Transcript: Episode 0045

This transcript:
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Welcome to the Stone Choir podcast. I am Corey J. Moeller, and I'm still woe.

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On today's Stone Choir, we're going to be discussing the subject of baptism. On Stone

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Choir, we are obviously talking about theology in general, but we don't typically get too much into

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systematics. We don't delve into specific issues, certainly ones that are well fleshed out in

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church history. Today is probably going to be one of the rare episodes where we're going to talk

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about something where we have literally nothing new to say. The reason that we're doing this is,

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one, we've had number of requests from folks asking us to describe the sacraments from a

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Lutheran perspective. Lutherans are good at theology, not because we have smart Lutherans

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today, but just because we inherited something that was correct and competent from better men.

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Unfortunately, Lutherans today are incredibly terrible at telling people, A, we exist, or B,

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what we believe, or why we believe it. I think most people hear about Lutherans. The only thing

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you have in mind is the tranny. That's frankly the vision of Lutheranism in the West today.

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It's not wrong. Most Lutherans are like that, but the no true Scotsman fallacy is not an absolute

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because there's such a thing as a Scotsman. There's also such a thing as an actual Lutheran,

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and that's what Cori and I are. Today's episode is going to discuss the sacrament of baptism.

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In the future, we'll do one on the sacrament of Holy Communion. The reason that we're doing it in

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addition to just a number of people asked is that these are things that are instituted by God

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that are foundational to the Christian faith. It was a natural follow-on from last week's episode

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where we're discussing forgiveness. In that episode, we were chiefly focused on the forgiveness

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from God that we extend to each other and interceding on behalf of each other to God

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for the forgiveness of our mutual sins. We mentioned in the episode that there are the

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means of grace, the means by which God provides forgiveness to us in this life, in time and

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space forgiveness is delivered, not only at the cross, but personally. I want to briefly acknowledge

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a couple things. One, when a Lutheran says sacrament, we don't mean the same thing as

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the Roman Catholics, for example. I know the majority of our listeners at this point are not

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Lutheran, so for the folks who are Lutheran, a lot of what we say is probably going to be old hat

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for the rest. We're trying to make the best form of the argument for what we believe is a scriptural

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view of baptism. Effectively, if this were a formal debate, this would be the affirmative side for

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the premise. We're making the argument. Part of that is that we're going to be saying things

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that will contradict what the majority of our audience believe about these things.

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I want to acknowledge that up front that we're not trying to pick a fight, we're not trying to pick

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on anyone or to talk down to you or to condemn you or your churches. This is Christian doctrine.

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I think we all agree that this stuff is worth getting right. I think we all agree that this

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stuff is important. We disagree on the details. In scripture, it talks about that being part

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of the Christian life. When you look at the New Testament, inside the New Testament, as the earliest

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church in the very first century was being formed, they were arguing about things. There were

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disagreements and there was a right side and there was a wrong side, but those errors existed inside

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the church. There's a case where Paul rebukes Peter to his face for his false teaching. These are

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apostles we're talking about. Peter straightened out. Paul got it right. Peter was wrong. He was

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in error. He was called to repent and they had that sorted out. It is not outside of proper

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church practice for brothers in the faith to talk to each other, frankly. It's not so much in concern

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that, oh, I'm concerned that you're wrong or you're concerned that I'm wrong. It's that this is God's

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stuff. This is not our stuff. The approach that Cory and I take and that we encourage everyone to

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take is to treat God's things as His and to receive them on His terms as He intends. When we find in

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our own circumstances that our churches are failing in some way, a greater way or a small way,

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to deliver God's things as God describes them, that is an immediate problem for us in our own

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personal circumstances to deal with. As we go through this, I want to acknowledge that we're

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going to say some things that some of you are not going to like. I know that. One of us is wrong,

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at least. Maybe both of us are wrong, but just as a reasonable argument, if we say one thing about

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baptism and you say the opposite, one of us must necessarily be wrong. It's not accusatory to say

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somebody's wrong here. It's simply an evaluation of the equation. The equation doesn't bounce.

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You've got to balance that before both sides can be right. We're going to make the case for what

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we believe Scripture says about these things. Obviously, it will be from a Lutheran perspective,

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but we believe this is what Scripture says. I don't want people to come away from this

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feeling doubts or concerns that you have a bad church. If you think negative things about us,

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that's fine. I don't want you to listen to this and suddenly have deep concerns about your church.

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First, worry about Scripture and about whether or not you believe it. If, in that evaluation,

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you find that you have concerns about your church, those are problems we all face in our own lives,

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we're not going to tell you what to do. I want to acknowledge that some of these things are

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contrary to some of your church teachings. We all know this. These are 500-year-old discussions.

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They said, we have nothing new to say here, but we're going to try to make the case clearly for

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what we believe Scripture teaches because, particularly for Lutherans, the sacraments,

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baptism and communion are foundational to our approach to the Christian life. A lot of what

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we talk about on Stone Choir is about the Christian life for us personally, by virtue of our theological

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frame. The sacraments underpin all of that. We allude to it sometimes. We want to spend an hour or so

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here today specifically laying out the case for what we believe Scripture says about baptism,

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because it underpins everything else that we believe and what else comes up. As we said elsewhere,

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when there's discussion and debate around doctrine, it's not about winning arguments,

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it's not about beating up on someone. It's about having more of what God wants us to have.

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God gave us these gifts in Scripture. He gives us these gifts in time for our benefit. The reason

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that these things are worth fighting for and fighting against and about is that when we don't

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get them right, we have less of the good things that God wants for us. That's our chief concern,

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is why we're talking about it, even knowing that some of you are going to disagree. I hope that

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when you disagree with some of the things that we say, one, I hope that you'll receive it in the

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spirit in which it's given, which is not to beat up on you, even though some of the things that we

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are going to say are going to be very stark. I don't want that to be taken as a personal attack.

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Ultimately, is a concern that downstream from these beliefs is the comfort of the Gospel. It's

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the comfort of the things that God wishes for us to have. Everything that we talk about is in view

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of God's gifts to us, in view of the fact that there will come a day in your life where everything's

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on fire, where you were at rock bottom, where something is just unspeakably horrible. Those

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are the moments when having your theological ducks in a row is paramount, because if you have a mess

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going into the battle, you're already way behind. You're already down points before you even come

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under fire, and we don't want that for each other. We're going to go through the passages. This is

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basically a Bible study today. We have more Bible than we can. We're going to get through in an hour,

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but we want to make clear the case for what baptism should mean in the Christian life,

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because it means a great deal. To begin with, I want to just give a brief example of framing.

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Imagine a scenario where you walk up to me and I hand you a $100 bill,

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and then you put it in your pocket and you walk away. Later on, you describe that scene to someone

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else. There are two ways you can describe it. A, I walked up to this guy and he handed me a $100

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bill, and I looked at it, and it was a real $100 bill. I was amazed, and I put it in my pocket,

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and I walked away. That's one telling of the story. That's true. It's accurate. It's what happened.

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B, I walked up to this guy and he was holding a $100 bill, and he reached out to hand it to me,

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and I looked at it, and I saw the $100 bill, and I wanted it, and I grabbed it in my hands,

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and I took it between my fingers, and I pulled it close, and I held it up to my eyes, and I looked

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it, and I peered it intensely, and I saw this is a $100 bill. This is real. I was excited,

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and I put it in my pocket, and I walked away. That's also accurate. That's a retelling of the

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same events. Both are factually correct, but what's the difference between them? The first one,

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the emphasis is on me handing you a $100 bill, and then the second one, the emphasis is on you

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taking it and making it yours. In the second telling, I very quickly vanish,

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and it's just you and the $100 bill, and you interacting with it. In both of those cases,

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there's a giver, and there's a receiver, and the emphasis is on whether you focus on the giver

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or you focus on the receiving. As we talk about the sacraments, it's fundamentally when there

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are disagreements, particularly among Protestants. Roman Catholics and Lutherans are actually almost

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entirely on the same page about baptism with one important exception, but it's kind of peripheral.

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It's important, but it's not the main thrust of the question. For everyone else, there are varying

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degrees of substantial disagreement, and it has to do with that framing. Is this a giving and a

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giver, or is this an action by someone where God was somehow involved, but as soon as we came on the

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picture, it's all about us? Those two frames really separate the two different views of the sacrament

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of baptism. When Lutherans say sacrament, we mean something slightly different than Roman Catholics.

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For Lutherans, there are two chief sacraments based on this definition, instituted by Christ

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himself with physical means for the forgiveness of sins. There are some other things that Roman

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Catholics have that they call sacraments that are very salutary. Marriage in particular was

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instituted by God in the garden. It's older than either baptism or communion. Lutherans don't consider

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that sacramental because, although it's holy, which is the root of sacrament, one of the roots,

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it doesn't impart forgiveness of sins. When we're talking about sacraments, the emphasis is on

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God giving a physical means for forgiveness of sins. When we use that term, that's specifically

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what it means. The word also forgives sins. Absolution also forgives sins. There are other

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places that these come to us, but it's only in baptism and communion that there's a physical

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means tied to the promise of forgiveness, which is why we call these the means of grace.

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So to start with the Scripture, we will turn first to Matthew 28, the end of the book of Matthew.

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This is, of course, the Great Commission. Undoubtedly, almost all of you will be familiar

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with this before I even read it. Now, the 11 disciples went to Galilee to the

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mountain to which Jesus had directed them, and when they saw him they worshiped him,

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but some doubted, and Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has

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been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the

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Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded

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you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age. This is one of two verses, two

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sections of Scripture. We will be going over today, where we're going to take

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some time to slow down and break down exactly what is going on here. And yes, look at the Greek a

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little bit. And the reason for that is that too often when we're reading this, we just kind of

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read through it quickly, and we sort of fly over this. Instead of actually looking at what

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exactly is being said, what is Scripture telling us? What are the words being used? What do they

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mean? Why do they matter? What doctrine is being put forth here? And so let's look at exactly

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what Christ is telling us. He's giving commands here, and he's giving a reason for it. And so we

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have the imperative to start off the command, go, go therefore, therefore. To what does that refer?

