Baptism is the first of two Sacraments that we’ll be looking at as we work through the Western Rite in our Bible study series – Worship Windows. A Sacrament is a holy act. It is so called because it is commanded by Jesus while he was on earth. Each of the two Sacraments has an earthly element. In baptism this is water; in the Lord’s Supper it is the bread and the wine. Each of the Sacraments has promised of grace and forgiveness that our God attaches to them. That is why these are important for the church to study and celebrate.
Baptism as confessed in Luther’s Small Catechism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word. Nothing too it! As a colleague of mine responded when I asked how his baptism went the previous Sunday, “Water and word works every time!” We have God’s promise that it is a washing of rebirth and renewal in the Holy Spirit (Titus 3).
If you’re like me and you live in the Bible belt you may have noticed that our Reformed (Evangelical, Baptist, Pentecostal, etc.) brother and sisters in Christ have a few different ideas about baptism. I spend some time on infant baptism in the Bible class, but I want to touch on the topic of an ordinance. Many Christians mistakenly think that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are things that we do for God. Said differently, some of these people think that the arrow points us. This is an action that we do for God. This simply isn’t true. The arrow – according to Scripture – is pointing down. Baptism is something that God does for us. He washed our sins away, saves us from death and the devil, and according to Romans 6, gives us the power to live a holy life.
Want to hear more? Watch this week’s lesson – Baptism from our study, Worship Windows.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.
Please click HERE for the other lessons from our series Worship Windows.