Thursday, April 21, 2005

Be strong in this grace: Sacrament of Holy Baptism

Catechism- Sacrament of Holy Baptism

The institution of baptism

What is baptism? Baptism is not just plain water, but it is water used by God's command and connected with God's Word.

Which is that word of God? Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

The blessing of baptism

What does baptism do for us? Baptism works forgiveness of sin, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

What are these words and promises? Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

The power of baptism

How can water do such great things? It is certainly not the water that does such things, but God’s word which is in and with the water and faith which trusts this Word used with the water. For without God’s word the water is just plain water and not Baptism. But with this Word it is Baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of rebirth by the Holy Spirit.

Where is this written? Saint Paul says in Titus, chapter 3, “God 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. This is a trustworthy saying.”

The meaning of baptism for our daily life

What does baptizing with water mean? Baptism means that the old Adam in us should be drowned by daily contrition and repentance, and that all its evil deeds and desires be put to death. It also means that a new person should daily arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written? St. Paul says in Romans, chapter 6, We were…buried with (Christ) through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may life a new life.”

1 comment:

TKls2myhrt said...

My son had to memorize this for school these past two weeks. I loved reviewing it with him and decided to post it here. The opportunity to study the catechism with my children is a huge blessing to me. I've got to order that daily devotional from Pastor McCain very soon. I just checked his site and can't find a reference to it. Does anyone remember - it is a daily devotional based on the small catechism, I think. Help, my mind s going.