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Why go? Because all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Christ. And therefore,

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he is commanding us to go. And what are we to do in this going? We are to make disciples of whom,

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of all nations. Incidentally, this is tied into other episodes, other matters we've discussed,

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because it is the word for nation or race there. We are to make disciples of all races,

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of all nations. You can use either word. But now we come to the part that is key for what we will

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be discussing about baptism in this episode. We are told to go and make disciples of all nations.

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But then we are told how to do that, how we are to make these disciples. There are two things

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that are given. The first is baptizing. Baptism is given first, that's noteworthy. Out of two

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things we are to do to make disciples, we are first to baptize. Then we are to teach them.

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Now, the underlying Greek terms, which thankfully do come through in the English translation, are

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in the same tense here, baptizing and teaching. Baptizantes and didescantes are the two words

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there in the Greek. But this tells us how we make Christians. This is the standard way that you make

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a Christian. You baptize the person in the triune name of God. Then you teach the person

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all that Christ has commanded us to observe. That's how you make a Christian.

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Now, today we may look at that and think that maybe it's backward to some degree,

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but that's only because everything around us is in shambles. Because if you think about it,

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how does one usually come to faith? Well, one usually comes to faith because one's parents

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take one to church. You don't usually come to faith because someone convinced you, or

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however you wish to word this, as an adult. That is unusual. That is outside the normal

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Christian experience. Because the normal Christian experience, what God wants for us,

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is to grow up in a Christian nation, in a Christian family, to be Christian from birth.

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That is the goal. That is how things should be. And so it is baptizing. And yes,

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we Lutherans do believe in infant baptism. We will go over this at some point in this episode,

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but really it runs through the entirety of the scripture sections, dealing with baptism.

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But so we baptize infants, and then we bring them up in the faith. It's not just a matter of being

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baptized and, oh, well, I'm over the line. I'm good. I'm done. No, you are baptized,

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and then you progress in the faith. That's, of course, sanctification as part of that,

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but just being instructed in the faith. And so here, just to start off, we have

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the words of Christ commanding us to make disciples of all nations, of all races,

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by doing two things, the first of which is baptizing them. This is an incredibly important

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part of the Christian life. It is not something that is ancillary or secondary or something that

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can be ignored. It is placed right here in Christ's command to spread the faith as the first item.

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We have to pay attention to the words of Christ and the way that He spoke them,

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the words He chose, the order in which He put them. And He says, baptize and teach.

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And it's notable here in Matthew 28 that these are the very last words of that gospel. It doesn't

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say it, but Jesus obviously ascended into heaven. We know that from the other gospels.

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So this is the very end of Jesus' earthly ministry, the very last thing that He says,

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which is pretty important. The very last thing that God says before He ascends into heaven is go and

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baptize. I think that throughout church history, we've taken that seriously. And again, virtually,

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basically every Christian denomination, including by definition, believes that baptism is something.

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God had some to do with it. There's some called baptism. What we disagree on are the details.

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And so today's episode is talked about the details, but I think as Corey just laid out up front,

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this is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. And it's notable that this is where God tells us

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how to baptize, baptizing them them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

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This is the Trinity. One of the atheist reddit tier memes is that, oh, the Trinity was unknown

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until AD 325. And then Constantine made it up. Before that, there was no Trinity. No one who's

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ever read the Bible would believe that. That's stupid beyond comprehension. Jesus Christ says

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the names of the persons of the Trinity and says, you will baptize in my name.

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This is Elohim. This is God Almighty. This is the three persons and one God that it confessed

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in all three ecumenical creeds. I think what's particularly interesting about Jesus' earthly

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ministry ending with baptism in Matthew 28 is that it perfectly bookends where Jesus' earthly

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ministry begins in Matthew 3. Matthew 1 and 2, you have his genealogy, his conception of the birth,

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and then John the Baptist. In Matthew 3, the very first thing that Jesus does at the beginning of

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his earthly ministry is to be baptized by John the Baptist. Then Jesus came from Galilee to the

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Jordan to John to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, I need to be baptized

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by you, and do you come to me? But Jesus answered him, let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for

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us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went

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up from the water and, behold, the heavens were open to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending

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like a dove and coming to rest on him. And, behold, a voice from heaven said, this is my beloved Son

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with whom I am well pleased. This is notable for two reasons. One, Jesus is being baptized.

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And as John said, why would you come to me to be baptized? I need to be baptized by you.

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And Jesus said that all good things would be fulfilled, all righteousness would be fulfilled.

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The reason I think that this book ends Matthew 28 so perfectly is that this is the physical

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manifestation of the Trinity. You have the Son, the second person of the Trinity, emerging from

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the waters of baptism. You have the Holy Spirit alighting on him as a dove. And you have God the

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Father speaking audibly for all to hear, saying, this is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.

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So here's the Trinity in baptism. Matthew 28, you have the Trinity as part of baptism.

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There's never been any doubt about the Trinity. From the first time that God referred to himself

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as plural in Genesis until now, until the creeds and the councils, Christianity has always worshiped

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a triune God. God revealed more of himself over time. But the simple fact is that anyone who just

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read the Bible and never read Reddit would never have any doubt that there's something

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triune. Now, triune was a neologism that was created specifically to try to describe what's

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going on here, to try to give one name to the three persons and one God. In a great many of the

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early debates in the Christian church were, how do we deal with three persons? How do we have a

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Father and a Son and the Holy Spirit? What is the difference? Is there a difference? Is it permissible

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to say different? All those debates are part of the controversies around the Trinity and around

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Christology as well. The fact that Jesus went into the water and then came out and all three parts of

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the Trinity appeared, book ends 28 so perfectly because this is the moment where Jesus put the

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power of baptism into the water. Jesus did not have his sins washed away in the Jordan. We'll

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get to in a minute what baptism does for us. When Jesus was baptized, he was putting into the water

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that which we receive by faith in time in the future. And so God is laying this out perfectly

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for us to know, A, this is really important and it's coming for me, and B, it's a physical thing.

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You know, the combination of the water and the word in baptism is what makes this a sacrament.

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God said do this, he said say this, and he said use this. And the third this is the water.

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When the water is present and the word is spoken, that is baptism. That's what God promises. And so

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all the promises that we're going to get to elsewhere in Scripture that are attendant to this

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sacrament hinge on those things being done. And the fact that God commanded it, again that goes

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back to what the story I gave at the beginning about the $100 bill. When God says do this,

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and then we do it, if we put the focus on ourselves and say here's look what I did,

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I went into the Jordan. I went into the Jordan three times as my grandparents did. My grandparents

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were Baptists. They were baptized in the Jordan at least twice. They were baptized many times over

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their lives. And it worked. The first one worked. We'll talk about multiple baptisms, but on my

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dad's side they were Baptists for I don't know how long. So if you're Baptists and you're listening,

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I'm not trying to pick on you. My grandmother and grandfather are heaven right now. They were Christians.

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I think they got some things wrong and it didn't impair their faith. But again when we talk about

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what God promises and what he gives to us, it's not about saying well you got this wrong. It's not

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about getting a higher score on the test. It's about receiving the gifts that God is giving to us.

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As he describes in scripture in our lives, and the beauty of the sacraments of baptism and

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holy communion is that with the physical element that we're going to get to that was here with John

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the Baptist, the application of water and the word, that becomes a physical touchstone in the life

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of a Christian to point to a moment in time, in space, where something happened. And I think

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that's a key element of the Lutheran sacramentology is that here's a physical thing that actually

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happened. It removes theology from the realm of the theoretical or kind of metaphysical. I'm thinking

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and loving and worshiping, but it's all inside. It's all attitudinal. And the problem with framing

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your faith in terms of how I feel or what I think or what I'm doing because of how I think or feel

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is that there are days when you're going to fall short. There are days when you're just not going

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to feel it. There are days when you're going to get it wrong. And if the root of your faith is

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I'm doing the stuff on the day when you don't feel like doing the stuff or you doubt maybe that you

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ever sincerely believed or did the stuff in the past, that's an open door for Satan to slide through

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and to say, aha, gotcha. You were never a Christian in the first place. And so the promise of salvation

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that we're going to get into, that Christ puts in the water of baptism here, seals a promise from God

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that no man can take away. Satan can't take it away. We can throw it away. It is possible for us

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to despise our baptisms, but God keeps his promises to us. He will do what he says he's going to do.

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And so when we talk about all of this, we're emphasizing what God is doing in baptism,

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precisely so that in those moments where we doubt ourselves, we still have something to cling to.

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We still have God's promises to cling to because you can always count on that. There may come a

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time in your life when literally the only thing you can comprehend, I believe that God is God.

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That may be all you have. You may not believe that your sins are forgiven. You may not believe that

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even that Jesus died for you. If you can still believe that God is God, Scripture will give you

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the chance to work your way back through faith, through the Holy Spirit, to where God wants you.

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But if you root your faith and your confidence in my stuff, in my doing, in my past actions,

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in my beliefs, then you're being deprived of one of the greatest sources of joy and comfort in the

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Christian life. And that's why this is so fundamental to Lutheran and we live to Christian

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theology. It's not just sacramentology. This is a key part of the Christian life because

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it's how Jesus began his ministry and it's how he ended it. And he ended it at the beginning

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of the church age saying, go and do this for everyone else. This thing that I have now done for

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you, give it to everyone because this is my thing. I need everyone to have it because it does what I

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promise it's going to do. If you go up to a random Lutheran and ask what baptism is,

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you should get an answer that is roughly what we have said thus far, because in part it's just

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going to be a quote from the small catechism. And this is my putting on notice all of the

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Lutheran listeners that you should have this answer memorized and in mind if someone asks you,

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but from the small catechism, what is baptism? Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the

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water comprehended in God's command and connected with God's word. And I want to read two paragraphs

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from the large catechism that expand on this and also preemptorily respond to a particular objection.

