Purification through Baptism A Ritualistic Approach to Christological Participation in Romans 6:1-11



Published Nov 3, 2022
Justin Lam


In Romans 6:1-11, Paul introduces a fundamental paradigm shift for ethical living from law adherence to the believer's union with Christ. However, Paul’s understanding of this reality has been fraught with debate. Thus, in the following paper, I will argue that Paul’s use of βαπτίζω reveals a third approach, the ritualistic approach, that seeks to reconcile both forensic and participatory understandings to Paul’s exhortation to the Roman Christ-followers. Through Paul's use of βαπτίζω, it is evident that one’s union with the justifying death and resurrection of Christ is participation in Christ's work as a purification offering on behalf of humanity. Through participating in Christ’s purifying work, the believer is cleansed from the reign of impurity and is enabled to dwell in the presence of God, presently through ethical living, and in the future in totality.

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ritual, purity, apocalyptic, baptism