Baptism works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare. When a Christian who is not well grounded in the Word of God hears this, he is astonished and doubtingly asks: How can water do such great things? You know the answer. It is not mere water, indeed, that does them, but the Word of God which is in and with the water; this puts these blessings into Baptism. And faith, which trusts such Word of God in the water, receives these great things through Baptism. Do you fully understand this, my dear Christian? Without the Word of God the water is simple water and no Baptism. But with the Word of God it is a Baptism: a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost. Through His Word, God has placed into the water of Baptism forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation; and the power of the Holy Ghost works in Baptism for the kindling and strengthening of faith in us. You are baptized. You believe. And so you are regenerated. You are a child of God that possesses forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation, and the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost creates within you a new mind. You rejoice in the possession of the great gifts of the grace of God; you do fear, love, and trust in God; you possess new life. Thus Baptism is a washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which God has shed on us abundantly in Baptism through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life, as St. Paul teaches in Titus chapter three. This is a faithful saying.
PRAYER – Lord, my God, my gracious God, I thank Thee for what Thou hast done for me in Baptism! Thou hast regenerated me. Thou hast given me forgiveness of sins, and thereby that righteousness which is valid in Thy sight. Thou hast delivered me from death and the devil, and given me eternal salvation. Thou hast granted to me the Holy Ghost, who works and sustains faith and a new spiritual life within me. O my God, in the possession of such grace let me live and die, and awaken in life eternal, for Christ’s sake! Amen.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gospel: Luke 10:23-37
23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
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