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From this now learn a proper understanding of the subject and how to answer the question what

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baptism is, namely thus, that it is not mere ordinary water, but water comprehended in God's word

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and command, and sanctified thereby, so that it is nothing else than a divine water, not that the

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water itself is nobler than other water, but that God's word and command are added. Therefore,

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I exhort again that these two, the water and the word, by no means be separated from one

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another imparted, for if the word is separated from it, the water is the same as that with

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which the servant cooks, and may indeed be called a bathkeeper's baptism, but when it is added,

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as God has ordained, it is a sacrament, and it is called Christ baptism, which is the central

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point that we're making here about the difference between the sacrament and mere water.

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Mere water is not a baptism. If I run up to you and throw a bucket of water at you,

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that doesn't count as a baptism, because in order for it to be a baptism,

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we have to do what Christ commanded us to do, and what did He command us to do?

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He commanded us to baptize in the triune name, yes, with water. Both elements have to be present,

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or it is not the sacrament, because the sacrament is instituted by God in a certain way,

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and so it is that sacrament, if it is done in that way. This is not to say, and I know that

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some of the audience who are a little more versed in theology will be thinking in the back of their

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mind, ex opre operato, that's not what I'm saying, that's not what we're advocating here. It is not

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the sacrament, simply because the thing is done. Faith is still required, it is still faith

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that receives the gift, yes, faith itself is also a gift, but faith receives the gift of regeneration,

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the gift of salvation, and so it's not simply because you speak the words and there's water,

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faith is also present, because faith is the central part of the Christian religion. These gifts of

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God can be received only in faith, just as a promise can be trusted only in hope or faith.

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That's the only way to receive a promise, the only way to receive the good things of God is via faith.

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But I would also like to expand here on something that Woe just said, and that is,

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when discussing baptism with others, I will often receive the question,

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why do we need baptism? Why do we need a physical sign?

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Now, of course, my first instinct is going to be the instinct for most Lutherans is to shut

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my sinful mouth and not question why God has done what God has done. However, in this case,

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I think that it is reasonable and I think that we can give an answer. To some degree,

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there's some speculation in this, but it is also based on the totality of the verses dealing

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with baptism and also the Lord's Supper in Scripture, and incidentally also circumcision,

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which is typological of baptism, we'll get more into that later. But why do we have this physical

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sign? And the reason is simple, we're physical. You're listening to this with physical ears,

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or if you're reading it, you're reading it with physical eyes. Presumably no one has translated

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or copied it over into Braille yet. But you are interacting with this in a physical way because

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you are physical. Now, you aren't just physical because you are, of course, a spirit, a soul,

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and a body. Again, this is not where we're getting into tripartite versus dipartite or

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that whole philosophical theological argument. That's not the point. The point is that you are

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not simply physical and not simply spiritual. You are both joined together, and so we have both

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in Scripture because God is coming to you as the totality of what you are, because God is super

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abundant with His grace and His gifts. He doesn't just give you one way for the forgiveness of sins.

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He gives you many. You have the Lord's Supper, you have baptism, you have confession and absolution,

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you have confessing your sins directly to God, you have the Word, you have all of these various

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ways because God's gifts are super abundant. And so the reason we have baptism is because if you hear

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the Word, well, that's received by the mind, and we'll, again, not dwell on the distinction

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between the mind and the spirit here, but that is received not so much by the physical you

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as by the spiritual you. And so what is the body doing in that interchange?

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Well, it's sort of passively listening and relaying that information. However,

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if you are immersed under water, well, the body understands water quite well. And so

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in the sacraments, we have this joining together of the physical element and the Word,

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so the whole man, the total man, the body and the spirit together can grasp this thing.

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That is God helping you to truly believe that He is bringing His gifts to you.

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That is why you have the physical combined with the Word. That is why they are both important.

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And as that small catechism, quote, discussed, it's not the simple water that's doing it,

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it's the water and God's promise. And I think one of the hang-ups that some Protestants have is that

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it's just simple water. It came from the tap and we do the episode on communion. It's the same

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thing. It's bread and it's wine. It's not magic bread, it's magic wine. It's normal material stuff

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plus the Word of God. And there is a big strain in theology where people flee from that. Like,

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well, that's too simple. That's too easy. I don't see it. I don't believe it.

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Part of the reason that this sacramental understanding is pivotal is that if you deny that

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simple things can also be God's things, that's a Christological heresy. That is denying God

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because how did God come among us as a baby? He was an infant lying in a manger. He was in a stall

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for livestock. He was swaddled and his parents loved him. He was probably a very cute baby,

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but Jesus pooped his diapers. Mary had to clean him up because he pooped himself. You look at

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this baby and you trust in the promise of God that this is the Messiah, but you're also looking at

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a tiny screaming infant that's pooping and peeing because it's what humans do. And so the natural

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material mind to look at that thing, to look at that small child and say, I can't be God,

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look at that. It's small and weak and doesn't know anything. How can that be God? That can be

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really God. Well, if you trust in God's promises that he had made up to that point and the miracle

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of the birth, then it becomes very easy because you're not trusting in a magic baby. You're trusting

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in God's promises. And then it ceases to be magic. It's simply God. It's something that is

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supernatural and transcendent in a way that we cannot possibly comprehend and we're fine with that.

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Sacrament is something that we get through Latin from the Greek word mystery. These things are

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mysteries. When God, the Almighty, the Infinite, the Eternal, the Omniscient, the Omnipresent,

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acts in space and time within creation, it's going to look weird. So you end up with Jesus

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in a manger and yet he's fully God and fully man at the same time. It's not two halves glued together.

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You know, there are all sorts of Christological heresies that go along with trying to rationally

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explain what's in the manger and what's on the cross. When we believe and confess what Scripture

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says about all of these things, there come times when we're talking about the sacraments and we're

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talking about Christ's union of God and man, where reason fails us. And there are not many

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places in the faith where that's the case, but this is one of them. And I think chief among the

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arguments that we have among denominations about the sacraments is fundamentally unbelief that God

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can do these miraculous things that he says he can do when we're talking about the material world.

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In John 3, a man came to Jesus by night and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you're a teacher,

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come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him. Jesus answered him,

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truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus

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said to him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb

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and be born? Jesus answered him, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the

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spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which

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is born of the spirit is spirit. Do not marble that I said to you, you must be born again.

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The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from

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or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the spirit. So when Jesus answers Nicodemus,

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you must be born of the water and the spirit, this is catechesis about baptism. Anytime word

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and water are connected, the spirit and water are connected in Scripture, it's pointing to baptism.

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It's pointing to the promise they got placed in the water when Jesus was himself baptized.

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I think one of the chief hang-ups that a lot of Protestants have come from a misunderstanding

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of the solace. Corey was talking a minute ago about receiving these things by faith, including

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baptism, imparting faith, as we'll get to some of those verses, and then faith receiving that gift

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itself. It's a case where reason kind of falls down, but it's important for us just to acknowledge

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that when God's acting, we can't necessarily make sense of it, but we have to believe it.

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And so when God connects water to a promise, we take it at face value. And I think that a lot of

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the arguments against this view of baptism come down to misunderstanding the solace. Corey did

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a video a while ago that's up on YouTube, we'll put in the show notes, specifically going into what

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sola fide actually means. This is not what most of you think. If you actually understand the Latin

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behind it and the arguments that were being made at that time, faith alone does not mean

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faith and nothing else, because it's not what we find in Scripture. We find faith and other things,

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but along with all of that, wherever you have God's word and you have his promises, you will also

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have other things. And sometimes those are signs, sometimes they're symbols. That does happen.

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Baptism is more than a symbol because it is doing something. When Jesus says you must be born of

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water and the Spirit, think about your birth. We've talked in the past about the obedience

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the Lazarus had when Jesus says Lazarus come out. How much cooperation was there in that moment?

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We're a dead man. Here's God and obeys him from the grave, from death. It's the same thing at the

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other end of life here. When Jesus says you must be born of water and the Spirit, talking about a

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rebirth, it's saying you're starting from scratch. You don't have agency in your birth. We have no

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control over the day of our birth, the hour of birth. We're along for the ride as God doing

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something through our mothers in a miracle. It's a miracle that plays out every day, but it's no

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less miraculous for it. When we are born of water, it is the same sort of passive birth

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that we have in baptism. The fact that there is human participation in baptism goes back to the

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allusion to receiving a $100 bill. If I hand you a $100 bill and you make the story about

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all the activity that you did related to you grasping it and receiving it and taking it,

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if it's all about you, that's not really the story. That's not a fair accounting of what

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actually happened. When Jesus talked about you being born of water and the Spirit,

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that is a rebirth that He's giving us. It's a rebirth that He put into the water for us to receive.

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And there is, of course, the even more blunt statement in Mark 16.

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Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

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And I think this is a good point to go over another point of confusion with regard to what

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Lutherans teach. Many do not understand this, and in part it can potentially be a little bit

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confusing. And I know that the rationalists or those who are, let's say, rationalist adjacent

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in the audience are going to hate the way that I phrase this, but I will explain it,

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and it won't be so bad when I'm done. And the question, of course, is baptism necessary?

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The Lutheran answer, the best way that I can find to formulate it, is yes, but no, but yes.

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And the reason for that is that the first answer to is baptism necessary is yes.

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Because what does Scripture say? Well, I just read it.

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Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.

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That makes baptism necessary. As a Christian, you must be baptized. However,

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is it absolutely necessary to be baptized to be saved? To that we must answer no,

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because it is, of course, conceivable that one could come to faith, believe in Christ,

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and not have the opportunity to be baptized, because, for instance, you could be brought to faith

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through the Word, planned to be baptized in three days and get hit by a bus.

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Would you be saved? Yes. And so is baptism absolutely necessary? The answer must be no,

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because there are those who could be saved in the absence of being baptized.

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But the final but yes, is that baptism is indeed necessary, because if you neglect to be baptized,

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if you dishonor baptism, if you consider baptism to be an unimportant thing,

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and so neglect to be baptized, that is proof that you are not actually a Christian.

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And so someone lives and proclaims himself to be a Christian for 40 years, but is never baptized.

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That is very strong evidence that he was not actually a Christian, and so that is the,

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but yes, baptism is necessary. And so that's the Lutheran position, because that's the position

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taken from Scripture, that baptism is necessary for the Christian, but not absolutely necessary,

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but not something that is optional or can be ignored, and so is a true sign of a true Christian.

