Lenten Catechesis—Saturday of Lent 4


Ecce-Homo-e

Holy Baptism—Who receives what Baptism gives and profits?

Baptism does not become invalid even though it is wrongly received or used. As stated above, it is not bound to our faith, but to the Word.

Suppose a Jewish person should come dishonestly today and with evil intent, and we should baptize him in all good faith. We must say that his Baptism is still genuine. For here is the water together with God’s Word, even though the person does not receive it as he should.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:53-4

So you see that the objection of the sectarians is empty. As we have said, even though infants did not believe (which, however, is not the case), still their Baptism would be valid. We have now shown this. No one should rebaptize infants. Nothing is taken away from the Sacrament even though someone approaches it with evil purpose. So he could not be allowed to take it a second time the self-same hour on account of his abuse, as though he had not received the true Sacrament at first. That would blaspheme and profane the Sacrament in the worst way. How dare we think that God’s Word and ordinance should be wrong and invalid because we make a wrong use of it?
—Large Catechism, Part 4:55

I say, if you did not believe then, believe now and say this: The Baptism certainly was right. But I, unfortunately, did not receive it aright. I myself also, and all who are baptized, must say this before God, “I come here in my faith and in that of others. Yet I cannot rest in this, that I believe, and that many people pray for me. But in this I rest, that Baptism is Your Word and command. It is just like when I go to the Sacrament trusting not in my faith, but in Christ’s Word.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:56

We bring the child in the conviction and hope that it believes, and we pray that God may grant it faith [Luke 17:2; Ephesians 2:8]. But we do not baptize it for that reason, but solely because of God’s command. Why? Because we know that God does not lie [Titus 1:2].
—Large Catechism, Part 4:57

Lenten Catechesis from Treasury of Daily Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission.
All rights reserved. www.cph.org

—————————— + ——————————

TDPDaily devotions for every day of the church year, including Scripture reading, hymn, Psalm, a historical devotion, and prayer, can be found in THE TREASURY OF DAILY PRAYER on sale now from Concordia Publishing House.

PrayNowDaily devotions can also be downloaded to your iOS and Android device using the PrayNow app, available from Google Play or Amazon.com.

Lenten Catechesis—Friday of Lent 4


Ecce-Homo-e

Holy Baptism—Who receives what Baptism gives and profits?

The Baptism of infants is pleasing to Christ, as is proved well enough from His own work. For God sanctifies many of those who have been baptized as infants and has given them the Holy Spirit. There are still many people even today in whom we perceive that they have the Holy Spirit both because of their doctrine and life. It is also given to us by God’s grace that we can explain the Scriptures and come to the knowledge of Christ, which is impossible without the Holy Spirit [1 Corinthians 12:3]. But if God did not accept the Baptism of infants, He would not give the Holy Spirit nor any of His gifts to any of them. In short, during the long time up to this day, no person on earth could have been a Christian.… Since the holy Christian Church cannot perish until the end of the world, the sects must acknowledge that such infant Baptism is pleasing to God. For God can never be opposed to Himself or support falsehood and wickedness, or for its promotion impart His grace and Spirit.… The sects shall not take from us or overthrow this article: “I believe in… the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints.”
—Large Catechism, Part 4:49-51

Further, we say that we are not very concerned to know whether the person baptized believes or not. For Baptism does not become invalid on that account. But everything depends on God’s Word and command. Now this point… rests entirely on what I have said, that Baptism is nothing other than water and God’s Word in and with each other [Ephesians 5:26]. That is, when the Word is added to the water, Baptism is valid, even though faith is lacking. For my faith does not make Baptism, but receives it.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:52-3

Lenten Catechesis from Treasury of Daily Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission.
All rights reserved. www.cph.org

—————————— + ——————————

TDPDaily devotions for every day of the church year, including Scripture reading, hymn, Psalm, a historical devotion, and prayer, can be found in THE TREASURY OF DAILY PRAYER on sale now from Concordia Publishing House.

PrayNowDaily devotions can also be downloaded to your iOS and Android device using the PrayNow app, available from Google Play or Amazon.com.

Lenten Catechesis—Thursday of Lent 4


Ecce-Homo-e

Holy Baptism—What does such Baptizing with water signify?

