« PreviousContinue »
Christ go out of the life by unbelief. God forbid that we should do this; and help us to be quick to repent and again lay hold of Him by faith if ever we find we have let Him go and have lost the covering of His righteousness.
"Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Christ's righteousness is, of necessity, the righteousness demanded by the law of God He lives that law in the be
liever. This is what justification is. "Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." Rom. 2:13. Justification by faith makes the man a doer of the law by faith, Christ living every one of its sacred precepts in the believer's life. This is what He died to accomplish, to bring the righteousness of the law to the sinner who could never attain to it himself.
"What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Rom. 8:3, 4.
Christ writes God's law in the new heart: "I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." Heb. 8:10. It is the rule of His own righteousness For before He came into the world to work out perfect rightecusness for us in human flesh, He said, through the psalmist, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Ps. 40: 8.
It is a perfect righteousness and a full salvation that Christ brings into every believer's heart. In Him all fulness dwells, "and ye are complete in Him."
The wondrous plan of salvation is so deep that only "in the ages to come" will God be able to "show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." Eph. 2:7. But thank God, even here below sinners saved by grace may "know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge."
THE MEMORIAL OF THE RESURRECTION
BAPTISM is the divinely appointed memorial of the resurrection of Christ. The great fact of the gospel is that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3, 4), to be our great High Priest and Saviour.
Baptism is a profession of faith in the Saviour, who went into the grave for us, and rose again to life. It is the great object-lesson to teach the truth that the sinner must die to sin and the world, and have a resurrection by the power of divine grace to a new life of obedience. The ordinance is the sign of an actual experience, the means by which the believer confesses the work of grace in the soul.
The Scriptures teach the essential conditions necessary to baptism:
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Mark 16: 15, 16.
"What doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." Acts 8:36, 37.
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." Acts 2:38.
Thus it is seen that instruction in the gospel, belief in Christ, and repentance are conditions to precede baptism.
Baptism for Believers
The experience of which baptism is the sign is thus stated:
"We are buried with Him by baptism into 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." Rom. 6:4.
"As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have. put on Christ." Gal. 3: 27.
"Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead." Col. 2: 12.
In this ordinance, commanded of God, the believer is following the example of Christ, who, when baptized by John in Jordan, said, "Thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness."
"Thus through the emblematic grave
The glorious suffering Saviour trod;
The Form of Baptism
The Scriptural form of baptism is shown in these texts: "Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water." Matt. 3:16.