The very first question is, who should be buried? Do you bury one who is alive or one who is dead? Well of course the dead are buried, but when it comes to religion often times some strange things are taught. I heard of a Baptist preacher in the state of Kentucky who chided the preacher in the Lord’s church for baptizing those spiritually dead! He said that he only baptized those who were alive to Christ! Last I checked, burying one alive is a criminal offense. The Apostle Paul dealt with this in the letter to the church at Rome (Rom. 6:3-7). The Apostle made it clear that for baptism to be acceptable one must be baptized (buried) into the death of Christ. “That like as Christ was raised up by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). A spiritual resurrection! It is in baptism that one comes in contact with the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. The blood that was shed at the cross (Matt. 26:28), is the blood of the new covenant for the remission of sins. The benefits of the sworn testament of God are realized in the death of Christ (Heb. 9:16-17)—buried with Christ in a covenant relationship with God (Mt. 3:17); sins washed away (Acts 22:16).
Next, the crucified one is buried (Matt. 27:57-60). Christ was crucified for all (John 1:29) and those who follow in His steps are crucified to the world for salvation (Rom. 6:6). Crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20), the old body of sin is destroyed and one is delivered from slavery (Rom. 8:2).
Who’s buried here? Are they really dead to sin or still holding on to some of the past? There can’t be a resurrection until there is complete death. An obvious change in the pattern of life. Notice the Apostle Paul (Acts 26:9-28). His testimony of complete change was obvious and no doubt was part of the problem with his past associates. The Christians at Corinth changed! (I Cor. 6:9-11). “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
What is buried? Worldly speech? Bad habits? Childish ways? (I Cor. 13:11). The way one dresses? The places one goes? The object of worship (Heb. 10:25; Matt. 6:24)? General behavior? All about you (Eph. 2:1-7)?
Who are you serving (Rom. 6:16)? It has all to do with whom you yield yourself. Have you given your power over in humble obedience to the Lord, so that He may direct your steps, or have you given some or most but reserved a pet sin or two that “are not so bad”? That is the condition James was addressing in James 2:10. It is a form of willful sin that may end up condemning a lot of souls in hell. The question is who’s buried here? Are you serving Christ? Yourself? Or sin?