We are sunk under the water, which passes over us, and afterward are drawn out again. These two parts… signify Baptism’s power and work. It is nothing other than putting to death the old Adam and affecting the new man’s resurrection after that [Romans 6:4-6]. Both of these things must take place in us all our lives. So a truly Christian life is nothing other than a daily Baptism, once begun and ever to be continued.… Without ceasing… we always keep purging away whatever belongs to the old Adam. Then what belongs to the new man may come forth. But what is the old man? It is what is born in human beings from Adam: anger, hate, envy, unchastity, stinginess, laziness, arrogance—yes, unbelief. The old man is infected with all vices and has by nature nothing good in him [Romans 7:18]. Now, when we have come into Christ’s kingdom [John 3:5], these things must daily decrease. The longer we live the more we become gentle, patient, meek, and ever turn away from unbelief, greed, hatred, envy, and arrogance.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:65

Faith alone makes the person worthy to receive profitably the saving, divine water. Since these blessings are presented here and promised through the words in and with the water, they cannot be received in any other way than by believing them with the heart [Romans 10:9]. Without faith it profits nothing, even though Baptism is in itself a divine overwhelming treasure. Therefore, this single phrase, “Whoever believes,” does so much.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:33-4

You see plainly that this is no work done here by us, but a treasure, which God gives us and faith grasps [Ephesians 2:8-9]. It is like the benefit of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross, which is not a work, but a treasure included in the Word. It is offered to us and received by faith.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:37

When our sins and conscience oppress us, we strengthen ourselves and take comfort and say, “Nevertheless, I am baptized. And if I am baptized, it is promised to me that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both in soul and body.”
—Large Catechism, Part 4:44

Lenten Catechesis from Treasury of Daily Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission.
All rights reserved. www.cph.org

—————————— + ——————————

TDPDaily devotions for every day of the church year, including Scripture reading, hymn, Psalm, a historical devotion, and prayer, can be found in THE TREASURY OF DAILY PRAYER on sale now from Concordia Publishing House.

PrayNowDaily devotions can also be downloaded to your iOS and Android device using the PrayNow app, available from Google Play or Amazon.com.

Lenten Catechesis—Wenesday of Lent 4


Ecce-Homo-e

Holy Baptism—How can water do such great things?

In the water is God’s Word or command and God’s name. His name is a treasure greater and nobler than heaven and earth.

Baptism is quite a different thing from all other water. This is not because of its natural quality but because something more noble has been added here. God Himself stakes His honor, His power, and His might on it. Therefore, Baptism is not only natural water, but a divine, heavenly, holy, and blessed water, and whatever other terms we can find to praise it. This is all because of the Word, which is a heavenly, holy Word, which no one can praise enough. For it has, and is able to do, all that God is and can do [Isaiah 55:10-11]. In this way it also gets its essence as a Sacrament, as St. Augustine also taught, “When the Word is joined to the element or natural substance, it becomes a Sacrament,” that is, a holy and divine matter and sign.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:16-8

You must honor Baptism and consider it glorious because of the Word. For God Himself has honored it both by words and deeds. Furthermore, He has confirmed it with miracles from heaven. Do you think that it was a joke that, when Christ was baptized, the heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit descended visibly, and everything was divine glory and majesty [Luke 3:21-22]?
—Large Catechism, Part 4:21

I encourage again that these two—the water and the Word—by no means be separated from each other and parted. For if the Word is separated from it, the water is the same as the water that the servant cooks with. It may indeed be called a bathkeeper’s baptism. But when the Word is added, as God has ordained, it is a Sacrament. It is called Christ’s Baptism.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:22

Lenten Catechesis from Treasury of Daily Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission.
All rights reserved. www.cph.org

—————————— + ——————————

TDPDaily devotions for every day of the church year, including Scripture reading, hymn, Psalm, a historical devotion, and prayer, can be found in THE TREASURY OF DAILY PRAYER on sale now from Concordia Publishing House.

PrayNowDaily devotions can also be downloaded to your iOS and Android device using the PrayNow app, available from Google Play or Amazon.com.

Lenten Catechesis—Tuesday of Lent 4


Ecce-Homo-e

Holy Baptism—What benefits does Baptism give?

