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Romans
6:1-11

 
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
Baptism God's Work
Johannes Bugenhagen, Pastor
20 April 2016
People often diminish the significance of baptism by presuming that baptism is a human work. Of course, baptism is not very important if it is my work, effort, or offering. What we do is filth in comparison to what God works and does. Thus baptism will be held in high regard only where it is understood as God's gracious work to give new birth through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. If baptism is truly by water and the Holy Spirit then it is so much greater than any human work, because it is God's gracious activity.
 
People who think of baptism as a human work, begin to think of it as useless for salvation. But if it is God's work, then it is a great mediating gift which gives to us the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rm 6:1-11). God's works always do what God says they do. So faith in baptism is nothing other than faith in Christ: the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, which are received through baptism. All this is received through baptism by faith.

 

Martin Luther

"It is often objected, 'If baptism is itself a work, and you say that works are of no use for salvation, what becomes of faith?' To this you may answer: Yes, it is true that our works are of no use for salvation. Baptism, however, is not our work but God's. God's works are salutary and necessary for salvation, and they do not exclude but rather demand faith, for without faith they could not be grasped. Just by allowing the water to be poured over you, you do not receive baptism in such a manner that it does you any good. But it becomes beneficial to you if you accept it as God's command and ordinance, so that, baptized in the name of God, you may receive in the water the promised salvation. This the hand cannot do, nor the body, but the heart must believe it.
 
"Thus you see clearly that baptism is not a work which we do but is a treasure which God gives us and faith grasps, just as the Lord Christ upon the cross is not a work but a treasure comprehended and offered to us in the Word and received by faith. Therefore they are unfair when they cry out against us as though we preach against faith. Actually, we insist on faith alone as so necessary that without it nothing can be received or enjoyed."

Martin Luther,  Large Catechism, 4.35-37
 
Prayer
I thank, praise, and glorify You, O Lord Christ, with heart and voice before the world that You are merciful to me and help me. This I have received in baptism, that You and none other shall be my Lord and God. Amen.
 
For those who are campaigning for political office, that they might have the courage to campaign for the truth, even if it offends the electors
 
For doctors and other health professionals, that they would seek always help, never to harm their patients
 
For Garrett King, that the Lord would grant him rescue from the ravages of Houston flooding
Art: RUBENS, Peter Paul  The Resurrection of Christ (1611-12)

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