We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Rom. 6:4)

JUST THREE WEEKS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL graduation, my son, Uriah, enlisted in the US Marine Corps. We drove him to the recruiting center, hugged him good-bye, and watched as he headed out to boot camp. It was the last we would see of him for thirteen weeks.

At the end of the summer we drove to Parris Island, South Carolina, to witness his graduation from basic training. At first, it was difficult to identify our son. All the young men had the same haircut and wore identical uniforms. When we did find him, we were both proud and pleased at the transformation. He was stronger, stood straighter, walked with more confidence. And he smiled more. The high school boy had found a new identity as a young man and a marine.

Paul envisioned a similar transformation for each believer in Jesus. The old person, burdened by guilt, living an unproductive, even self-destructive life, is gone. A new, stronger, brighter, more confident person now exists. Like a marine emerging from boot camp, the believer identifies with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, and becomes a new and different person.

Are you living the new life? Make your transformation complete by donning the “uniform” of the Christian: a transformed life. Be done with old ways; live your new life for Christ. And smile! Your life has been truly changed.

Each time you think about your proof of identification today, give thanks that you are identified with Christ.

Lawrence W. Wilson is the author of A Different Kind of Crazy (WPH), coauthor of The Long Road Home (WPH), and lives near Indianapolis, Indiana.