Since we know 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].… 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.” 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.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:23-5

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. For mere water could not do such a thing. But the Word does it and, as I said above, so does the fact that God’s name is included in Baptism. Where God’s name is, there must also be life and salvation [Psalm 54:1]. So Baptism may certainly be called a divine, blessed, fruitful, and gracious water. Such power is given to Baptism by the Word that is a washing of new birth, as St. Paul also calls it in Titus 3:5.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:26-7

What God does and works in us He intends to work through such outward ordinances. Therefore, wherever He speaks—indeed, no matter what direction or by whatever means He speaks—faith must look there. It must hold to that object. Now here we have the words “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” [Mark 16:16]. What else can these words refer to but Baptism, that is, to the water included in God’s ordinance? Therefore, it makes sense that whoever rejects Baptism rejects God’s Word, faith, and Christ, who directs us to Baptism and binds us to Baptism.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:30-1

Lenten Catechesis from Treasury of Daily Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission.
All rights reserved. www.cph.org

—————————— + ——————————

TDPDaily devotions for every day of the church year, including Scripture reading, hymn, Psalm, a historical devotion, and prayer, can be found in THE TREASURY OF DAILY PRAYER on sale now from Concordia Publishing House.

PrayNowDaily devotions can also be downloaded to your iOS and Android device using the PrayNow app, available from Google Play or Amazon.com.

Lenten Catechesis—Monday of Lent 4


Ecce-Homo-e

Holy Baptism—What is Baptism

Every Christian 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. But, in the first place, we take up Baptism, by which we are first received into the Christian Church [John 3:5].
—Large Catechism, Part 4:1

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew:  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
—Matthew 28:19

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark: Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
—Mark 16:16

Here [in the words of Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16] stand God’s commandment and institution. Let us not doubt that Baptism is divine. It is not made up or invented by people.… 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.… 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. 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.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:6-9

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?
— Large Catechism, Part 4:10

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.
—Large Catechism, Part 4:14

Lenten Catechesis from Treasury of Daily Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission.
All rights reserved. www.cph.org

—————————— + ——————————

TDPDaily devotions for every day of the church year, including Scripture reading, hymn, Psalm, a historical devotion, and prayer, can be found in THE TREASURY OF DAILY PRAYER on sale now from Concordia Publishing House.

PrayNowDaily devotions can also be downloaded to your iOS and Android device using the PrayNow app, available from Google Play or Amazon.com.

Lenten Catechesis—Fourth Sunday in Lent


Ecce-Homo-e

Holy Baptism

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew:  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
—Matthew 28:19

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark: Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
—Mark 16:16

St. Paul says in Titus, chapter three: He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.
—Titus 3:5-8

St. Paul writes in Romans chapter six: We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that , just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
—Romans 6:4

Lenten Catechesis from Treasury of Daily Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission.
All rights reserved. www.cph.org

—————————— + ——————————

TDPDaily devotions for every day of the church year, including Scripture reading, hymn, Psalm, a historical devotion, and prayer, can be found in THE TREASURY OF DAILY PRAYER on sale now from Concordia Publishing House.

PrayNowDaily devotions can also be downloaded to your iOS and Android device using the PrayNow app, available from Google Play or Amazon.com.

Holy Cross Day ⎯ September 14


One of the earliest annual celebrations of the Church, Holy Cross Day traditionally commemorated the discovery of the original cross of Jesus on September 14, 320, in Jerusalem. The cross was found by Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. In conjunction with the dedication of a basilica at the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, the festival day was made official by order of Constantine in AD 355. A devout Christian, Helena helped locate and authenticate many sites related to the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus throughout biblical lands. Holy Cross Day has remained popular in both Eastern and Western Christianity. Many Lutheran parishes have chosen to use “Holy Cross” as the name of their congregation.

Treasury of Daily Prayer
September 14–Holy Cross Day

The cross is the sign of God’s goodness and favor toward you. It is the symbol of salvation worked out for you. It is the symbol of your freedom from all sin, hell, death, and every evil. It was to the cross that the Lamb of God was led without complaint and where He was slaughtered.

When Christians make the sign of the holy cross, it is in remembrance of its wonderful purpose and do not think of its shame. When a Christian makes the sign of the cross, he lets the waters of his Baptism quench all the anger, the bitterness, and all the other passions which plague the sinful flesh.

Donatello crucifix

Donatello crucifix

The sign of the cross belongs to the Christian, it is a gift given to each of us by Jesus at our Baptism. “Receive the sign of the cross to mark you as one redeemed by Christ the crucified.” The sign of the cross marks you as one who has been bought with a price. The sign of the cross marks you as one truly free from the devil. The sign of the cross reminds you of the price paid to redeem you, the very life of the true Son of God.

My dear friends in Christ, please do not hear me making a new demand that you *must* make the sign of the cross in your devotions and worship. While we certainly have the freedom of Christians to do so, it is the heart marked by the sign of Jesus cross which is more important than anything you do with your fingers. In your heart, with much faith, recall the sacrifice of Christ and cling to Him. Engrave His cross upon your mind and embrace the salvation of your soul. For the cross held up the Christ for the salvation of the world. Behold your Lord ˜ the one who drives away all error and unveils the Truth, He who has brought Heaven to earth, He who has made dead sinners into lively children. Because of Christ, the demons are no longer terrifying or frightful; rather they are objects of contempt. Death now holds no fear, it is merely a sleep. All that wars against us has been cast to the ground and trod upon.

