Baptism, Good Friday, & Easter

Have a blessed Good Friday, everybody, and a joyous Easter.  Towards that end, I give you two remarkable texts from God’s Word, which detail how Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, is OUR death, burial, and resurrection, and how each of us was and is intimately involved in His Cross and in His empty tomb.  From Colossians 2:

8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

And as if that were not enough to tie us to Christ’s Cross and Resurrection, here is  Romans 6:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set freefrom sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

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  • Jon

    Hmm…So what you’re saying is baptism actually does something, as opposed to it being just a symbol of my obedience and acceptance of Jesus?

    I suppose next you’ll be telling us that Jesus body and blood really is offered in the Lord’s Supper for the forgiveness of my sins, too!

    Oh wait, that was yesterday.

  • fws

    How do I know I am saved?

    I AM baptized.
    Not even: I WAS baptized.

    Even if I stop believing the Promise God has placed in MY Baptism FOR ME, …..
    Faith can Always return to that Promise, placed in My Baptism , FOR ME!

    So the first question Lutherans ask someone at Starbucks when talking about religion is this one:
    “were you baptized?”
    It is God´s Works, through us, to Word someone INto their Baptism, or Word someone BACK INto their Baptism!

    In the Name of the Father , and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost! Amen! ” +

  • rvs

    I very much like how the Catholics discuss baptism of blood. Thank you for these inspiring, timely verses.

  • Helen K.

    Is it just me? I clicked to read the comments on the topic and the numbering begins with #5. Then there are trackbacks with other links. It appears that the first three comments are missing. Perhaps some sort of computer glitch?

    A blessed Good Friday, everyone.

  • dust

    Helen, that’s how it looks to me too…am afraid to click on one of the trackbacks, but there are 4 of them, so if they are counted as comments, then the first real one would be 5..hm, 2 + 2 = 5 :)

    fws….it’s nice to have faith in your baptism, am not disputing that, but what’s the difference in that faith versus faith in the Crucifixion and Resurrection? is it easier somehow? is it some kind of middle ground between unbelief and belief in the full promise of Christ as propitiation for our sins? just like a lot of Christians skip over prayers to the Saints and/or Mary and go straight to the Author of our faith, why is it necessary to have baptism between you and Christ himself?

    thank you and God Bless You :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

    Dust – @ 9

    Very interesting comments and questions.

    Blessings

  • Pete

    Dust @9 said, “…it’s nice to have faith in your baptism, am not disputing that, but what’s the difference in that faith versus faith in the Crucifixion and Resurrection?”

    Look at the Romans 6 passage cited above – particularly verses 8-10. You’re exactly right; there IS no difference between faith in baptism and faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. According to this passage, it would seem that baptism is simply the means by which Jesus’ death and resurrection are applied to us. To have faith in one’s baptism is to have faith in Jesus’ atonement.

  • dust

    Pete, thanks and that sounds Lutheran according to my understanding of baptism as a means of Grace, correct?

    that is (and don’t want to get side tracked on the doctrine of baptism and whether the Lutherans have it right or not, just want to state the Lutheran belief right now) one of the fruits of baptism is the gift of faith, and receiving the benefits of the atoning work of Christ, that is, the washing of regeneration?

    But fws opening statement was “how do I know I am saved” and he said “I am baptized” and am not disputing that….but other folks might say “because I have faith” and from reading this blog, have learned that is wrong, and there is a fancy name for that error too. but that does not sound much different on the surface, than saying because I am baptized, at least to me, sorry to say :(

    So my question would be, don’t you have to have faith in your baptism in order for it to do the thing the Lutherans believe it does? well guess not, since it gives faith to even little babies, and we have faith even when we are asleep, or lost our minds…….as in my case, ha!

    so guess then, baptism works faith and belief, until you lose it, since one can fall away from faith….so then how do you get it back? not by being baptized again, as have learned that is not a good thing….by believing once again in what your baptism did for you in the first place?

    Well, it seems to me it’s just as hard (impossible for man actually) to believe in the atoning work of Christ as it is to believe that baptism now saves us (with all due respect)…both need the Holy spirit to do it for us, so why focus on baptism and not something like “just look to the cross and the empty tomb and the promise from God that His gift is for all people, as in John 3:16, and so that means FOR YOU too”?

    Well, thank you and God Bless You :)

    cheers!

  • SKPeterson

    The fancy term is fideism which is the faith in faith. It boils down to one of the problems of modern faith, though it has been around a long time: as long as I have faith, I am good. The problem, obviously, being in what or whom does one place that faith. Faith, in and of itself, is worthless; the value is in the object of that faith.

  • fws

    Dust @9

    faith simply sees that God has personally applied a Promise in Baptism.
    faith simply holds God to his Word. God cannot lie.

    faith later looks to its own flesh and sees no faith or repentence.
    it trusts Gods Word: “I know that in me, in my flesh dwells NO good thing,”
    ” the heart is evil beyond all knowing”

    so faith simply accepts what Gods word says is reality.
    we are all liars in our very nature and essence.
    bu God is true!

    So:
    when Satan, the accuser comes and tells us we are utterly sinful and in us there is nothing good…
    faith simply says this:
    “that is the truth!
    but Jesus died for such as me. Now go back to hell where you belong.”

    only unbelief flees from satans accusations by doing moral and spiritual pushups to gain Life.

    faith knows we died so Satan can no longer accuse us.
    so faith steps back into the Promises in Baptism
    and takes up the Law to hill his flesh. Not for his life but for his death.
    his Life is Christ.
    and he becomes q living sacrifice. Dying so others might live in creaturely comfort.
    mercy is done.

  • fws

    Dust @9

    faith simply sees that God has personally applied a Promise in Baptism.
    faith simply holds God to his Word. God cannot lie.

    faith later looks to its own flesh and sees no faith or repentence.
    it trusts Gods Word: “I know that in me, in my flesh dwells NO good thing,”
    ” the heart is evil beyond all knowing”

    so faith simply accepts what Gods word says is reality.
    we are all liars in our very nature and essence.
    bu God is true!

    So:
    when Satan, the accuser comes and tells us we are utterly sinful and in us there is nothing good…
    faith simply says this:
    “that is the truth!
    but Jesus died for such as me. Now go back to hell where you belong.”

    only unbelief flees from satans accusations by doing moral and spiritual pushups to gain Life.

    faith knows we died so Satan can no longer accuse us.
    so faith steps back into the Promises in Baptism
    and takes up the Law to kill his flesh. Not for his life but for his death.
    his Life is Christ.
    and he becomes q living sacrifice. Dying so others might live in creaturely comfort.
    mercy is done.

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