The comfort of Baptism

The comfort of Baptism February 26, 2015

Dr. Benjamin Mayes is working with Concordia Publishing House on the new translations of Luther’s Works.  He was researching what Luther wrote about where Christians can find comfort.  Dr. Mayes writes, “Baptism is one of the comforting things, alongside various Bible passages, that console us regarding God’s particular love for us, giving peace of conscience and certainty of salvation. See LW 51:166 for an example: “Then, in this Christian church, you have ‘the forgiveness of sins.’ This term includes baptism, consolation upon a deathbed, the sacrament of the altar, absolution, and all the comforting passages [of the gospel].”  After the jump, two powerful quotations from Luther on the comfort that we can find in Baptism.From Martin Luther, The Holy and Blessed Sacrament of Baptism, 1519:

“For this reason no one should be terrified if he feels evil lust or love, nor should he despair even if he falls. Rather he should remember his baptism, and comfort himself joyfully with the fact that God has there pledged himself to slay his sin for him and not to count it a cause for condemnation, if only he does not say Yes to sin or remain in it. Moreover these wild thoughts and appetites, and even a fall into sin, should not be regarded as an occasion for despair. Regard them rather as an admonition from God that we should remember our baptism and what was there spoken, that we should call upon God’s mercy and exercise ourselves in striving against sin, that we should even welcome death in order that we may be rid of sin.” (LW 35:35)

“For as has been said, if anyone has fallen into sin, he should all the more remember his baptism, how God has here made a covenant with him to forgive all his sins, if only he will fight against them even until death. Upon this truth, upon this alliance with God, a man must joyfully dare to rely. Then baptism again goes into force and operation. Then his heart again becomes peaceful and glad, not in his own works or “satisfaction,” but in the mercy of God promised to him in baptism, a mercy which God will keep forever.”  (LW 35:3:)

 

HT:  Paul McCain


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