It’s Friday! That means we turn out attention to the Augsburg Confession. This week’s topic is one that is near and dear to the heart of all Lutherans: Baptism. As you read the Church’s teaching, take time to look at the passages sited. I think you’ll find that this view of Baptism is nothing but what the Scriptures teach. And oh, what comfort that is. Enjoy!
Collect of the Week
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us Your gifts of faith, hope, and love that we may receive the forgiveness You have promised and love what You have commanded; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Article IX (Baptism)
1 Concerning Baptism, our churches teach that Baptism is necessary for salvation [Mark 16:16] and that God’s grace is offered through Baptism [Titus 3:4–7]. 2 They teach that children are to be baptized [Acts 2:38–39]. Being offered to God through Baptism, they are received into God’s grace.
3 Our churches condemn the Anabaptists, who reject the Baptism of children, and say that children are saved without Baptism (Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions. Edited by Paul Timothy McCain. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2005, S. 35).
The Bible teaches that Baptism is a gift of God’s grace by which He applies the benefits of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection to us personally. Because all people are conceived and born in sin, we all need salvation. Because Baptism is God’s way of bringing us salvation, infants should also be baptized. During the Reformation, as now, some Christian groups turned Baptism from God’s saving activity into an act of Christian obedience. This view of Baptism arises from the denial of original sin and a semi-Pelagian view of salvation, whereby faith becomes the good work we contribute. This article concentrates on what God gives in this Sacrament. (See also Ap IX; SA III V; LC IV.) (Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions. Edited by Paul Timothy McCain. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2005, S. 35)