Thursday, December 22, 2011

Historical Church Writings #18: Luther on Baptism

Today is Historical Church Writing Thursday. Each Thursday will feature the writings of the church fathers, reformation fathers or other church writings. Today's Historical Church Writing is from Martin Luther:
     But Christ says, "Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness"
 [Matthew 3:15]; as much as to say: The purpose of my baptism is to wash away and drown the sins of all the world, that through it all righteousness and salvation may be accomplished. Therefore baptism was instituted by God primarily for Christ's sake and then afterwards also for the sake of all men. For first he must sanctify baptism through his own body and thereby take away the sin, in order that afterwards those who believe in him may have the forgiveness of sins. Therefore baptism is not a useless, empty thing, as the sectarians blasphemously say, but in it all righteousness is fulfilled.
     Then repentance, as John preaches it for the forgiveness of sins, consists mostly in your acknowledging that God is right and confessing that his judgment is true when he says that we are all sinners and all condemned. When you do this from the heart, then repentance has begun. What more must I do then? Bow down and be baptized. For, says Christ, by my baptism I have accomplished it, that whoever believes in me and accepts this baptism receives the forgiveness of sins, and my Father and I and the Holy Spirit will dwell in him.
-- Martin Luther
Jesus Juva,
Soli Deo Gloria

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