Vol.XII No.VII Pg.6
September 1975

Fulfill Righteousness

Robert F. Turner

With this sixth quote from the Scotch Baptist, Archibald McLean, we find the material a bit complicated, and the cutting made necessary by our lack of space makes it worse. But the time of writing (1786), and the relation of McLean to Restoration history, makes this interesting; and the exegesis is as good or better than that on many library shelves. Here McLean continues on Import and Design of Baptism. (Correction: Matt. 3:15 reads us, not me. rft)


3. It exhibits the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, whereby he fulfilled all righteousness; together with the Christians communion with and conformity to him therein. (Rom. 6:3-f., Col. 2:l2-l3).... This is what was represented by his own baptism, as appears from the reason he assigned. . .to fulfill all righteousness (Matt. 3:15), q.d., Permit me to be baptized; for my baptism is a figure of the work which I have undertaken to finish; for in like manner as I am buried under and raised again out of the water, even so it becometh me to fulfill all righteousness, by dying and rising again from the dead.

From the before-cited passages we also learn, (2) That the baptism of believers represents their union and communion with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection... As to communion with Christ in his death, the Apostle says, We are dead to sin — dead with Christ (Rom. 6:). When, therefore, it is said our old man was crucified with him, it imports, that Christ by his death hath freed us from the law as the condition of life, by satisfying all its claims upon us in this respect; that he hath expiated our sins by bearing the punishment due, to them in our stead, with a view to free us also from the indwelling power and service of sin, and consequently hath delivered us from that death which is the wages of sin and the curse of the law ...

As to communion with Christ in his resurrection, the same apostle says, God, who is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved), and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:4-7).... Accordingly, believers are exhorted to reckon themselves thus connected with... Christ both in his dying and living: For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin; but alive unto God (en) in Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:10-11). And this reckoning answers to what was just a little before declared to be the import of their baptism; for their burial in, and rising again out of, the water, exhibited what Christ underwent, not singly, but as involving them in it, nay, as passing upon themselves, even as if they had undergone it in their own persons. Such is the intimate connection between Christ and his members in his dying and rising, and such is the reckoning which believers are called to make of their baptism; the faith which answers to the mystery of it according to the word of God.