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And so at first it may seem like that is, when you just hear the way that it's phrased initially,

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irrational, but it's not once it's explained, it's very clear, and it is taken directly from Scripture.

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And of course, the most obvious example that is the thief on the cross. There was a man

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on one side of Jesus who was mocking him, saying, you're the Son of God, take yourself down.

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And there's a man on the other side that said, why do you mock him? We're under condemnation.

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We're going to die, and we deserve it, but this man doesn't. And then he turned to Jesus and said,

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Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said, I tell you this day,

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you will be with me in paradise. There's no reason to believe that that man was baptized.

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There is, however, reason to believe he had faith, because he confessed his faith. He confessed

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that Jesus was innocent. He confessed that he was going to be in his kingdom that day.

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And his plea was simple, Lord, remember me. And he's the example that's often given to say,

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well, baptism can't possibly count for anything, because here's a man who wasn't baptized.

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The hypothetical, which is absolutely necessary, is what Corey just said. If that man had then,

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if the earthquake had struck before Jesus died, and somehow they all fell down and that thief

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had run off and not died that day, if he had despised baptism, if he had been called upon to be

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baptized, which remember at that time, he knew about Jesus, he may not have known about John.

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We don't know exactly what he knows. We know he witnessed some miracles.

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When the teaching of baptism came to him, as it came to all Christians shortly thereafter,

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had he despised and said, no, I'm good, I've got faith, I don't need baptism,

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he would have been condemned, and Jesus would have had a different answer for him.

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The fact that he confessed and did not have the opportunity for baptism, frankly, that's the whole

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history of believers prior to the institution of baptism. Heaven for 4,000 years was filled

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up with men who were not baptized. They were circumcised, which was a type of baptism,

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but it was a different thing. There are times when God uses different things in different places,

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and the fact that one group of people is not given something, and then the other one is at a

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different time, doesn't mean that we get to ignore what the thing was when God gave it. We have to

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treat it for what it was and what it is and the time in which it's given. And baptism is given to

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us as given in the Church in Matthew 3.28, go therefore and baptize all nations. That's us,

47:27.480 --> 47:33.480
we're the nations, we're not Jews, most of the audience is sons of Japheth, we're Europeans,

47:33.480 --> 47:40.520
we're white guys. We're receiving the gift sent to the nations by Paul and the other apostles who

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spread out from that time. And so we are the recipients of the very thing that God desired

47:46.760 --> 47:52.840
for us, and that included foremost among it baptism. We'll get into here in a minute the

47:52.840 --> 47:57.560
baptism of households, and we've talked in past episodes, particularly the one on

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election and the one on Christian nationalism about how nations are a superset of the household.

48:05.560 --> 48:11.880
And so historically, the Christian faith has been spread by prophets often going to

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the King, going to the man in charge. This is what Jonah did in Nineveh, he went to the

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King of Nineveh, told him to repent, said, God's going to kill you all in 40 days.

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The King of Nineveh repented, he told his people to repent and they were saved from God's wrath.

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By God's mercy, they received the word, they were not Jews, they were outside of all the

48:32.440 --> 48:37.320
covenants that we talk about. And yet when the word came to them, they confessed they repented,

48:37.320 --> 48:42.360
and they were forgiven. And that came from the top down. That was absolutely Christian

48:42.360 --> 48:48.840
nationalism in Jonah. And the same thing is the history of the Christian faith in European nations,

48:48.840 --> 48:53.880
not exclusively, it's not the only way that it happens. There are many listeners today, as Corey

48:53.880 --> 49:00.440
said, it's weird and kind of broken that there are people who are listening to us, where in some

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cases, this may be one of the first times that some of you are hearing about the Christian faith.

49:06.360 --> 49:11.080
And that's wonderful. And that's a miracle from God that he's able to use this to reach you.

49:11.800 --> 49:15.320
And one of the things that you're realizing as you come to that knowledge is that

49:15.960 --> 49:19.240
your parents sinned against you, your grandparents. Like at some point,

49:19.960 --> 49:26.680
your ancestors who knew about God forgot him and despised him. And so your inheritance was one

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of damnation. This is what happened to all the nations after the flood and after Babel.

49:32.280 --> 49:38.680
They scattered and most of them forgot about God. And it was only, it was as far as we can tell,

49:38.680 --> 49:46.120
it was exclusively, in the end, God preserving the faith through the Jewish people that any

49:46.120 --> 49:51.000
belief was preserved, because everyone else was apostatizing. Just as the Jews tried to repeatedly,

49:51.000 --> 49:56.040
for hundreds of years, they were constantly trying to throw God away. God hung on to his people

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because they're elect, they're his. He will not let them get out of his hand. And so the gift of

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baptism, the gift of these means of grace acts in time as a particular touchstone. And

50:11.720 --> 50:16.920
the belief in the knowledge of that actual activity, again, it takes it away from the realm of the

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hypothetical and the realm of the intellectual and makes it something concrete. I have a certificate

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from the day I was baptized. I was about three years old. I actually remember that day. I was able

50:27.880 --> 50:32.760
to develop memories pretty early. I don't remember being baptized, but I can remember my dad and the

50:32.760 --> 50:38.600
Narthex with my mom and the pastor, because the pastor was trying to show my dad how to hold me,

50:38.600 --> 50:43.640
and he was holding me the wrong way. And I remember the pastor correcting him. That's one of my earliest

50:43.640 --> 50:52.040
memories. But I do remember that day in 1980. One of the blessings of the traditional Christian

50:52.040 --> 50:57.080
understanding of baptism is that I can point back to that day. That's part of the reason for giving a

50:57.080 --> 51:02.520
certificate of baptism. It's not congratulations. Look at the great job you did. It's not an

51:02.520 --> 51:09.240
achievement certificate. It's a commemoration of an important event in my life. And one of the very

51:09.240 --> 51:15.880
interesting things, if you do any genealogy for Christians in the West, it's generally,

51:16.920 --> 51:20.840
sometimes you may not even have a birthday for someone, but you may have a baptismal day instead.

51:21.400 --> 51:28.200
And there's birth, baptism, wedding, and death are the four days that are traditionally preserved

51:28.200 --> 51:33.800
for every Christian historically in the West. And genealogies will always have some combination

51:33.800 --> 51:39.400
of those. And frequently you'll have all four. Baptism is included because Christians have

51:39.400 --> 51:45.560
always known that it was important. Not as something that we do, but as something that God does for us.

51:45.560 --> 51:50.120
And so when Jesus talked to Nicodemus about being born from water in the Spirit,

51:50.920 --> 51:57.160
it was that baptism that's given to us. And pointing to that blessing is a comfort. I can

51:57.160 --> 52:02.840
take comforter than that to know that no matter what happens to me, God made a promise when his

52:02.840 --> 52:07.960
name was placed on me. The name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit was placed on me

52:07.960 --> 52:17.880
in my baptism 43 years ago. That's a permanent marker in my life. Just as my name being written

52:17.880 --> 52:22.200
in the Book of Life from before eternity is permanent, but I can't see that book. I can't

52:22.200 --> 52:27.800
see that. That's not real to me in the sense that my baptism was. There was actual witnesses,

52:27.800 --> 52:33.400
there was an actual act. I was a recipient of it and I received faith. Now, as we look at these

52:34.360 --> 52:38.280
things, the reason that we're focusing on them is for that purpose. It's for comfort.

52:39.800 --> 52:44.360
We're going to talk about some things that are going to, as I said earlier, they're going to

52:44.360 --> 52:49.160
make some of you feel like, oh, we think you're doing something wrong. The point is not whether

52:49.160 --> 52:55.400
or not we're getting stuff wrong. The point is whether we're receiving what God tells us faithfully.

52:55.400 --> 52:59.720
Because if we do that, then we're receiving the full measure of what it is he wants us to have.

53:00.440 --> 53:06.600
Whenever you don't believe God about anything, you're losing out. It's not principally for a

53:06.600 --> 53:11.960
Christian a question of, oh, am I sinning? Oh, my damn, because I did this. Those are concerns,

53:11.960 --> 53:17.240
but the chief concern is, am I missing out? We should be jealous of God's things. We should

53:17.240 --> 53:23.000
want God's stuff because we know that we're adopted sons of God. As Christians who have a

53:23.000 --> 53:28.920
proper sacramentology, we understand that our baptism is the certain moment of that adoption,

53:28.920 --> 53:37.000
of that rebirth. I have one of my many Bibles sitting here and turning to the beginning of it,

53:37.000 --> 53:42.280
it has a page, although in this Bible it's only one page, but for births, marriages,

53:42.280 --> 53:47.560
baptisms, confirmations and deaths. Of course, confirmations you're not going to find in every

53:47.560 --> 53:52.520
Bible because that's going to be specific to those traditions that have a confirmation right.

53:53.240 --> 53:59.240
But that has historically been the standard for Christians. Those were the things that were recorded

53:59.240 --> 54:04.760
and often they were recorded in the family Bible. And that is part of how genealogical research is

54:04.760 --> 54:09.480
done. If you can get a hold of the old family Bible, you can get these dates and information.

54:09.480 --> 54:13.880
Sometimes they're stored in the church records as well. If you can get a hold of those, if they've

54:13.880 --> 54:21.160
been preserved adequately. That is properly the history of our people. That is properly the

54:21.160 --> 54:28.760
history of the European peoples is Christianity and the transmission of the Christian faith

54:28.760 --> 54:35.400
from father to son down through the ages. That is how it is supposed to be. And part of how that is

54:35.400 --> 54:41.720
done is through baptism, it is through the baptizing of one's children. Now notably, I was not raised

54:41.720 --> 54:50.760
Lutheran, so I wasn't baptized until I was eleven, but so I was a little older than Woe was.

54:51.160 --> 54:54.600
But still baptized as a child. You're still a child when you're eleven.