Let us with a clear voice shout aloud to the world that the cross is our glory. It is the sum and symbol of all our blessings, our confidence, and our crown.

You are part of the body of Christ by virtue of your washing. So you must shoulder your cross. Now your cross is not the cross of Christ. Only He could bear your sins and the sins of all people. Your cross is different; it is as individual as you are. Not only do we bear the sign of the cross to mark us as one redeemed by Christ the crucified, we also are called to be cross-bearers. Luther said, “You must be willing to lose your life for Christ; not just to die but be willing to bear every evil, trouble, danger, and temptation where your peace and life will be disturbed.”

Remember as you bear your cross, that in Christ it is a joyful thing. He has redeemed you and calls you His own. Just as it is a privilege, may be difficult, to be called Christian. You do not choose your cross. Your Lord will give it to you. Know that as you bear your cross, that it will at times seem very heavy.

It will be tempting to look at how other people fare and to murmur about how light and easy their cross seems to be. It is hard enough to bear one’s own burden without wondering why the other guy bears something different and seems to have it easier. No, do not fix your eyes on what others have or don’t have. Rather, fix your eyes on Jesus. He is your strength and your tower.

As you bear your cross as one of Christ’s Christians, know that He stands in our midst with His gifts of refreshment and solace. Do your sins dirty you and cause you to feel filthy? Remember the holy waters of Baptism in which you were washed clean of all filth and evil. Come and confess and receive the words that Christ has given His Church to speak. Are you weak? Does your strength fail? Christ places food into your hand and mouth. He strengthens you with heavenly Bread and drink. He gives His true body and blood in this bread and wine to strengthen you in body and soul. In all your trials, He stands beside you with His Word ˜ that life-giving, refreshing, water of Life to comfort you, aid you, and fill you with hope for this life and the life to come.

From a sermon
15th Sunday after Pentecost/A
Matthew 16:21-26

Other resources for Holy Cross:

Sermon on John 12:20-33

How Lutherans Worship – 2: Excursus: Making the Sign of the Cross

What are Ember Days?

How Lutherans Worship – 2: Making the Sign of the Cross


sign of the cross finger positionIn the previous part I said: “it is appropriate that all those who are baptized may join in making the sign of the cross as a remembrance of their baptism.” There has been some question about this. In response let me begin by bringing forward for your consideration the words of Dr. Timothy Maschke from his excellent guide on worship Gathered Guests. Dr. Maschke:

[Making] the sign of the cross is …a physical action that draws the whole self into the act of worship. Some people may consider this is a “Catholic” practice, and in the past this connotation caused many Lutherans to abandon its use. Yet Luther suggested the sign of the cross as a daily practice, directing in his Small Catechism that the head of the household should teach the family the Morning and Evening Prayers in this way:

In the morning, when you get up,make the sign of the cross and say:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The sign of the cross is made by placing the thumb and the first two fingers of the right hand together as a reminder of the Trinity. Touch your head at the naming of the Father, then bring your hand to the middle of your chest (over your heart) at the naming of the Son. At the naming of the Holy Spirit touch your right shoulder and then your left shoulder.

But let us be clear, making the sign of the cross, or not making the sign of the cross, is part of our Christian liberty. It should never be made a criterion for being viewed as more or less confessional, more or less liturgical, or more or less Lutheran. While the sign of the holy cross is the property of each and every baptized child of God, it is up to the individual to determine when and how he or she will use it.

In the church’s worship it is a laudable custom to cross ourselves at the beginning and end of all services and at the following places in the Service or in the Order of the Holy Communion Service: During the opening words, “In the name etc.”; at the end of the Absolution; at the beginning of the Introit; at the end of the Gloria in Excelsis; when the Gospel is announced (At this point the sign is made with the hand closed, using the tip of the thumb, upon the forehead, lips, and breast.); at the end of the creed; during the Sanctus at the words, “Blessed is He”; after the consecration at “The peace of the Lord”; when we receive the holy body and precious blood of Christ; when the minister says, “Depart in peace”; and at the end of the Benediction Paul H. D. Lang, Ceremony and Celebration, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, 1965, p. 71 ff.. Throughout this series of notes on the liturgy I will indicate some of the appropriate places to make the sign of the cross as token of our salvation.

