"Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be
baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, 'I have
need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?' But Jesus
answered and said to him, 'Permit it to be so now, for thus it is
fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he allowed Him.
Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from
the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw
the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved
Son, in whom I am well pleased'" (Matt. 3:13-17).
John was preaching repentance (Matt. 3:1) commanding the Pharisees
to bear fruits of repentance (Matt. 3:7-8). People were coming to
John confessing their sins (Matt. 3:5) and being baptized unto repentance
(Matt. 3:11). But, Jesus did not come to be baptized unto repentance
nor was He confessing any sins because He did not have any sin (Heb.
4:15); therefore, He came to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness.
Although we are not sinless nor baptized to fulfill all righteousness
like Jesus, we have a responsibility regarding righteousness.
First, we have a responsibility to live for righteousness. Peter
writes about Jesus' example of suffering for doing the things that
are righteous saying: "who Himself bore our sins in His own
body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness
- by whose stripes you were healed" (1 Pet. 2:24). Likewise
Paul says to individuals baptized into Christ and buried into His
death (Rom. 6:3-4): "Therefore do not let sin reign in your
mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present
your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present
yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members
as instruments of righteousness to God" (Rom. 6:12-14).
Second, we must grow by becoming skilled in the word of righteousness
and exercising our senses to discern good and evil. Some of the
Hebrews that Paul wrote to had not matured in Christ and were weak.
Paul wrote saying: "For everyone who partakes only of milk
is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But
solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those
who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both
good and evil" (Heb. 5:13-14). The result of neglecting our
spiritual growth is spiritual immaturity eventually leading to unbelief
Third, righteous individuals are born of God. John says: "If
you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices
righteousness is born of Him" (1 Jn. 2:29). "Whoever has
been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and
he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children
of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness
is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother" (1
Individuals who have died with Christ have a responsibility to
live for righteousness. Paul says: "I beseech you therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a
living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable
service" (Rom. 12:1).
Think about your life. Are you righteous today? Are you growing
through the word of righteousness and exercising your senses to
discern good and evil? Do other people observe your life and think
that you are a son of God or that you are son of the devil? Are
you presenting your body to God as a living sacrifice?