54:55.960 --> 55:01.160
And if you baptize a child at nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirty, whatever it happens to be,

55:01.720 --> 55:08.760
as I've said before, it's not really that different from baptizing that same child

55:09.400 --> 55:15.480
at one or two weeks old or however old it happens to be. We're not bound by the

55:15.560 --> 55:19.320
stricture of the old covenant. We do not have to baptize on the eighth day.

55:20.520 --> 55:26.520
It is advisable to baptize as early as possible, but it doesn't have to be on the eighth day.

55:27.400 --> 55:31.640
But the reason I would say that there's not much of a functional difference is the child is still,

55:32.440 --> 55:39.480
if the child has been instructed properly, the child is still going to follow what his

55:39.480 --> 55:45.960
father has told him to do. And so the ten-year-old should be obeying his father no less than the one

55:45.960 --> 55:54.760
week old. Yes, the ten-year-old can walk up to the baptismal font or the pool, whatever it happens to

55:54.760 --> 56:03.400
be, and actually verbalize his faith in Christ. But that doesn't make for a real difference between

56:03.400 --> 56:08.440
that and the infant, because as we've been saying, and as we will show with additional

56:08.440 --> 56:14.440
scripture proofs, that faith that has given you in baptism is a gift from God.

56:16.200 --> 56:20.200
If you have faith before you're baptized, well, that faith is still a gift from God.

56:20.920 --> 56:26.440
The baptism is reinforcing your faith. It is affirming your faith. It is God coming to you again

56:27.320 --> 56:33.560
to help you and guide you, to strengthen you in the faith, to lead you on the path of regeneration

56:33.560 --> 56:38.280
sanctification. Yes, you're regenerated when you are given the gift of faith, but sanctification is

56:38.280 --> 56:43.080
a lifelong process, depending on how you define the term regeneration anyway.

56:45.320 --> 56:50.520
And just to be extremely clear, Woe said God's people, when we say God's people, I don't want

56:50.520 --> 56:55.160
anyone in the audience who may be listening to this as the first episode, to come away thinking

56:55.160 --> 57:01.000
the wrong thing. When we say God's people, we mean the true Israel, the church, we mean believers,

57:01.000 --> 57:09.160
we mean you, those who have faith from Adam is the first believer to whatever unfortunate man

57:09.160 --> 57:13.880
is the last one on this earth who has faith, fortunate because he has faith, unfortunate

57:13.880 --> 57:20.040
because he's lived through whatever came directly before that. Those are God's people.

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God's people are the elect. We do not mean the ethnic Jewish people. There are ethnic Jews

57:28.200 --> 57:35.320
who are among the elect, who are Christians, very few these days, more historically,

57:37.400 --> 57:42.760
but the elect are God's people. That is all that term means. These terms are interchangeable.

57:42.760 --> 57:47.560
We did an episode on this, I'll put it in the show notes for those who did not listen to that yet,

57:47.560 --> 57:54.520
so they can go back or if you need a refresher. A couple other passages I want to read that talk

57:54.520 --> 57:59.400
about what baptism actually does in God's words. From Ephesians 5,

57:59.480 --> 58:28.840
So here we're talking about Jesus washing his bride,

58:28.840 --> 58:33.880
the church, that's all of us, that's all believers, that's the elect, washing with water and the word,

58:34.920 --> 58:41.000
mirrored again from Matthew 28 talking about baptism and teaching, that's the water and the word.

58:41.720 --> 58:47.320
So not only do we have water here talking about washing to present the church, to present you

58:47.880 --> 58:55.320
as without spot or wrinkle or as blameless, but Jesus is doing the washing. I think that's

58:55.400 --> 59:00.600
crucial for us when we're discussing baptism, because this is one of the chief points of dispute

59:00.600 --> 59:10.360
among some Protestants. Who's doing the baptism? Because if it's me doing it, say that Cory had

59:10.360 --> 59:14.440
more baptized until he was an adult, and I met him, we were friends, and for whatever reason,

59:14.440 --> 59:18.600
I felt it was appropriate for me to baptize him. Generally, that's disorderly. Generally,

59:18.600 --> 59:23.320
it's best if a pastor does it, but there are circumstances where it may be appropriate for

59:23.320 --> 59:27.960
one Christian to baptize another, that's legitimate. It's a question of order, it's not a question of

59:27.960 --> 59:37.160
legitimacy. If Cory had come to me and I had baptized him in view of Ephesians 5, would you

59:37.160 --> 59:45.080
conclude that I had washed away his sins, or that he had somehow cleansed himself? Who's doing the

59:45.080 --> 59:51.640
cleansing and the baptism? It can only possibly be God. So as I said, there's going to be the video

59:51.640 --> 01:00:01.160
that we'll link to explaining the solas. When we talk about faith alone, one of the simplistic

01:00:01.160 --> 01:00:06.680
and completely incorrect arguments against this view of baptism is, well, that's works,

01:00:06.680 --> 01:00:13.400
you're talking about doing works. If you believe Ephesians 5, how can you possibly say that that's

01:00:13.400 --> 01:00:19.720
works? When Jesus talks about cleansing us, cleansing the church with a washing of water

01:00:19.720 --> 01:00:27.320
and the word, where is the us in that except as the cleansed, except as the recipient of the grace,

01:00:27.320 --> 01:00:33.000
the recipient of the washing of the baptism? And it is the same thing. Everywhere that you find

01:00:33.000 --> 01:00:39.720
washing and water, it is about baptism. And one of the things that happens when these discussions

01:00:39.720 --> 01:00:45.000
occur interdenominationally is that all these passages that very clearly describe what baptism

01:00:45.000 --> 01:00:49.240
is doing, folks have to ignore them and say, well, it's got nothing to do with baptism because it

01:00:49.240 --> 01:00:57.720
can't possibly mean that if you stick to a works righteousness view of these actions. And the point

01:00:57.720 --> 01:01:03.000
is that this is not works righteousness because they're not our works. They're God's works. The

01:01:03.000 --> 01:01:09.400
story is not you reaching out and taking the $100 bill. The story is the $100 bill being handed

01:01:09.400 --> 01:01:16.120
to you. You're receiving a gift. And to whatever extent you are physically participating, it's

01:01:16.120 --> 01:01:22.520
passive. It's incidental. It's necessary to the reception. But you are the receiver of the gift.

01:01:22.520 --> 01:01:27.960
You're not the one doing it. The same is the case in Titus 3. But when the goodness and loving

01:01:27.960 --> 01:01:33.800
kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us not because of works done by us and righteousness,

01:01:33.800 --> 01:01:40.840
but according to his own mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

01:01:40.840 --> 01:01:45.560
whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. So the being justified by

01:01:45.560 --> 01:01:51.640
his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The sayings trustworthy

01:01:51.640 --> 01:01:58.040
and I want you all to insist on these things. The washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy

01:01:58.040 --> 01:02:03.960
Spirit is exactly the same kind of speeches in Ephesians 5. Washing of water with the Word.

01:02:03.960 --> 01:02:09.160
The Word and the Spirit come together through the water. The Word is always paramount. The Word is

01:02:09.160 --> 01:02:15.400
always spoken at all of these moments. Even if it's only the Word, the Word is efficacious on its own

01:02:15.400 --> 01:02:20.680
every Christian knows that. There's no disagreement that the Word is not efficacious on its own.

01:02:21.560 --> 01:02:27.000
The Word when combined with these physical elements and sacraments is equally efficacious.

01:02:27.720 --> 01:02:34.040
The additional benefit of the physical means in the means of grace is not that there's

01:02:34.040 --> 01:02:41.000
extra stuff in baptism, but that there's physical certainty that perhaps Satan can deprive you if

01:02:41.000 --> 01:02:48.520
it's only mental. So if you come to faith by hearing as an adult and then you desire baptism,

01:02:48.520 --> 01:02:54.120
as is often the case in Scripture, there are many who came to be believers and then they were baptized.

01:02:54.120 --> 01:02:59.160
They received the gift of faith and they were baptized and there's some who point to this and

01:02:59.160 --> 01:03:06.040
say well see clearly baptism is a sign of faith that's already received. God gives us the baptism

01:03:06.040 --> 01:03:11.400
because Satan can come along later and attack your belief, can attack your confidence in your own

01:03:11.400 --> 01:03:18.200
belief, and so what the sacraments do, what baptism does, that one moment in time, you know, maybe

01:03:18.200 --> 01:03:27.240
you got a certificate, you have witnesses to it. When you are baptized, past tense, past

01:03:27.240 --> 01:03:34.120
perfect progressive, it's an ongoing permanent state of affairs. I am baptized, not I was baptized.

01:03:34.120 --> 01:03:42.200
It is who I am now. I am baptized into Christ. Even if I had faith before I was baptized, and I

01:03:42.200 --> 01:03:46.280
may well have, my parents were probably reading the Bible to me when I was, you know, two or three,

01:03:46.280 --> 01:03:50.040
and then they had me baptized, but it was pretty much all happening at the same time. There are

01:03:50.040 --> 01:03:53.640
many of you where maybe you hear the word, you come to faith and then you're baptized.

01:03:55.080 --> 01:03:59.000
God gives us the super abundance of his grace precisely because

01:03:59.400 --> 01:04:07.000
10 years from now, you suffer some calamity, you suffer a crisis of faith, and you are doubting

01:04:07.000 --> 01:04:14.120
if you ever believed in God. If your faith is rooted in, yeah, I believed in God really hard,

01:04:14.120 --> 01:04:18.440
and I got baptized because of what I believed, and I was doing all this stuff, and you know,

01:04:18.440 --> 01:04:24.280
God was there, but I was a doer, I was a prime mover. Satan can use that attitude,

01:04:24.920 --> 01:04:29.480
even if in a narrow sense it's true. Ultimately, if you understand faith, you understand that you're

01:04:29.480 --> 01:04:35.000
not doing anything because you were dead in your trespasses, you were reborn in faith. That is

01:04:35.000 --> 01:04:40.680
the gift of God that he gives to us. Even if it's narrowly true that you believed and then you were

01:04:40.680 --> 01:04:46.600
baptized and then you went on, Satan knows that that gap of time between when you were a believer

01:04:46.600 --> 01:04:51.640
and when you were baptized, if you throw the baptism out and say that I did the baptism to,

01:04:51.640 --> 01:04:55.960
I did the believing, and I got the believer's baptism because I was believing, and I was really

01:04:55.960 --> 01:05:00.200
doing a really good job with my faith. That was me doing stuff, me, me, me.

