Scripture Queries and Answers: From Words of Truth Vol. 1

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Q. N., Glasgow, Asks, (1) Baptism; what does it mean — death only — or death and resurrection? (2) Does the 6th chapter of Romans teach Baptism in water? and what is the teaching in that chapter?
A. (1) In Baptism one is always baptized unto some thing. In Christian Baptism, as many of us as are baptized unto Christ, are baptized unto death. “We are buried with Him by Baptism unto death” (Rom. 6:44Therefore 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. (Romans 6:4)). The thought of resurrection follows, in coming up out of the water; but is not the primary thought of Baptism; which is a going unto death; we are baptized for death — The thought is buried and death.
(2) — In Romans 6, the apostle refers to Baptism of water, to show that in it the person had gone to death, and that it contradicted the thought that one might consider himself alive in a sinful state, so as to continue in sin, that grace might abound. The chapter fully refutes the unholy thought, that the full, free, boundless grace of God, which constituted the believer righteous by the obedience of another, (Rom. 5:19,2119For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)
21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:21)
) is a principle of sin. The argument is, that if we have part with Christ at all, we have part with one who has died to sin, and who is alive to God. We have died with Him, and we cannot be alive to that state to which we have died — we cannot be alive to sin, and dead to sin at the same time; the objection contradicts itself. Our Baptism was unto death. When Christ died, He died unto sin, He was, in His death, discharged from it. He came out of the position to which sin attached as a substitute. Alive in resurrection, He has nothing to do with sin, and lives to God only. We then should consider ourselves dead to sin — having come out by life in resurrection from the sin to which we died — and alive to God only; in a state outside the former, and so walk in newness of life. We have a right to do so, because He died for us. The subject of the chapter is practice, not standing, and in the allusion to Baptism, he gives us God’s thoughts, as to what Christian Baptism expresses.
Words of Truth 1:42.