Monday, May 03, 2010

Graves on Jesus' baptism

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins...
“Let us clearly understand for what purpose Christ was baptized in the river of Jordan. He came to earth to work out a perfect righteousness for his people--to satisfy the infinite claims of divine justice for all who would that grace receive. It Was this "all-righteousness" he declared he wished to fulfill in his baptism. This he evidently could not literally accomplish by being baptized, else he might have ascended from the water in a chariot of glory to the right hand of the Father. But if he did fulfill the "all-righteousness" he came to earth to accomplish, he must have done it figuratively. We know that it was in a figure he fulfilled it; for the Holy Spirit expressly declares that the rite of baptism is only a figure--"The like figure where-unto baptism doth now also save us;" If baptism is only a figure, whatever it is said to do, or we are said to do in or by it, must be done figuratively. If it saves us, it saves us figuratively. If it washes away our sins, it does it figuratively, i. e., declaratively. If we are by it baptized into Christ, it is done figuratively, as the Jews were into Moses. If we are baptized into his death, we only figure symbolize it. So if Christ did in his baptism, fulfill all righteousness, he must, he could only have prefigured the acts which constitutes the all-righteousness. He set before their eyes, in a vivid figure, the three great acts by which he did fulfill the "all-righteousness" the law required in order that those for whom he appeared might be set free from the divine law, and their redemption eternally secured.”
[From Christian Baptism, the Profession of our Faith, by J. R. Graves]


Anonymous said...

There is a voice still today, somewhere crying in the wilderness. Can it be heard amidst the hustle and bustle? Amidst the greed, arrogance, and foolish pride of man? If man will listen to this voice, comfort and strength together can be found to live by the ancient landmarks set before us from the beginning. It seems there is a voice of every kind which man will offer today. He will offer pleasure, nonsense, and such like. The true voice of one crying in the wilderness is the only one which can offer hope in Him.

Mark said...

Interesting concept.