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A Reading from the Book of Concord
1 year series

March 3, 2013 - Oculi: Third Sunday in Lent

The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Luke 11:14-28 for the Oculi: Third Sunday in Lent, March 3, 2013.

It is from Large Catechism, Part IV.

Christ's work of casting out demons continues to this day "and even unto the end of the age" in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism.

The attached reading is formatted for the back of a standard CPH bulletin.

Pastor Kurt Hering
Layton, Utah

A READING FROM THE BOOK OF CONCORDOCULI: THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT
LARGE CATECHISMBAPTISM

10] To be baptized in God's name is to be baptized not by men, but by God Himself. Therefore, although it is performed by human hands, it is still truly God's own work. From this fact everyone may readily conclude that Baptism is a far higher work than any work performed by a man or a saint. For what work can we do that is greater than God's work?

11] But here the devil is busy to fool us with false appearances and lead us away from God's work to our own works.

14] From this now learn a proper understanding of the subject, and how to answer the question of what Baptism is. It is not mere ordinary water, but water comprehended in God's Word and command and sanctified by them (Ephesians 5:26-27). So it is nothing other than a divine water. Not that the water in itself is nobler than other water, but that God's Word and command are added to it.

15] It is pure wickedness and blasphemy of the devil when "our new spirits" mock at Baptism, leaving God's Word and institution out of it. They look on Baptism in no other way than as water that is taken from the well.

17] Understand the difference, then, Baptism is quite a different thing from all other water. This is not because of its natural quality but because something more noble is added here. God Himself stakes His honor, His power and His might on it.

23] since we know now what Baptism is and how it is to be regarded, we must also learn why and for what purpose it is instituted. We must learn what it profits, gives, and works. For this also we cannot find a better resource than Christ's words quoted above, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16). 24] Therefore, state it most simply in this way: the power, work, profit, fruit, and purpose of Baptism is this--to save (1 Peter 3:21). For no one is baptized in order that he may become a prince, but, as the words say, that he "be saved." 25] We know that to be saved is nothing other than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil (Colossians 1:13-14). It means to enter into Christ's kingdom (John 3:5), and to live with Him forever.

26] Here you see again how highly and preciously we should value Baptism, because in it we receive such an unspeakable treasure. This also proves that it cannot be ordinary, mere water.



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



These are excerpts from the Book of Concord.



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