Dear Friends in Christ,
A blessed and joyous Epiphany to you in Christ our Lord!
Every Epiphany, the Church gathers to remember how Christ went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. Each time we do this, we remember how Jesus left that river and journeyed without wavering straight to the cross, where He died to pay for our sins. Upon rising, He gathered His disciples together and instituted His baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28). He commanded those who believe in Him to be baptized, for He has filled this this Sacrament with His grace.
Since baptism is so important to Jesus, it is also important to His Church, it is important to us all. So with that in mind let us all take some time to learn more about baptism. We do so reading by reading a quote from the section of the Large Catechism that deals with baptism. I hope and pray that Luther’s good teaching in this selection will help you appreciate better what God gives you in baptism.
In Christ, Pastor Horn
“…(S)ince we know now what Baptism is, and how it is to be regarded, we must also learn why and for what purpose it is instituted; that is, what it profits, gives and works. And this also we cannot discern better than from the words of Christ above quoted: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Therefore state it most simply thus, that the power, work, profit, fruit, and end of Baptism is this, namely, to save. For no one is baptized in order that he may become a prince, but, as the words declare, that he be saved. But to be saved we know is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil, and to enter into the kingdom of Christ, and to live with Him forever.
Here you see again how highly and precious we should esteem Baptism, because in it we obtain such an unspeakable treasure, which also indicates sufficiently that it cannot be ordinary mere water. For mere water could not do such a thing, but the Word does it, and…the fact that the name of God is comprehended therein. But where the name of God is, there must be also life and salvation, that it may indeed be called a divine, blessed, fruitful, and gracious water; for by the Word such power is imparted to Baptism that it is a laver of regeneration, as St. Paul also calls it, Titus 3:5.”Martin Luther’s Large catechism