Third Sunday in Advent – Tuesday
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.
Faith is the only means through which Christ and His salvation becomes our own, and through which we thus become the adopted children of God in time and eternity. Therefore the Holy Ghost says to the believing Christians: “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
Such is the power of faith, but not because it is a noble virtue, and a beautiful and good work on the part of the Christians; no, such is the strength of faith, because it is the acceptance of what God gives. First comes God and gives us Christ and His salvation through the Gospel; and then we receive Christ and His salvation by faith. That is what it means to believe in Jesus.
And as through the Word, so also through Baptism, does God give us Christ and His salvation. Word and Baptism belong together. Through Baptism, God has covered us in Christ and His salvation, so that the floods of grace and salvation compass us about. Through Baptism God has clothed us sinners with Christ, as with the garment of salvation and the robe of righteousness. And now we, as grateful recipients of His grace, respond, saying: “Amen, O God; thanks, thanks be to Thee, my God!” That is faith.
Through such faith, Christ and His salvation actually become our own, Christ and His salvation given us in Baptism. – Through Baptism, Christ has come to you also, O Christian, with His salvation. Now consider your Baptism with the eyes of faith, and the things which God there has given to you, and say: “I am a child of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for I have been baptized and have put on Christ.”
With such words of faith, you will surely obtain God’s gracious blessings in time and eternity.
PRAYER. – Lord Jesus, Thou art the flood of grace and salvation in which I have been covered in Baptism. Thou art the garment of salvation and the robe of righteousness with which I have been clad in Baptism. This I believe, Lord Jesus. Keep me in such faith! Grant that – against all the horrors of sin and of death and of hell – I plead my Baptism. For I know that Thou, O Lord, wilt never retract what Thou so solemnly hast certified to me. Indeed, Thou wilt most certainly not withdraw what in Baptism Thou hast given to me. Amen.
Once in the blest baptismal waters
I put on Christ and made Him mine;
Now numbered with God’s sons and daughters,
I share His peace and love divine.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.
Hymn 598, 8.