The Lord bless and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you. The Lord be gracious unto you, and give you peace.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Baptism Is Preaching

We can never think highly enough of our baptism.
In baptism I became a Christian, because in that moment I was met by God’s election. In the same way that God once chose Israel, in the same way that He again and again intervened in its history at definitive points with a decisive message, in the same way that He came down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to go to the lost and once again establish the covenant with them - in the same way God has also in baptism broken into my life’s story, given me a share in the life of Christ, made a 
covenant with me, and said that He has chosen me 
for participation in His kingdom.

David & Joanna with Maria
Mary, Ben, Paul, Joel & Letha 
Todd, Sarah, David, Joanna & Maria  
To appreciate and use Baptism aright, we must draw strength and comfort 
     from it when our sins or conscience oppress us, and we must retort, 
'But I am baptized!' No greater jewel, therefore, can adorn our body 
and soul than baptism which no other kind of life 
and no work on earth can acquire.

Maria being baptized 
Paul being baptized

That baptism truly can be the foundation for a person’s deepest personal
faith—this is rarely seen when one looks out into the world. Rather, the 
vast majority break their baptismal covenant. It can occur through willful 
defiance of God’s commandments or disregard of God himself, which most 
clearly manifests itself in that one never prays and never seeks His church. 
More or less intentionally, man has for his part ended the covenant with 
God. But he is not capable of destroying it. I certainly cannot nullify God’s 
promises; cannot wipe out the heading which he has written over my life. 
It follows me as an accusation—but also as a promise. I have an 
inheritance, which, it is true, I can scorn, but which nonetheless is 
preserved with God and is waiting for me. Even more so: I have a home. 
I can leave this home and become prodigal son. But I cannot wipe out 
the fact that I have a home and a Father who has not forgotten His child 
and never ceases to yearn for it. I also cannot prevent Him from 
seeking me and sending offers to me. And this is exactly what God does. 
So this is how man finds the way to God.

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