Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lent 4

Baptism Part 1

What is Baptism?

Answer - Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God's command and connected with God's Word.

Which is that word of God?

Answer - Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: Go ye into all the world and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

It is Christ Himself who speaks the command to make disciples of all the nations. This includes all peoples old and young alike. We do this by baptizing and teaching all that Christ has commanded us.  Since it is Jesus who has given the command to baptize, to reject baptism is to reject Christ. The word “ye” speaks not only of the disciples who were present when Jesus gives this command but all Christians living at all times and in all places as Jesus has promised, “I am with you always.”

Jesus gives the command “to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” And one of these things is Baptism. Thus, the Christian Church is by Christ commanded to baptize. We have no other option. Christ has given us His command to baptize, but He has also given us the promise of the blessings of baptism.

Merciful Father, through Holy Baptism You called us to be Your own possession. Grant that our lives may evidence the working of Your Holy Spirit in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, according to the image of Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior

Collect for Life as a baptized child of God,  Lutheran Service Book, © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld ©WELS

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