The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 214 of 249
Index | Zoom
No.5.  The Third Reckoning,
with special reference to the word "Baptism".
pp. 152 - 156
Unless we have very signally failed, the reader is by now fully aware that the modus
operandi adopted by the God of grace, to bring about a union between the sinner and the
Spotless Son of God, is by "reckoning". We have seen that He was reckoned among the
transgressors, and that we are reckoned to have been crucified with Him, and as a
consequence, we can now be exhorted to put this reckoning into practical effect.
"Likewise RECKON ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God
through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6: 11).
This exhortation comes at the close of a series of links with the death of Christ
introduced with the words "how shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
We observe it is not dying because of sin, or dying as a sacrifice for sin, but dying TO sin
that is in mind, and that neither forgiveness nor justification are before us. Instead of the
word "reckon" the apostle employs one or two other expressions to indicate the union of
the believer with the Lord, in this great matter of dying TO sin, and of living TO God.
The sphere of this new activity is "newness of life", life the other side of the grave, and
consequently we have the words "baptized", "buried", "planted together" and "likeness"
with a backward glance to what we already "know", namely our old man is crucified with
Him that the body of sin should be rendered inoperative, and that henceforth we should
not serve sin. We can now link this passage on to Col. 2:, where being dead with Christ
is associated on the one hand with complete deliverance from "the rudiments of the
world", and with burial by baptism (Col. 2: 12, 13, 20).
It is evident that we have before us a doctrine of tremendous import, together with
related features that demand most prayerful and careful attention. Instead of baptism
being a simple subject, or at most a question of either "dipping" or "sprinkling", it is used
in a variety of ways and contexts, none of which can overlap or intrude into the domain
of the other without confusion and damage.
First. The baptisms enjoined by the Levitical Law.
"Except they wash they eat not" (Mark 7: 4).
"The washing of cups and pots" (Mark 7: 4, 8).
"The doctrine of baptisms" (Heb. 6: 2).
"Meats, drinks and divers washings" (Heb. 9: 10).
The purport and character of these baptisms are summed up for us by the apostle in
Heb. 9: 9, 10:
"Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and
sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the