern for us to follow so we could be raised with Him out of sin in this life and then be raised with Him eternally in the life to come. Therefore, if we want to be resurrected to live with him in heaven, then we must have been raised with him through baptism and continue to walk in newness of life until we die.