What I’m Thinking: Fulfilling All Righteousness

This week, I’m thinking about the words Jesus used to persuade John to baptize him: to “fulfill all righteousness.” What does that mean about describing ourselves as Christians? Is baptism sufficient – or something more?

Here’s a transcript:

I apologize for the gap in “What I’m Thinking” last week. I took a couple of days off for the Christmas holiday, or in other words, I put off thinking as long as I could.

I do wish you a most Happy New Year and that the joys of the Christmas season, the deep joys, might fill you and abide with you throughout this coming year.

For this coming Sunday, we have the story of Jesus’ baptism in the third chapter of Matthew. And I’m intrigued by the way that Jesus goes for baptism, and to persuade John that he should be baptized, he says “We must do all that fulfills righteousness.”

Now, Jesus doesn’t explain what that means, and the Christian Church has been wrestling with that for, oh, coming up on a couple thousand years now. But I’ve been wondering: since baptism has been considered the entry ritual, the entry sacrament, into the Christian Church, is that all that it means to actually function as a Christian in the world?

I don’t think so.

But I do think that Jesus’ words about fulfilling all righteousness, now those, those I think offer us something of a clue. It’s not enough for any of us to dwell on our baptism or to be assured in our sense of salvation – all of which may be true – but we do not get the description as “Christian,” as “disciple,” as “apostle,” as, well, true follower of Jesus unless we are working daily to “fulfill all righteousness.”

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. I’m interested to know what you’re thinking!

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on January 1, 2017

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  1. by Jack Shackles

    On January 3, 2017

    Recently I was reading about the difference between what describes us and what defines us. “Christian” may describe us. “Christian” only defines us as we work daily to fulfill all righteousness.

  2. by Jack Shackles

    On January 3, 2017

    Romans 10 – They don’t submit to God’s righteousness because they don’t understand his righteousness, and they try to establish their own righteousness.

    A question for my own journey – Whose righteousness do I seek daily to fulfill?

  3. by holycrosshilo

    On January 4, 2017

    Thanks so much for your input, Jack!

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