01:05:01.400 --> 01:05:05.400
Satan could come along and say, cast doubt on that and say, well, did you really believe,

01:05:05.400 --> 01:05:08.920
and didn't you have doubts? Wasn't there something about that that didn't add up, or

01:05:08.920 --> 01:05:13.320
maybe you were a hypocrite when you were doing it. Maybe you were a believer, but you were still

01:05:13.320 --> 01:05:17.960
committing these other sins and you ignored it, and later on when those hit you like a ton of

01:05:17.960 --> 01:05:23.640
bricks, you look back and you think, well, did I ever really believe? And some people

01:05:23.640 --> 01:05:28.840
reach that crisis of faith and Satan gets ahold of some of them and tears them away from God

01:05:28.840 --> 01:05:37.960
completely. Baptism, when it is received by a believer, is still a stopgap because baptism is

01:05:37.960 --> 01:05:45.000
an anchor of God's promise in your life, saying it doesn't matter what happened before. It doesn't

01:05:45.000 --> 01:05:49.560
matter if you were a believer before you were baptized because whatever happened before that day,

01:05:50.600 --> 01:05:55.160
when God's word was given to you with the promise in the water,

01:05:57.000 --> 01:06:03.480
that is a moment that is God acting to you. God is pouring out his blessings on you,

01:06:03.480 --> 01:06:09.880
he is washing and cleansing you by the water with the word. If your confidence is in that,

01:06:09.880 --> 01:06:14.840
then you will be confident that no matter what else, you can believe all of Satan's lies

01:06:14.840 --> 01:06:20.280
about you. You can believe his lies about how evil you are and how much wrath you deserve.

01:06:20.280 --> 01:06:26.120
It may be true, but the lie is that you then don't deserve God's mercy, that he hasn't given you his

01:06:26.120 --> 01:06:31.400
mercy. If you subscribe to everything that Satan says about you and about your past,

01:06:32.040 --> 01:06:37.080
but you have the anchor of your baptism and the certainty in God's promise in that moment,

01:06:37.080 --> 01:06:41.320
you cannot be snatched from God's hand because when you look at that and you say, yes,

01:06:41.320 --> 01:06:49.720
God gives this to me, he did this for me, that, as I said, it's a stop gap. It's like a fire break

01:06:49.720 --> 01:06:54.360
and you're fighting a forest fire. Sometimes you set a backfire, so you have to burn everything

01:06:54.360 --> 01:07:00.040
out so there's nothing combustible for the fire to jump across. This is a break, it's a stop gap

01:07:00.040 --> 01:07:07.880
that ensures that whatever goes wrong in your life, it can't go beyond the promise of baptism.

01:07:08.040 --> 01:07:12.840
That's the reason that the sacraments matter. That's the reason that God acting in time matters.

01:07:13.400 --> 01:07:19.240
I've talked to a number of people in the last few months who have heard the show and some of them

01:07:19.240 --> 01:07:25.080
have not been away from the church for a long time. I always ask each of them, were you baptized?

01:07:25.080 --> 01:07:31.400
It's not judgmental, I'm just curious. If someone says, yes, I was baptized a long time ago and I've

01:07:31.400 --> 01:07:36.520
wandered away. I quit believing, I've been an atheist, I quit caring, I'll get the state of

01:07:36.520 --> 01:07:42.120
the church, I don't want any part of this. I can always point any of those people to

01:07:42.120 --> 01:07:48.760
God's promise and their baptism, that God put His name on them and see the blessing of the gift

01:07:48.760 --> 01:07:56.280
of a sacrament is it by taking us out of the equation, by eliminating works, by eliminating our

01:07:58.040 --> 01:08:03.240
needing to get things right, by us needing to have the right faith and the right beliefs,

01:08:03.240 --> 01:08:09.480
when we cling to God's promises, you can hang on to that even after a lifetime of depravity.

01:08:09.480 --> 01:08:15.000
You can do terrible things. If you are coming back around by a miracle of the Holy Spirit,

01:08:15.000 --> 01:08:19.080
when someone comes to me, I'll tell them, I believe that that's God through the Holy

01:08:19.080 --> 01:08:23.960
Spirit given to you in baptism, calling you back to the church, calling you back to the faith

01:08:24.600 --> 01:08:30.200
in these final days. Whether it's five years or a century or a thousand years, I don't know,

01:08:30.200 --> 01:08:34.440
but it certainly feels like the end and we should always have that sense that

01:08:34.440 --> 01:08:39.640
I don't have much time left, I can't put this off because at some point you're going to be

01:08:41.080 --> 01:08:44.840
you're going to be like the thief on the cross, you're going to be facing your final moments

01:08:45.560 --> 01:08:51.560
and if you can say confidently, Lord, remember me and your kingdom in view of your baptism

01:08:51.560 --> 01:08:58.440
and God's promises there, you have confident faith because you're not hinging it on how well you did

01:08:58.440 --> 01:09:03.720
or how much you knew, you're hinging it on, I believe in God's promises, I believe God.

01:09:04.360 --> 01:09:09.800
Not because of any strength or merit in me, but God is God, I know that and I trust that

01:09:09.800 --> 01:09:14.600
despite the fact that I deserve the worst, God desires for me the best and he gave it to me on

01:09:14.600 --> 01:09:20.280
the cross and he gave it to me in baptism and knowing that you receive that past tense in a

01:09:20.280 --> 01:09:25.800
moment in time in a date that can be written on a certificate or in a Bible, there may come a time

01:09:25.800 --> 01:09:30.520
in your life, maybe you never care, for me I've never particularly had to worry about it because

01:09:30.520 --> 01:09:35.640
God has bolstered my faith in other ways, but I always know, you know, all the other bolstering,

01:09:35.640 --> 01:09:39.320
all the other stuff, it's like, oh wow, I have really strong faith, I don't need that stuff, no.

01:09:40.120 --> 01:09:46.200
My baptism underpins all of the other confidence that I have, I know that that's a foundation,

01:09:46.200 --> 01:09:52.920
it's not me, it's not my parents, it's not the water, it's God's promise in the water with the word,

01:09:52.920 --> 01:09:59.720
when those are together, we can be certain and having that is a gift that's worth more than

01:09:59.720 --> 01:10:05.080
anything in this life and so the reason for discussing these things and for calling some of

01:10:05.080 --> 01:10:11.080
you out for what your churches have taught is that teachings that are contrary to this

01:10:11.080 --> 01:10:17.080
deprive you in some cases of that stopgap, they deprive you of the certainty that someone who

01:10:17.080 --> 01:10:21.960
believes not in myself, I don't believe that I did anything or that I deserved anything good,

01:10:22.680 --> 01:10:28.520
but I believe that I was baptized, I know that, that's a certainty and that is a permanent state

01:10:28.520 --> 01:10:34.200
for me because I do not reject it and every day that I am baptized and I cling to it is another

01:10:34.200 --> 01:10:40.200
day that I remain a Christian as a gift from God and when we have that confidence in His promises

01:10:40.200 --> 01:10:44.280
through the sacraments, all the other things that we talk about on the show, we talk about,

01:10:44.360 --> 01:10:48.440
you know, just belief in the face of terrible hatred and awful things happening,

01:10:49.320 --> 01:10:53.560
we can be unflappable in our faith, we can be cheerful spiritual warriors,

01:10:53.560 --> 01:10:57.480
because what can happen? I'm baptized, what are these people going to do to me when God

01:10:57.480 --> 01:11:03.240
placed his name on me? I don't worry about anything when I trust in God, that's a gift

01:11:03.240 --> 01:11:08.840
and it's one that can only possibly come from a belief in the promises God has given in time to us

01:11:08.840 --> 01:11:14.760
physically. In a very real sense, the division here, when it comes to

01:11:16.040 --> 01:11:21.800
how different Christian traditions view the sacraments, and in this episode specifically

01:11:21.800 --> 01:11:29.880
baptism, is whether the sacraments are viewed as law or gospel, whether they are viewed as

01:11:29.880 --> 01:11:36.120
a command from God, something that we must do in order to be saved, which notably,

01:11:37.080 --> 01:11:41.480
that would be work's righteousness, because that would be a requirement placed on us,

01:11:41.480 --> 01:11:48.360
a work that we must do in order to achieve salvation, or in order to retain salvation,

01:11:48.360 --> 01:11:52.840
however you want to look at that, versus the sacraments as gospel.

01:11:54.760 --> 01:12:01.480
The Lutheran view is that the sacraments are gospel. The sacraments are God coming to us

01:12:01.480 --> 01:12:08.600
to offer his gifts to us. All of the actual active part of this

01:12:09.720 --> 01:12:16.840
is on God's side. We receive the gifts, we benefit, God is the one giving us the gifts,

01:12:16.840 --> 01:12:23.480
God is the one doing the work, which notably, Christianity is a work's righteousness religion.

01:12:24.920 --> 01:12:30.520
The distinction between Christianity and other religions that tell you that you

01:12:30.520 --> 01:12:35.720
must do these works to be righteous, is that the works are already done, and they were done by

01:12:35.720 --> 01:12:43.000
Christ. It is his works that make us righteous, and so yes, it's work's righteousness, but it

01:12:43.000 --> 01:12:50.280
is not your works. Your works will not avail you. And so, baptism and the Lord's supper are

01:12:50.280 --> 01:12:56.840
beneficial, they work forgiveness of sins, they salve the wounded or the worried conscious

01:12:56.840 --> 01:13:01.160
because they are from God. And that is a major point.

