We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (ESV)
There is a wonderful quote I heard that goes like this: "Jesus did not die to make bad people good. He died to make dead people alive." I am not sure who said it so I cannot give the proper person the credit for this statement, but it is so true. We often think of Christians as people who are trying to be "good." We tend to think only in terms of behavior.
Christianity is far more than a behavioral change. It is about death and life. We were buried with Christ by baptism into his death. Consider for a moment that Jesus was on the cross dying for our sin. In fact, he bore our sin in his body, and then his body was put to death. He was buried in a tomb. Our faith connection with Christ includes our sinful life being put to death as Christ took our sin to the grave.
The story does not stop there. God raised Jesus from the dead. Our sinful life was put to death along with the body of Jesus Christ. As Jesus Christ was raised from the dead he walked again in new life. So also, we are able to walk in newness of life. We no longer have to walk in the ways of sin any longer. It is not because of a new determination to be "better." It is because we are now alive!
This truth that Paul is speaking of here is in the context of those who criticized our being saved by grace and not by works. The fear was that a grace based salvation would lead to a life of sinful excess. The opposite is true. It is only by receiving God's grace that we can put to death the old sinful way of life, be reborn, and walk in a new way of life to the glory of God.
Do you want to live a godly life? You need to be buried with Christ in his death so that you can be reborn and walk in holiness. Place your faith in him and you can be made new.