Baptism

Baptism

18 Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:18-20 (New Living Translation)

Baptism is an important step in the life of a Christian. Through baptism, God calls us into a personal and intimate relationship with Himself. If you wish to take that all-important step by following His command to be baptized, please contact us today.

What Lutherans believe about baptism

Baptism is the application of water under the authority and power of God’s Word. It plants faith in a person’s heart, forgiving them of all sin and redeeming them through the death and resurrection of Jesus. God’s Word teaches this in Acts 2: 38-39: Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”  (New Living Translation)

We baptize using a variety of methods to apply the water in the name of God. Our position is that any method that applies water to the person “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” is accepted by God. What God is doing here is the real issue, not how much water and where.

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But— When God our Savior revealed His kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of His grace He made us right in His sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. Titus 3:3-7 (New Living Translation)

Why does Faith Lutheran Baptize infants? (Actually, we baptize all people!)

Lutherans baptize infants because of what the Bible teaches regarding:

1.) God’s command to baptize (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). There is not a single passage in Scripture which instructs us not to baptize for reasons of age, race, or gender.

The divine commands to baptize in Scripture are all universal in nature. On the basis of these commands, the Christian church has baptized infants from the earliest days of its history.

Since those baptized are also to be instructed in the Christian faith, (Matt. 28:20), the church baptizes infants only where there is the assurance that parents or spiritual guardians will nurture the faith of the one baptized through continued teaching of God’s Word.

2.) Our need for Baptism (Psalm 51:5; John 3:5-7; Acts 2:38; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 6:3-4). According to the Bible, all people–including infants–are sinful and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).

King David confesses,For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5). Like adults, infants die–sure proof that they too are under the curse of sin and death.

According to the Bible, Baptism (somewhat like Old Testament circumcision, administered to 8-day-old-babies – see Col. 2:11-12) is God’s gracious way of washing away our sins – even the sins of infants – without any help or cooperation on our part. It is a wonderful gift of a loving and gracious God.

3.) God’s promises and power “Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” ( See also Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; John 3:5-7; Titus 3:5-6; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:1-4; Col. 2;11-12; Eph. 5:25-26; 1 Cor. 12:13).

Those churches which deny Baptism to infants usually do so because they have a wrong understanding of Baptism. They see Baptism as something we do (e.g., a public profession of faith, etc.) rather than seeing it as something that God does for us and in us.

None of the passages listed above, nor any passage in Scripture, describes Baptism as “our work” or as “our public confession of faith.”

Instead, these passages describe Baptism as a gracious and powerful work of God through which He miraculously (though through very “ordinary” means) washes away our sins by applying to us the benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection (Acts 2:38-39; Acts 22:16), gives us a new birth in which we “cooperate” just as little as we did in our first birth (John 3:5-7), clothes us in Christ’s righteousness (Gal. 3:26-27), gives us the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-6), saves us (1 Peter 3:21), buries us and raises us up with Christ as new creatures (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:11-12), makes us holy in God’s sight (Eph. 5: 25-26) and incorporates us into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).

All of this, according to the Bible, happens in Baptism, and all of it is God’s doing, not ours. The promises and power of Baptism are extended to all in Scripture — including infants — and are available to all.

Parents and sponsors then have the privilege and responsibility of nurturing the baptized child in God’s love and in His Word so that he or she may know and continue to enjoy the wonderful blessings of Baptism throughout his or her life.

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