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Article: "How I Got Here"

 

 

 

Baptism

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL REGARDING CHRISTIAN BAPTISM

Baptism is a “SACRAMENT” (that is, an act connected with God’s empowering Word, and which thus conveys to recipients forgiveness of sins, salvation and eternal life):

  Matthew 28:18-20 Because Jesus has all power and authority, He “instituted” that His people should “Make Disciples” of all nations by BAPTIZING them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and TEACHING them everything Jesus taught.
  Acts 2:38 Two things clearly received through Baptism are FORGIVENESS of sins and the “gift” of the HOLY SPIRIT. (God’s Spirit is who implants in human hearts the only kind of faith that saves.)
  Acts 22:16 The Baptism of Saul was specifically to “WASH AWAY his sins.”
  1st Peter 3:20-21 as Noah’s family was “saved through water,” BAPTISM now “SAVES YOU.”
 

Luther’s Catechism

(This link is an immediate download from LCMS site)


Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s Command and combined with God’s Word. God’s WORD, therefore, makes Baptism valid and effective in doing what He says.
Passages bearing on “INFANT” BAPTISM:
  Matthew 28:19 Christ’s command to baptize includes “All Nations.” (The Greek word translated as “Nations” does not mean countries or geographical areas as we know them today, but more like “TRIBES” or “FAMILY GROUPS.”)
  Psalm 51:5 (ALL) People are conceived and born in sin & thus stand in need of forgiveness.
  Matthew 18:6 “Little ones” CAN and DO believe and should not be caused to stumble.
  Luke 1:41-44 God’s Spirit can come even to those in the womb.
  John 3:5-6 ANYONE “born of water and the Spirit” HAS God’s Spirit!
(The gifts received in Baptism are not a lifetime guarantee, however, if people later come to reject what they once received and stop being repentant.)
  Mark 10:14 Jesus COMMANDED that children be ALLOWED to come to Him, and we can be certain that His intent was that His full grace might be imparted to them, not just for games or some sentimental or piously sounding words of “wished for” blessings – but the administering of His salvation!
  Acts 16:14-15, 33
1st Corinthians 1:16
Whole families were baptized at once, and we may just as easily suppose as not that babies were included.

Additional Considerations on ABORTION, STILLBIRTH & MISCARRIAGE as related to Baptism:

Not only the 5th Commandment’s “You shall not murder,” but also the “Original Sin” and need of BABIES ALSO for God’s Forgiveness, therefore, makes ABORTION a terrible tragedy! For our own part, then, babies should have the opportunity to be brought before God for His Grace granted in Baptism.
(See Mark 10:14 again and John 10:10, and review related comments in the previous “Pro-Life” Study.)

Three COMFORTS that can be offered, however, for those who lose babies without opportunity for Baptism are:

Although God has limited Christian believers, His Church, to using the means He has given of Baptizing and Teaching,and Baptism is the only way WE therefore “know” by which babies may with certainty be saved, GOD HIMSELF IS NOT LIMITED to saving people through only some means, even as the thief crucified next to Jesus was saved without Baptism.
Although UNbelievers ARE “condemned,” GOD WANTS “ALL” to be saved, and His own desire quite literally “infinitely” exceeds ours for our children! (See Ezekiel 18:32, Luke 15:7&10&20, 1st Timothy 2:4 and 2nd Peter 3:9.)
God has promised to hear the PRAYERS of believers, including those of parents and others for the spiritual welfare of babies in the womb.

 

 

Passages bearing on the Relationship of BAPTISM and “FAITH”:

  Mark 16:16 Whoever BELIEVES and is BAPTIZED will be saved, but whoever does NOT BELIEVE will be condemned.
  Luke 7:28-30 Pharisees (as a negative example) REJECTED GOD’s PURPOSE and John’s Baptism “for forgiveness.”
  John 3:18 UNbelievers ARE condemned (already).
  Acts 2:38 The Holy Spirit, who WORKS “faith,” is GIVEN in Baptism.
  John 3:6 Those “born of God’s Spirit” HAVE God’s Spirit.
  Galatians 3:27 Those baptized into Christ HAVE Him!
  Luke 23:39-43 The repentant thief was saved WITHOUT Baptism.

A host of passages show that FAITH ONCE (FREELY) RECEIVED CAN BE LOST or thrown away by people, however – See 1st Corinthians 10:12, Galatians 1:6 & 3:3 & 5:4, and 1st Timothy 1:19 & 4:1 & 5:8 & 6:10 as examples.

  Matthew 28:20 “Disciples” are made and kept in faith by receiving Jesus’ TEACHING, as well as by Baptism. -- (A great question mark applies to anyone who would claim to have faith, however, and yet refuse to be placed under the Lord’s command about Baptism. Many who claim to be Christian flatly deny the power and promises of God attached to Baptism, for example, making Baptism out to only be a symbolic act on the part of humans to commit themselves to God, rather than Baptism being His saving work for us. Some even believe that it is useless to be baptized and thus refuse altogether. This can amount to eternal spiritual suicide!)

 

 

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