Good lines on Baptism

The current issue of For the Life of the World, the magazine of Concordia Theological Seminary, has some great articles by its faculty on Baptism.  I’ll give you some samples of what they had to say:

No more than a husband or wife would say “I was married” with the day of the wedding in mind should a Christian say “I was baptized.”  The married man or woman quite naturally answers the question “Are you married?” in the present tense, “I am married.”  If a married person answered this question in the past tense, “I was married,” one would assume that they are now widowed or divorced.  Just so the Christian confesses “I am baptized.”  That is the abiding comfort of Baptism.  The liturgical rite is quickly done with and the water dries but the gift of Baptism does not evaporate.

–Prof. John T. Pless

The day of our Baptism is the most momentous day in our lives, the day we got death over, dying with Christ and rising with Him to a life that never ends.  Ironic that our baptismal life begins by dying, by crossing that boundary from death to life, from darkness to life.  Baptism is a Passover from death to life in Christ—our pascha—the ancient word for Passover and for Easter.  In Baptism we are joined to the Paschal Lamb who was slain and raised again.  Baptism may begin with dying but it ends with Easter, with the resurrection of our bodies with Christ, who has conquered death by His death.

–Prof. Arthur A. Just, Jr.

Water has its origin in the Creation.  Genesis says after God separated the light from darkness, He created water in which He then encased the earth so that above it was the earth’s canopy and below its foundation.  Like the water of Baptism, the water out of which the world was created was included in God’s word and connected with His command.  He spoke the word and water was commanded into existence.  Life so depends upon water that the words water and life are virtually synonyms.  Finding water on the moon and the planets of our solar system holds out the possibility of extraterrestrial life, so some scientists hypothesize. 

Baptism is the continuation of how God gave life to creation through water, but now in this sacrament He gives life to sinners trapped in death.  Just as the water at the Creation was the means out of which the earth arose, the water of Baptism has become the means of grace in creating and sustaining faith.  In water, creation arose and in the water of Baptism the Church, God’s creation, was born. 

–Prof. David P. Scaer

For the Life of the World – Current Issue – Concordia Theological Seminary.

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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