New Year’s Week – Saturday
Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. – Acts 2:38.
In the days when John preached and baptized, as shown yesterday, Jesus came from Galilee to John and the Jordan to be baptized of him. But John forbade Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?” And Jesus, answering, said unto him, “Let it be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he let Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water, and lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting upon Him; and, lo, a voice from heaven, saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:13-17).
On sinless Jesus rested the sin of the whole world. Therefore He was baptized, even as once He was circumcised, for the remission of sins which, by His suffering and death, He would merit for Himself, that is, for the whole world. And so the Father was well pleased with Him, His dear Son. And the Holy Ghost came upon Him, according to His human nature, for the performance of His great work. – And what about our Baptism?
We have been baptized into Him, into His merit, and have received forgiveness of sin. When we were baptized, the Holy Ghost came, entered our hearts, and effected in us the new birth of children of God. God the Father then said to every one of us: “Thou art My beloved child in whom I am well-pleased.” And in true repentance, that is, in true confession of sin and in a living faith, let us always comfort ourselves with our Baptism, as the Apostle Paul comforts us with these precious words written down in Galatians 3: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (v. 27).
PRAYER – I give thanks to Thee, O Lord God, Triune and true, for all the lasting blessings of my Baptism: salvation from what I justly deserve for my many sins –“Baptism doth also now save us” (I Peter 3:21a); forgiveness for all of our sins – “Repent and baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38); and the planting of faith in Jesus in our hearts and, thereby, making us Thy dear children – “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27). Grant now, O merciful God, that in true, saving faith I may hold fast to Thy grace obtained in Baptism, and living and dying as Thy own dear children, may joyfully enter the fullness and bliss of eternal life. Amen.
He that believes and is baptized, shall see the Lord’s salvation;
baptized into the death of Christ, he is a new creation.
Thro’ Christ’s redemption he shall stand,
among the glorious heav’nly band, of every tribe and nation.
Hymn 301, 1 (TLH)