THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM

 

Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water

included in God's command and combined with God's

word.

 

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew:

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, bap-

tizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son

and of the Holy Spirit." (Matt. 28:19)

 

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." (Mark 16:16)

 

Certainly not just water, but the word of God in and

with the water does these things, along with the faith

which trusts this word of God in the water. For without

 God's word the water is plain water and no Baptism.

But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is , a life-

giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the

new birth in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says in Titus, chapter

three:

"He 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 trust-

worthy saying." (Titus 3:5-8)

 

It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily

contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all

sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily

emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness

and purity forever.

 

St. Paul writes in Romans chapter six: "We were

therefore buried with Him through baptism into death

 in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead

through the glory of the Father, we to may live a new life." (Rom. 6:4)