01:13:02.600 --> 01:13:09.240
If your theology, if what your church teaches, causes you to doubt when it comes to the sacraments,

01:13:11.080 --> 01:13:16.280
there's a very real problem, because these are gifts from God meant to soothe the conscience,

01:13:16.280 --> 01:13:23.880
not to cause you distress or worry or doubt. These are meant to strengthen your faith. That is

01:13:23.960 --> 01:13:30.840
properly what the sacraments are. That is the distinction there. And so, if the sacraments

01:13:30.840 --> 01:13:37.080
are being preached to you as law, that's not what they are. And this is something that we have

01:13:37.080 --> 01:13:43.480
mentioned previously, I've mentioned in a few places. This is a distinction between,

01:13:45.000 --> 01:13:51.000
fundamentally, between Lutherans and other traditions, is the view of what the divine

01:13:51.080 --> 01:13:58.600
service actually is. And the sacraments are a big part of this. Because we view the divine service

01:13:58.600 --> 01:14:07.560
first and foremost as God bringing his gifts to us. This simply follows, of course, from scripture.

01:14:08.280 --> 01:14:13.400
What does scripture say about why we love him? Well, we love him because he first loved us.

01:14:14.760 --> 01:14:20.200
In the divine service, we return thanks to him because he first brings his gifts to us.

01:14:21.240 --> 01:14:27.160
We are not going to church. We are not going to the divine service first and foremost

01:14:27.160 --> 01:14:33.480
to offer our sacrifice of thanks and praise to God. We do that, but we do that in response to

01:14:33.480 --> 01:14:40.200
his bringing gifts to us. That is the Lutheran view, and we believe that is what is consonant

01:14:40.200 --> 01:14:46.120
with what scripture teaches. God brings good things to us. We give thanks for those good things.

01:14:47.080 --> 01:14:54.360
God loved us first, so we can love him in return. And that comforts the troubled conscience.

01:14:54.360 --> 01:14:59.640
There is no comfort if you believe that it is works righteousness, if you believe that you

01:14:59.640 --> 01:15:05.480
have to do X, Y, and Z in order to be good enough for salvation, because that ultimately leads to

01:15:05.480 --> 01:15:11.160
despair. Because you will never be good enough. Because you are still fallen and sinful.

01:15:11.160 --> 01:15:17.400
It is comforting to know that you do not have to do all of these things. Yes,

01:15:17.400 --> 01:15:22.040
there will be good works in your life, as we continually say. We are not denying the Christian

01:15:22.040 --> 01:15:28.360
will. The Christian must have good works. What we are saying is that just like in the last episode,

01:15:28.920 --> 01:15:35.480
you're forgiven because Christ already completed the work. The work is done. And so your good works

01:15:35.480 --> 01:15:42.040
are meritorious, even if imperfect, because of the perfect work of Christ. You are able to return

01:15:42.040 --> 01:15:48.520
to God thanksgiving and praise, because he has first brought his gifts to you. When you were a

01:15:48.520 --> 01:15:55.080
child in baptism, or if you converted as an adult, as an adult in baptism, every time you go to the

01:15:55.080 --> 01:16:01.880
Lord's table and receive his gifts there, every time you hear the absolution, every time you read

01:16:01.880 --> 01:16:07.240
his word, that is God bringing his gifts to you, because he is super abundant in how he brings

01:16:07.240 --> 01:16:14.680
his gifts and his grace to you. God is not a stingy father. God's gifts are overflowing.

01:16:15.720 --> 01:16:21.720
He gives them to us in many different ways to keep us strong and steadfast in the faith.

01:16:23.320 --> 01:16:28.920
And Woe just read from Ephesians 5, and this should bring to mind Ephesians 4 as well.

01:16:29.720 --> 01:16:34.600
There is one body and one spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your

01:16:34.600 --> 01:16:41.960
call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is overall and through

01:16:41.960 --> 01:16:47.160
all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.

01:16:48.840 --> 01:16:54.440
And I hope that when you read that, you think of the Nicene Creed, because that is just part of

01:16:54.440 --> 01:17:01.640
the Nicene Creed right there from Ephesians 4. I will recite the last part of the Nicene Creed,

01:17:01.640 --> 01:17:07.480
part 3. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the

01:17:07.480 --> 01:17:12.760
Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,

01:17:12.760 --> 01:17:18.920
who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy Christian, an apostolic church. I acknowledge

01:17:19.160 --> 01:17:23.800
one baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead,

01:17:23.800 --> 01:17:26.360
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

01:17:29.320 --> 01:17:33.000
The one baptism point, which is here both in the Creed,

01:17:34.120 --> 01:17:38.520
and in Ephesians 4, and elsewhere in Scripture as well, is very important,

01:17:39.480 --> 01:17:45.240
and this is to respond to an objection that is sometimes raised. There are those who will try

01:17:45.240 --> 01:17:50.760
to divide baptism into two separate things. They will try to say there's a water baptism

01:17:50.760 --> 01:17:56.360
and there's a spirit baptism. Scripture doesn't do that. The creeds don't do that. The Church has

01:17:56.360 --> 01:18:00.760
never done that. The Fathers of the Church don't write about that. This is not something

01:18:00.760 --> 01:18:05.800
that is part of Christianity. This is an enthusiastic position in the technical,

01:18:05.800 --> 01:18:10.840
philosophical, or theological sense. It is something that is not part of Christianity.

01:18:11.560 --> 01:18:17.880
Ephesians is very clear here. Scripture is very clear. One Lord, one faith, one baptism.

01:18:19.160 --> 01:18:24.360
So if someone comes to you and says, well, water baptism, whatever is going to come after that

01:18:24.920 --> 01:18:31.160
is most likely going to be blasphemous, because there's one baptism. That is the teaching of

01:18:31.160 --> 01:18:36.600
Scripture. There's no division between supposive water baptism and spirit baptism.

01:18:36.840 --> 01:18:41.720
As was mentioned earlier, when I was going over why do we have baptism? Why do we have this physical

01:18:41.720 --> 01:18:47.320
thing? There is the water which the body can comprehend. There is the word which the mind

01:18:47.320 --> 01:18:53.800
can comprehend, because you are both body and spirit. And so God brings both together in the

01:18:53.800 --> 01:19:00.280
sacrament to bring them to you. So it is one baptism. Yes, it has water. Yes, the spirit,

01:19:00.360 --> 01:19:04.760
yes, the spirit, capital S is involved, but it is one baptism.

01:19:05.880 --> 01:19:12.520
In this constant reminder of our baptism is often a part of the architecture of many Lutheran

01:19:12.520 --> 01:19:19.000
churches. There's no set way for a church to look, so it's not universal. But very frequently,

01:19:19.000 --> 01:19:24.760
especially in older Lutheran churches, you will find that the baptismal font is in the way.

01:19:25.320 --> 01:19:29.000
You know, there are pews on either side. There's the altar at the front. There are the doors in

01:19:29.000 --> 01:19:35.960
the back from the narthex. And frequently, the baptismal font will be in the aisle. Sometimes

01:19:35.960 --> 01:19:39.960
it's right in the middle in the back. Sometimes it's right in the middle in the center. They actually,

01:19:39.960 --> 01:19:44.600
you know, cut the pews out in the center, so there's the baptismal font right in the middle of the

01:19:44.600 --> 01:19:49.720
church. Sometimes it's right up front in front of the altar. And sometimes it's off to one side of

01:19:49.720 --> 01:19:57.080
the front or the rear. But it's always prominently featured, even though it's rarely used. And the

01:19:57.080 --> 01:20:03.880
reason that we will position the fonts in such a way is, again, as a reminder of your one baptism,

01:20:04.440 --> 01:20:09.960
to remind you that on the day you were baptized, you were washed and cleansed and brought into

01:20:09.960 --> 01:20:16.840
this family. Even if you had faith before, you see, it's the superabundance of God's gifts

01:20:17.400 --> 01:20:21.880
is always something to be celebrated. And we're always thankful for the gift of faith that we

01:20:21.880 --> 01:20:28.040
receive, however we receive it. Maybe we received it from a missionary at church camp or something.

01:20:28.040 --> 01:20:32.840
That was the first time you heard, and then later on, your baptize. Maybe your baptism was

01:20:32.840 --> 01:20:39.080
your introduction into God's family as an infant, as a child. Maybe that was the very beginning.

01:20:39.640 --> 01:20:44.360
Whatever it was, the baptism is that touchstone. It's saying, yes, this moment. There may have

01:20:44.360 --> 01:20:49.480
been other moments before. They don't diminish this moment, just as this moment of baptism

01:20:49.560 --> 01:20:56.120
doesn't diminish the others. I think one thing that does actually diminish our baptism is then

01:20:57.000 --> 01:21:01.080
to think, well, maybe it didn't count. Maybe I got to do it again. Because then you're turning

01:21:01.080 --> 01:21:06.600
into something that you're doing. And when you insert yourself into the equation as the doer,

01:21:08.280 --> 01:21:15.800
what's left for God? If it's an outward sign of what you believe, you're robbing God of a glory

01:21:15.800 --> 01:21:22.920
that He promises He has in Scripture. In Acts 22, Paul actually talks about this in his own conversion

01:21:22.920 --> 01:21:29.160
experience. And one Ann and I, as a devout man, according to the law, well spoken by of all the

01:21:29.160 --> 01:21:35.160
Jews who lived there, came to me and standing by me, said to me, Brother Saul, receive your sight.

01:21:35.160 --> 01:21:39.800
And at that hour, I received my sight and saw him. And he said, the God of our fathers appointed

01:21:39.800 --> 01:21:44.440
you to know his will, to see the righteous wanted to hear a voice from his mouth. For you will be a

01:21:44.440 --> 01:21:51.480
witness to him, to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now, why do you wait? Rise and be

01:21:51.480 --> 01:21:58.040
baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name. Now here's Paul, describing Ann and I as

01:21:58.040 --> 01:22:05.560
telling him, rise and be baptized and wash away your sins. And baptize and wash away your sins

01:22:05.560 --> 01:22:13.880
is not two separate things. It's baptized to wash away your sins. It's one joint act. The baptism

01:22:13.880 --> 01:22:18.600
is the washing of sins. And Ann and I is telling Paul to do this. He's saying, Paul, wash away your

01:22:18.600 --> 01:22:25.880
sins. Well, can Paul do that? Does Paul have the power to wash away his sins? No, only God can

01:22:25.880 --> 01:22:32.200
wash away sins. And yet Christians are free to phrase this thing in this way, because God's the

01:22:32.200 --> 01:22:37.880
doer. We are the proximate actors for these things. When we're talking about sacraments,

01:22:37.880 --> 01:22:45.080
whether it's baptism or the Eucharist, there's a man doing something in physical space and time

01:22:45.080 --> 01:22:48.680
with a physical element, whether it's the bread of the wine or the water in baptism.

