On Baptism

Baptism is how God labels us as those for whom He sent His Son to redeem. That is why Baptism is preached as Peter preached it: repent and be baptized, everyone of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is for you and your children, and for all those God has called to Himself.

We baptize those who repent. We baptize those who believe that because of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension, their sins are forgiven and they have life in Jesus’ name.

So what is the purpose of adult classes that prepare one for Baptism? We don’t prepare children for Baptism. Why adults? I’m not purporting that we baptize by hose, hosing down passer-bys in the Triune Name, but if someone attends one or two Masses, or speaks a few times with the pastor discussing sin, death, hell, damnation, salvation, life, forgiveness, and especially Jesus, and that person, like the Etheopian Eunich, says, “What prevents me from being baptized?” Shall we answer: “Well, 12 classes prevent you from being baptized.” Or shall we say that they have not convinced us that they want baptism, and these classes will satisfy our conscience? When have we set up as worship the doctrines of men?

Again, I’m not saying we should baptize indescriminately, but those who want it. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

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Too Much to Read

There is simply too much stuff to read. Actually, it’s too easy to follow a rabbit hole on the internet. Find a page with interesting stuff, and sure as the world, there’s a link that’ll take you down a different path until eventually you’re not sure what you’ve read, what it means, or how to process all the information. There are only three books worth reading over and over and over again: The Bible, the Lutheran Confessions, and Ceremony and Celebration by the sainted Rev. Lang. It’s not that nothing else should be read, but these three (given in order of importance) should be the staple of daily, weekly, monthly reading. Then all the blogs, journals, pamphlets, emails, etc., etc., etc., will be defined by these three works, which will make for a theologically rich life.

That they may all be one

Every Christian knows – or should know – that on the night when our Lord Jesus was betrayed He prayed in the garden to His Father that all who believe through the words of the apostles would be one even as He and the Father are one (Jn 17).
It is through the words of the apostles that Christ’s Church is to be one. But which word? The Gospel, of course. But what is the Gospel? It is what St. Paul received and passed on: that our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and having given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.” In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them saying, “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in my blood which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do as often as you drink it in rememberance of me.”
The Gospel is not simply that God loves us, but that He loves us in a specific way, by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
The apostle, therefore, finds Christian unity not in faith or a set of by-laws or constitutions or even in agreement over practice and church usage, but in the Lord’s Supper. Thus does he write: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. 10:17). St. Paul writes that our unity is in the Eucharist.
Going back to Jesus’ prayer, then, the unity Jesus prays for is found through the words of the apostles, what they received and so passed on to us: that Jesus is the Christ who gives His body and blood for us for the forgiveness of our sins. If the Old Testament could be said to be little more than a commentary on the exodus and Passover, then the New Testament (the name derived from our Lord’s Holy Meal) may be said to be little more than a (divine) commentary on the fulfillment of the Passover, which is Christ.

Welcome!

Why another blog? Because I’d like a place to express my thoughts, reflections, ideas, and to receive feedback on them – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Hence the name.