Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Thought on Baptism

Concerning Baptism, our churches teach that Baptism is necessary for salvation and that God's grace is offered through Baptism. They teach that children are to be baptized. Being offered to God, through Baptism they are received into God's grace. Our churches condemn the Anabaptists, who reject the Baptism of children, and say that children are saved without Baptism.
(Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, AC Article IX.)

I. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church; but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in the newness of life. Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world.

IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.

VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time.
(From the Westminster Confession, Of Baptism, Chapter 28)

The Church, Christ's bride, has long held that there is an efficacy to baptism. Exactly what happens varies from denomination to denomination. Both Lutherans and Presbyterians believe that baptism is a means of grace.

I found a list of churches that say nothing happens in baptism in a book. The list of symbolic baptism denominations included Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Pentecostals, Quakers, Salvation Army, United Church of Christ, Mormons, and Jehovah Witnesses. I am happy to not be associated with that list. I love my baptistic-type brethren, but feel they miss out on the joy of this holy sacrament.

The verses I posted confirm that as well. It is a wonderful sacrament to look to, to know that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Praise Him!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:15-16

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit John 3:5-6

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call." Acts 2:38-39

And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name. Acts 22:16

Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. Romans 6:3-8

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27

In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:11-12

he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by 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. Titus 3:3-7

let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

In it [Noah's ark] only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 3:20-21

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Seeing Red

Some time over the weekend was spent watching "The Adventures of Robin Hood" with my family. It stars Errol Flynn as Robin Hood, Olivia DeHaviland as Maid Marion, Basil Rathbone as Guy of Gisbourne , and Claude Rains as Prince John. The cast is full of other famous actors and actresses as well. I highly recommend the film to you, dear Reader.

It is a film full of sensory overload. The musical score was a delight to my ears; harp, violins, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and I think a xylophone. The Technicolor is amazingly beyond reality. The colors are so saturated they are a treat to my eye. It is difficult not to be taken aback by the sights and sounds, particularly in our modern age where most things are done electronically.

Watching the red contrasted to the greens and blues, my mind turned to consider Jesus' blood. As rich as the red of the evil Guy of Gisbourne's cape, my Jesus' red blood was richer yet. Guy of Gisbourne's red cape, covered his grey chainmaille; similarly, Jesus' blood covers my dark sin. In Jesus' blood is eternal life; in the death of my savior is my life.