THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM
As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to those in his household.
l. What is Baptism?
Baptism is not just plain water. It is water used by God’s command and connected with God’s Word.
What is that Word of God?
Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
2. What are the benefits of Baptism?
Baptism works the forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe, as the words and promises of God declare.
What are these words and promises of God?
Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark l6:l6).
3. How can water do such great things?
The water doesn’t actually do anything by itself. The power is in God’s Word, which is in and with the water, and in faith which trusts this Word of God in the water.
Without the Word of God it is just plain water, and there is no baptism. But with the Word of God it really is a baptism; that is, a gracious water of life and washing of rebirth through the Holy Spirit.
Just as Saint Paul says in the third chapter of Titus:
“According to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying…” (Titus 3:5-8).
4. What is the meaning of this Baptism with water?
It means that the old Adam in us should be drowned by daily contrition and repentance and die with all sins and evil desires. It also means that a new man should daily appear and arise, who lives eternally before God in righteousness and purity.
Where is this written?
Saint Paul says in the sixth chapter of Romans, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).