This is a seven-week devotion by Pastor Ricky Jacob, of Winnebago, Nebraska.
(Read the full series here)
It is still all about Jesus.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. Some of you may wonder, just what do we Lutherans believe?
Today, I will attempt to summarize just one of the chief articles of faith that we Lutherans believe and teach, based solely on the sacred Word of God.
Today's chief article of faith: What is Baptism?
Our Lutheran churches teach that baptism is necessary for salvation, that the grace of God is offered through baptism, and that children should be baptized. For by being offered to God through baptism, they are received into His grace.
God's Kingdom exists only with the proclamation of God's Sacred Word and the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper. It is necessary and a blessing from above to baptize children of all ages, due to the inheritance of sin from one's sinful parents, and so that the blessed hope and promises of salvation may be applied to them, according to God's command.
Jesus came and said to the eleven disciples:
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
Jesus did not qualify making disciples of all nations with "except infants." All nations includes all people of all ages. Holy Baptism works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit and, by the grace of God, is found even in the child inside his mother's womb. As was the case with John the Baptist, who was filled with the Holy Spirit and leaped for joy at the sound of the mother of Jesus' voice while still in the womb.