| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 38 - Page 217 of 249 Index | Zoom | |
background. As the dispensation drew to its close, so the earlier and richer baptism
demanded its antitype, and that we discover in Rom. 6: and Col. 2:
The baptism of all Israel "by the cloud and by the sea" (the preposition en here
referring to the instrument, for we are distinctly prevented from translating "in the sea")
was not a "washing" but a symbol of union. It was "unto Moses". The baptism of the
Epistles is "unto Christ" and whoever confuses the ceremonial cleansings with this great
initiation, does so at his own peril, and the imperiling of precious truth.
The baptism of repentance, the ceremonial cleansings of pots, cups and beds, the
baptism that was associated with the washing away of sins, the baptism that was for the
remission of sins, the baptism that led to salvation and was followed by signs and
miracles, this doctrine of baptisms, has been left behind as among the rudiments and
elements that belong to spiritual childhood, as Heb. 6: 1, 2 show. It is impossible to
"go on unto perfection" where alone the "conscience" is touched (Heb. 9: 9, 10; 10: 1, 2)
and retain these obsolete ordinances that were only imposed until the time of reformation.
With this somewhat lengthy preamble, we can now return to Rom. 6: and see that
the baptism spoken of by the apostle cannot possibly refer to ceremonial baptisms and
washings, but to the antitype of that baptism "unto Moses" that took place at the Red Sea.
The apostle assumes that his reader had been "baptized unto Jesus Christ" which no
baptism in water ever accomplished or was intended to accomplish. What his readers did
not fully appreciate was that such baptism baptized them "unto His death". Baptism
therefore of this sort, is another form of "reckoning". The apostle takes the question
further; he declares that such were "buried" with Him by baptism "unto death" that like
as Christ was "raised up" from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also
should walk in newness of life. In order to enforce his teaching, the apostle uses another
figure, he speaks of being "planted together". Alford says: "planted together is
inadmissible, phutos being not from phuteuo but from phuo . . . . . intimately and
Thayer's note reads: "born together with, of joint origin, i.e. `Connate, congenital,
innate, implanted by birth or nature' and comments on Rom. 6: 5: If we have become
united with the likeness of His death (which likeness consists in the fact that in the
death of Christ our former corruption and wickedness has been slain and buried in
Christ's tomb), i.e. it is part and parcel of the very nature of a genuine Christian to be
utterly dead to sin, we shall be united also with the likeness of His resurrection, i.e. our
intimate fellowship with His return to life will show itself in a new consecration to God".
Alford further adds: "Christians, it is true, partake of the likeness not only of Christ's
death, but of His actual resurrection itself as the change of construction shows."
Passing to Col. 2:, we observe that "the rudiments of the world" are in opposition to
the completeness of the believer's standing in Christ (Col. 2: 8, 14, 16, 17, 20). To all
such the believer "died with Christ". So complete is this severance from the dominion of
the handwriting of ordinances, that the apostle uses the double figure "circumcision" and