What's the Big Deal About Baptism ?
Suppose there were a physician who had such skill that people would not die, or even though they died would afterward live forever. Just think how the world would snow and rain money upon him! Because of the pressing crowd of rich men no one else could get near him. Now, here in Baptism there is brought free to every man's door just such a priceless medicine which swallows up death and saves the lives of all men.
With these words Martin Luther praises the wonderful worth of Baptism, for Baptism, the Bible says, saves us [1 Peter 3:21]. Jesus promised He who believes and is baptized will be saved [St Mark 16:16]. What's the big deal about Baptism? It saves us! This is powerful medicine.
Think of all the money we spend on doctors and prescriptions, just to add a few days or months or years to our life, and yet in our Baptism the Great Physician gives us a medicine that gives eternal life, and He gives it freely, no charge. The price has been paid. What a wonderful gift!
In our baptism our sins are forgiven. St Peter preached, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [Acts 2:38] What's the big deal about baptism? It gives us the forgiveness of all of our sins. What a wonderful gift! Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins. [Acts 22:16]. Baptism is this washing away of sins, as St Paul says, According to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. [Titus 3:5]
Who does this washing? Our Lord Jesus Himself! Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word. [Ephesians 5:25-26] In our baptism Jesus is present, and He comes with His blood to wash away our sins [see 1 Peter 1:18-19]. He puts His name on us, the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. [St Matthew 28:18-20] What a wonderful gift! Who can say enough good things about baptism? Who can thank God enough for giving us this precious washing?
In Baptism, God gives us all of His good gifts. And what are we to do? Rejoice in the gift. In God's gifts we find our life, our comfort and our salvation. Let us all, then, praise God for the wonderful gift of our baptism.
In Baptism, therefore, every Christian has enough to study and practice all his life. He always has enough to do to believe firmly what Baptism promises and brings- victory over death and the devil, forgiveness of sin, God's grace, the entire Christ and the Holy Spirit with His gifts. In short, the blessings of Baptism are so boundless that if timid nature considers them, it may well doubt whether they could all be true.
(Martin Luther, The Large Catechism)
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