Receive the sign of the holy cross, both upon the + forehead and upon the + heart, in token that you have been redeemed by Christ the crucified.

From the rite of Holy Baptism

The sign of the cross is a way of declaring your salvation. Jesus has made his cross to be yours, so that you do not have to suffer for your sin. Again, Lang: “We were signed with it when we were baptized. It is the sign by which the church blesses people and things. By it we become part of the wonderful history of our faith and companions in the company of the saints. It is right that we should make the sign of the cross frequently and to glory in it, saying with St. Paul, ‘God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Gal. 6:14).”

The Christian also finds comfort in making the sign of the cross in the time of tragedy, in the face of danger, or in the presence of heresy and evil. Within the liturgy itself, this use of making the sign of the cross is why it is included in the Lord’s Prayer at the speaking of the words, “And lead us not into temptation, but + deliver us from evil.”

Again, to make the sign of the cross is a matter of Christian freedom. You may or may not feel comfortable doing it yourself, or you may not do it as often as your neighbor. That’s okay. But when the sign of the cross is made, whether by pastor or people, let this be the proclamation: Christ has died for your sins upon the cross; in Baptism he shares that cross with you; because you share in his cross you are a child of God and are precious in his sight.

Scriptural References:
Matthew 28:18b-19
Mark 8:34-38
Mark 16:16
Romans 6:3-4
Galatians 2:20
1 Peter 3:21

Next: The Preparation—Confession and Absolution

Other good posts on making the sign of the cross:

Todd Peperkorn at Lutheran Logomaniac

When we make the sign of the cross, what we are doing is A) remembering our Baptism; B) Remembering Jesus’ death for our sins; C) Confessing to the world that I am not ashamed to be known as a disciple of Jesus; and D) Holding up the cross of Christ as the central core of my identity. [more...]

Luther on making the sign of the cross at Lutheran Theology Web Site

In the morning, when you rise, you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. [more...]

Paul H. D. Lang from Ceremonies and Celebrations at Lex Orandi

Crossing oneself was practiced by Christians from the earliest centuries and may go back to apostolic times. We know that is was already a common ceremony used daily in A.D. 200, for Tertullian writes: “In all undertakings — when we enter a place or leave it; before we dress; before we bathe; when we take our meals; when we light the lamps in the evening; before we retire at night; when we sit down to read; before each task — we trace the sign of the cross on our foreheads.” St. Augustine (A.D. 431) speaks of this custom many times in his sermons and letters. [more...]

The Sign of the Cross: Hierarchical or Egalitarian? by Paul Bosch at Lift Up Your Hearts (ELLiC)

But remember: It’s heavy stuff. That personal signing of yourself with the cross: It’s nothing you want to do lightly. You’re marking your very self –your body, your psyche– with the cross of Christ’s suffering. You’re saying, by this gesture: “I take the sufferings and death of Christ upon myself.” That’s something I’m not sure I want to do, at least not without some heavy thought, some heavy soul-searching. You won’t find me, for one, “signing” myself very often.

Pastor Lassman’s YouTube instruction on Making the Sign of Cross

Previous post: How Lutheran Worship -1 Introduction

Next: How Lutherans Worship–3: Confession and Absolution

All Christians Who Have Been Baptized



All Christians who have been baptized,
Who know the God of heaven,
And in whose daily life is prized
The name of Christ once given:
Consider now what God has done,
The gifts He gives to ev’ryone
Baptized into Christ Jesus!

You were before your day of birth,
Indeed, from your conception,
Condemned and lost with all the earth,
None good, without exception.
For like your parents’ flesh and blood,
Turned inward from the highest good,
You constantly denied Him.

But all of that was washed away—
Immersed and drowned forever.
The water of your Baptism day
Restored again whatever
Old Adam and his sin destroyed
And all our sinful selves employed
According to our nature.

In Baptism we now put on Christ—
Our shame is fully covered
With all that He once sacrificed
And freely for us suffered.
For here the flood of His own blood
Now makes us holy, right, and good
Before our heav’nly Father.

O Christian, firmly hold this gift
And give God thanks forever!
It gives the power to uplift
In all that you endeavor.
When nothing else revives your soul,
Your Baptism stands and makes you whole
And then in death completes you.

So use it well! You are made new—
In Christ a new creation!
As faithful Christians, live and do
Within your own vocation,
Until that day when you possess
His glorious robe of righteousness
Bestowed on you forever!