A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series January 13, 2013 - Baptism of Our Lord
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Matthew 3:13-17 for the Baptism of Our Lord, January 13, 2013.
It is from The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IX.
Just as "the Spirit of God [descended] like a dove and [came] to rest on [Jesus]" [Matthew 3:16] at His Baptism, so too the Holy Spirit descends and comes to rest upon each and every Baptized child of God.
51] Article IX has been approved, in which we confess that "Baptism is necessary for salvation," that "children are to be baptized," and that the "Baptism of children is not in vain, but is necessary and effective for salvation." 52] Since the Gospel is taught among us purely and diligently, by God's favor we receive also this fruit from it: In our Churches no Anabaptists have arisen. This is because the people have been strengthened by God's Word against the wicked and rebellious faction of these robbers. This is also among the distinct errors of the Anabaptists we condemn. They argue that the Baptism of little children is useless. For it is very certain that the promise of salvation also applies to little children [that the divine promises of grace and of the Holy Ghost belong not alone to the old, but also to children]. It does not, however, apply to those who are outside of Christ's Church, where there is neither Word nor Sacraments. Christ's kingdom exists only with the Word and Sacraments. Therefore, it is necessary to baptize little children, that the promise of salvation may be applied to them, according to Christ's command to baptize all nations (Matthew 28:19). Just as in this passage salvation is offered to all, so Baptism is offered to all, to men, women, children, infants. It clearly follows, therefore, that infants are to be baptized, because salvation is offered with Baptism. 53] Second, it is clear that God approves of the baptism of little children. Therefore the Anabaptists, [and all those] who condemn the baptism of little children, believe wickedly. God's approval of the Baptism of little children is shown by this: He gives the Holy Spirit to those (Acts 2:38-39). For if this Baptism would be empty, the Holy Spirit would be given to no one. No one would be saved. And finally, there would be no Church. This reason, even by itself, can well enough establish good and godly minds against the godless and fanatical opinions of the Anabaptists.
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen