Matthew 28: 19-20 ESV: 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.
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What is Baptism?
Baptism is a wonderful gift from God that brings us into His family. In baptism water and God’s Word come together to bring faith, forgiveness and salvation. Baptism is about what God is doing, not something we do.
Who is Baptism For?
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands His disciples to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching them. So baptism is for all nations – that is, everyone, young and old. Those who are old enough to receive instruction are baptized after they have been taught the main points of the Christian faith. Little children and infants can be baptized first and then taught as they grow.
If I was baptized in another denomination should I be re-baptized?
If you were baptized in a Christian church in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are a baptized member of God’s family.
Even if you were baptized long ago and have fallen away from that relationship with Christ for a length of time, your baptism still holds. Because baptism is about what God does and not what we do, we should remember that no matter what we do God will not leave us or forsake us. Though we may wander from time to time, the promises of God in baptism are not contingent upon anything we do.
What does Baptism have to do with my daily life?
Everything! Our entire life is a life lived trusting in the promises of God, given to us in and through Holy Baptism. We are constantly returning to Baptism. In moments of temptation and suffering in our lives,when all seems to be crashing down on us, and in particular in those moments when our sin and the guilt of those sins haunt us, we are able, as Luther says, to “Pull out our Baptism and wave it under the devil’s nose and say,‘I am baptized. …I have God’s bath. It is Christ’s own blood.’ It is a bath blessed and mixed with the blood of Christ.” We can’t return to the cross of Christ,nor should we attempt to imagine ourselves back there. No,we turn instead to the “here and now” reality of God’s work in our lives. We return to our Baptism. For it was there and then that God buried us with Christ and raised us with Him to a new life.
In his Large Catechism, Luther says, “Every Christian has enough to study and to practice all his life. He always has enough to do to believe firmly what Baptism promises and brings—victory over death and the devil, forgiveness of sins, God’s grace, the entire Christ, and the Holy Spirit with His gifts.” And: “If you live in repentance, therefore, you are walking in Baptism, which not only announces this new life, but also produces, begins and promotes it. In Baptism we are given the grace, Spirit and power to suppress the old man, so that the new man may come forth and grow strong. Therefore, Baptism remains forever. …Repentance, therefore, is nothing else than a return and approach to Baptism.”