A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series January 9, 2011 - 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 9, 2011.
It is from Large Catechism, Part IV.1-8.
Holy Baptism is the means God has instituted by the command of His "beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," through which the Holy Spirit joins us to Christ in His Holy Christian where He saves us and keeps us in fellowship with Him and all believers.
1 . . . Every Christian also ought to have at least an ordinary, brief instruction about the Sacraments, because without them he cannot be a Christian. Unfortunately, up to now, no instruction about them has been given. 2 But, in the first place, we take up Baptism, by which we are first received into the Christian Church [John 3:5]. . . .
3 In the first place, we must above all things know well the words on which Baptism is founded. Everything refers to these words that must be said on the subject. The Lord Christ says in Matthew 28:19: 4 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Likewise in St. Mark 16:16: 5 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
6 In the first place, you must note in these words that here stand God's commandment and institution. Let us not doubt that Baptism is divine. It is not made up or invented by people. For as surely as I can say, "No one has spun the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord's Prayer out of his head; they are revealed and given by God Himself." So also I can boast that Baptism is no human plaything, but it is instituted by God Himself. Furthermore, Baptism is most solemnly and strictly commanded so that we must be baptized or we cannot be saved. I note this lest anyone regard Baptism as a silly matter, like putting on a new red coat. 7 For it is of the greatest importance that we value Baptism as excellent, glorious, and exalted. We contend and fight for Baptism chiefly because the world is now so full of sects arguing that Baptism is an outward thing and that outward things are of no benefit. 8 But let Baptism be a thoroughly outward thing. Here stand God's Word and command, which institute, establish, and confirm Baptism. What God institutes and commands cannot be an empty thing. It must be a most precious thing, even though it looked like it had less value than a straw.
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