Baptism- Lesson 3
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
This Week’s Focus:
How can water do such great things?
Certainly not just the water, but the Word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith which trusts this word of God in the water. For without God’s word the water is plain water and no Baptism. But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says in Titus, chapter three:
“He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.” [Titus 3:5-8]
What does such baptizing with water indicate?
It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever. Amen.
· We believe that we are Baptized into Jesus’ death and the blessings thereof
· We believe that we are new creation in Baptism into Christ
· We believe that we daily drown our sinful nature (Old Adam) by remembrance of the covenant God made with us in Baptism
· We reject any denial of such ongoing blessings
“The significance of baptism is a blessed dying unto sin and a resurrection in the grace of God, so that the old man, conceived and born in sin, is there drowned, and a new man, born in grace, comes forth and rises. Thus St. Paul, in Titus 3[:5], calls baptism a “washing of regeneration,” since in this washing a person is born again and made new. As Christ also says, in John 3[:3, 5], “Unless you are born again of water and the Spirit (of grace), you may not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” For just as a child is drawn out of his mother’s womb and is born, and through this fleshly birth is a sinful person and a child of wrath [Eph. 2:3], so one is drawn out of baptism and is born spiritually. Through this spiritual birth he is a child of grace and a justified person. Therefore sins are drowned in baptism, and in place of sin, righteousness comes forth.” Luther’s Works, Volume 35
1. Is there such a thing as “holy water”, and why is the answer important?
2. Why is the promise of God so important in Baptism?
3. How does the duel between the “Old Adam” and the “New Man” take place in you every day?
4. How is remembering our Baptism helpful and how might that “remembering” take place?
5. How should our practice in home and congregation reflect this doctrine?
Lord, we thank You for connecting Your Word of promise to the water of Baptism. Send Your Spirit to renew us in Your promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.