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.

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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.

Lenten Catechesis—Saturday of Lent 3


reflections on Christ - crucifixion

The Lord’s Prayer – The Seventh Petition and Conclusion

But deliver us from evil.  

In the Greek text this petition reads, “Deliver or preserve us from the evil one,” or “the hateful one.” It looks like Jesus was speaking about the devil, like He would summarize every petition in one. So the entire substance of all our prayer is directed against our chief enemy. For it is he who hinders among us everything that we pray for: God’s name or honor, God’s kingdom and will, our daily bread, a cheerful good conscience, and so forth.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:113

Included in this petition [is] whatever evil may happen to us under the devil’s kingdom: poverty, shame, death, and in short, all the agonizing misery and heartache of which there is such an unnumbered multitude on earth. Since the devil is not only a liar, but also a murderer [John 8:44], he constantly seeks our life. He wreaks his vengeance whenever he can afflict our bodies with misfortune and harm. Therefore, it happens that he often breaks men’s necks or drives them to insanity, drowns some, and moves many to commit suicide and to many other terrible disasters [e.g., Mark 9:17-22]. So there is nothing for us to do upon earth but to pray against this archenemy without stopping. For unless God preserved us, we would not be safe from this enemy even for an hour.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:115-6

If we are to be preserved and delivered from all evil, God’s name must first be hallowed in us, His kingdom must be with us, and His will must be done. After that He will finally preserve us from sin and shame, and, besides, from everything that may hurt or harm us.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:118

Amen.

But all depends upon this, that we learn also to say “Amen.” This means that we do not doubt that our prayer is surely heard and that what we pray shall be done [2 Corinthians 1:20]. This is nothing else than the word of undoubting faith, which does not pray on a dare but knows that God will not lie to him [Titus 1:2]. For He has promised to grant it.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:119-20

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 3


reflections on Christ - crucifixion

The Lord’s Prayer – The Fifth and Sixth Petition

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

There is here attached a necessary, yet comforting addition: “As we forgive.”… Just as we daily sin much against God, and yet He forgives everything through grace, so we, too, must ever forgive our neighbor who does us injury, violence, and wrong…. If, therefore, you do not forgive, then do not think that God forgives you. But if you forgive, you have this comfort and assurance, that you are forgiven in heaven. This is not because of your forgiving. For God forgives freely and without condition, out of pure grace, because He has so promised, as the Gospel teaches. But God says this in order that He may establish forgiveness as our confirmation and assurance, as a sign alongside of the promise, which agrees with this prayer in Luke 6:37, “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
—Large Catechism, Part 3:93-6

And lead us not into temptation.

Temptation… is of three kinds: of the flesh, of the world, and of the devil. For we dwell in the flesh and carry the old Adam about our neck…. The old Adam encourages us to have all kinds of evil lusts, which cling to us by nature and to which we are moved by the society, the example, and what we hear and see of other people.… [The world] offends us in word and deed. It drives us to anger and impatience.… No one is willing to be the least. Everyone desires to sit at the head of the group and to be seen before all…. [The devil] especially agitates matters that concern the conscience and spiritual affairs. He leads us to despise and disregard both God’s Word and works.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:101-4

“Lead us not into temptation”… refers to times when God gives us power and strength to resist the temptation. However, the temptation is not taken away or removed. While we live in the flesh and have the devil around us, no one can escape his temptation and lures. It can only mean that we must endure trials—indeed, be engulfed in them. But we say this prayer so that we may not fall and be drowned in them.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:106

 

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 3


reflections on Christ - crucifixion

The Lord’s Prayer – The Fourth and Fifth Petitions

Give us this day our daily bread.

With many words one could list all the things that are included, like when we ask God to give us food and drink, clothing, house and home, and health of body. Or when we ask that He cause the grain and fruit of the field to grow and mature well. Furthermore, we ask that He help us at home with good housekeeping and that He give and preserve for us a godly wife, children, and servants. We ask that He cause our work, trade, or whatever we are engaged in to prosper and succeed, favor us with faithful neighbors and good friends, and other such things. Likewise, we ask that He give wisdom, strength, and success to emperors, kings, and all estates, and especially to the rulers of our country and to all counselors, magistrates, and officers.… We ask that He give to subjects and the common people obedience, peace, and harmony in their life with one another.… We ask that He would preserve us from all sorts of disaster to body and livelihood, like lightning, hail, fire, flood, poison, plague, cattle disease, war and bloodshed, famine, destructive beasts, wicked men, and so forth. It is well to impress all this upon the common people: these things come from God and must be prayed for by us.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:76-79

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

It is not as though [God] did not forgive sin without and even before our prayer. (He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it.) But the purpose of this prayer is that we may recognize and receive such forgiveness.… We sin daily in word and deed, by what we do and fail to do. By this the conscience is thrown into unrest, so that it is afraid of God’s wrath and displeasure. So it loses the comfort and confidence derived from the Gospel. Therefore, it is always necessary that we run here and receive consolation to comfort the conscience again.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:88-9

 

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.