01:22:49.400 --> 01:22:55.400
Someone's doing something. And when we believe scripture, we believe that that act of the man

01:22:56.360 --> 01:23:02.280
is not any sort of act unto itself. It's obedience only in the sense that it is performing

01:23:02.360 --> 01:23:09.560
that which God has ordained. This is God's thing. When Ann and I told Saul, rise and be baptized

01:23:09.560 --> 01:23:16.680
and wash away your sins, he was describing God's action, God's action in baptism to wash away sins.

01:23:16.680 --> 01:23:22.600
And so we have confidence that God does that in baptism because he says he does. And again,

01:23:22.600 --> 01:23:29.720
the only way to have a view of baptism that makes it strictly us doing something and God

01:23:29.720 --> 01:23:34.840
just kind of watching and maybe applauding like, oh, good job. Well done performing that ordinance.

01:23:36.680 --> 01:23:42.040
If you do that, you eliminate all the forgiveness of sins that God promises he has there.

01:23:42.040 --> 01:23:46.600
If it's just me doing something, if it's just me washing away my sins and baptism,

01:23:47.160 --> 01:23:54.440
I'm toast. Am I going to make it? I can't wash crap. I can't do anything by myself. I'm dead in

01:23:54.440 --> 01:24:00.600
my sins and trespasses. It is only God acting through the water and the word that makes anything

01:24:00.600 --> 01:24:07.080
possible that has any spiritual significance. And it is spiritually significant. Washing away your

01:24:07.080 --> 01:24:12.920
sins, that's everything. That is the Christian life. That is the gospel in a nutshell. To have

01:24:12.920 --> 01:24:22.120
your sins washed away is the promise of the cross. We got to believe that. It's central. It is the

01:24:22.120 --> 01:24:28.760
foundation of the Christian faith. And so it's tragic to me that for centuries there have been

01:24:28.760 --> 01:24:37.240
disagreements among various church bodies because I'm sympathetic to some of the Roman Catholic

01:24:37.240 --> 01:24:44.600
claims that the Reformation was a disaster because they're not entirely wrong. When we realized

01:24:44.600 --> 01:24:51.080
that the Pope was lying, that the Pope was doing bad things, one of the reactions to that

01:24:51.080 --> 01:24:57.880
realization was to say, let's burn it all down. The Pope lied about something. Let's assume he

01:24:57.880 --> 01:25:01.800
lied about everything. Everything he ever told us to do, we're going to do the opposite. We're not

01:25:01.800 --> 01:25:06.600
going to do that anymore. Which was foolish and it was evil because it was never the Pope saying

01:25:06.600 --> 01:25:11.080
to do this stuff in the first place. That's a denial of the history of the Christian church.

01:25:11.080 --> 01:25:16.680
The Christian church didn't start with any popes. The Christian church started at Pentecost. There's

01:25:16.680 --> 01:25:21.720
no Pope there. If you want to have a Pope, if you want to have the Pontiff of Rome, it was James.

01:25:22.600 --> 01:25:29.240
The brother of Jesus, biological brother, the son of Mary James, was the first Bishop of Rome.

01:25:29.240 --> 01:25:34.440
So the notion that came about in the Reformation that, well, those guys got something wrong.

01:25:34.440 --> 01:25:40.920
Let's get rid of everything was tremendously disastrous because what we're describing of

01:25:41.000 --> 01:25:47.400
view of baptism is very much what Rome believed for the most part. The one specific distinction

01:25:47.400 --> 01:25:51.880
that I think is crucial, not so much for this argument, but for other discussions, is that

01:25:52.520 --> 01:25:58.120
the Roman Catholics believe that when you are baptized, that it also washes away your original

01:25:58.120 --> 01:26:05.480
sin, your concupiscence, meaning that you are now free to either sin or not sin, that it's possible

01:26:05.480 --> 01:26:11.320
for you to live a sinless life after your baptism, which is the opposite of what Paul says.

01:26:11.320 --> 01:26:15.000
He says that he struggles against his own flesh and does the very things that he wishes he couldn't

01:26:15.000 --> 01:26:21.640
do. He clearly still has original sin. Scripture's clear about that. So it's one specific distinction,

01:26:21.640 --> 01:26:27.320
and both Rome and the East will say that baptism washes away original sin. That has other errors

01:26:27.320 --> 01:26:31.720
downstream, but they're not really what we're talking about today. But the rest of what they

01:26:31.720 --> 01:26:36.040
believe is basically what we're saying because it was the historic view of the church, including

01:26:36.040 --> 01:26:40.360
infant baptism. You can go back to the very earliest church fathers and the very earliest

01:26:40.360 --> 01:26:47.640
archaeological evidence of the church, and infants were baptized. There was never any

01:26:47.640 --> 01:26:53.240
out notion that you had to be of a certain age to have a certain agreement, to have faith before

01:26:53.240 --> 01:26:59.080
you could receive this outward sign of an inward turning. That was not the Christian view for

01:26:59.720 --> 01:27:05.160
over a thousand years. There were some that thought that, but it was not what the church

01:27:05.160 --> 01:27:11.000
predominantly held, which is why Rome ended up on the same side as Lutherans, because they just went

01:27:11.000 --> 01:27:15.960
along with the majority because it was correct. Majority is not an argument or something being

01:27:15.960 --> 01:27:21.320
right. We're Lutherans. We're happy to say a bunch of people got a bunch of stuff wrong.

01:27:21.320 --> 01:27:26.360
The question is always, what does Scripture say? So you don't appeal to the church fathers. You don't

01:27:26.440 --> 01:27:33.640
appeal to popes or swamis. You appeal to what Scripture says, which is why this episode is a

01:27:33.640 --> 01:27:37.960
Bible study. When you look at what all these things say, they say that there's a washing of

01:27:37.960 --> 01:27:45.560
regeneration. They say that sins are washed away in baptism, so we believe it. We also believe

01:27:45.560 --> 01:27:51.560
that we cannot save ourselves. That faith alone is true. We know that we're receiving faith in

01:27:51.560 --> 01:27:59.000
baptism, and that is the saving grace of baptism. The reception of faith is the reception of salvation,

01:27:59.000 --> 01:28:05.560
which is what God promises. It all adds up when you just believe God and you don't make it too

01:28:05.560 --> 01:28:10.840
complicated. If you try to start saying, well, it looks like I'm doing something, well, are you?

01:28:12.280 --> 01:28:16.520
This is the argument that comes up with James and those who say that we can save ourselves.

01:28:16.520 --> 01:28:21.160
The epistle of James is a lot of stuff about the law, a lot of stuff about, here's what the

01:28:21.160 --> 01:28:27.720
Christian life looks like. That's not an epistle that's addressed to unbelievers. That does not

01:28:27.720 --> 01:28:33.320
belong to unbelievers. It belongs to those who have the Holy Spirit saying, okay, the Holy Spirit

01:28:33.320 --> 01:28:39.080
dwells within you. Here's what the Christian life looks like. When you have God, you do this.

01:28:39.080 --> 01:28:44.840
When you don't have God, you do the other thing, just as when you have life, your heart beats.

01:28:45.400 --> 01:28:51.320
You breathe. You don't have a choice. You can momentarily stop your breathing, but you can't

01:28:51.320 --> 01:28:55.560
control your heart. You can't control your breathing for very long because you would die.

01:28:56.360 --> 01:29:03.080
These are functions of life. Good works are a function of the Christian life. It's not an

01:29:03.080 --> 01:29:10.200
activity that we willingly engage in. It's an activity that is a sign that the life is present.

01:29:10.840 --> 01:29:15.480
That's a distinction. And when you try to take credit for stuff, it's like taking credit for

01:29:15.480 --> 01:29:19.880
your heartbeat. That doesn't even make any sense. The same is true of our good works.

01:29:20.600 --> 01:29:23.880
When a Christian has good works, they're not for us to take credit for.

01:29:24.840 --> 01:29:29.320
They're the heartbeat of the Christian life, and they're gifts that God gives us to give to others.

01:29:31.000 --> 01:29:35.000
Undoubtedly, when many of you started listening to this episode,

01:29:35.560 --> 01:29:40.200
a particular verse came to mind, and it should. It should come to mind.

01:29:40.840 --> 01:29:47.000
A verse from 1 Peter. I'll actually read the surrounding verses as well, not just the verse

01:29:47.000 --> 01:29:54.120
itself. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous,

01:29:54.120 --> 01:29:58.760
that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

01:29:59.320 --> 01:30:04.280
in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey,

01:30:04.360 --> 01:30:09.240
when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared,

01:30:09.240 --> 01:30:13.240
in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

01:30:14.120 --> 01:30:19.880
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body,

01:30:19.880 --> 01:30:25.400
but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

01:30:25.400 --> 01:30:29.560
who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels,

01:30:29.560 --> 01:30:32.440
authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

01:30:34.520 --> 01:30:38.760
Now, there are a few reasons that I wanted to read the additional context,

01:30:38.760 --> 01:30:42.440
not to dwell on the descent into hell, that's for another day, another episode,

01:30:43.320 --> 01:30:51.800
but we have in 1 Peter 321 a reference to this, and which corresponds to this,

01:30:51.800 --> 01:30:56.920
but we have to know what that this is, and that this is in the previous verse,

01:30:57.560 --> 01:31:03.320
that is, the ark, that is, Noah and his family being preserved in the ark,

01:31:04.120 --> 01:31:09.960
and what we have here is typology. Now, there's typology all throughout scripture,

01:31:10.680 --> 01:31:16.680
typology is one of the favorite devices God uses when teaching through scripture,

01:31:17.240 --> 01:31:24.600
we have types of Christ, we have types of regeneration, we have types of justification,

01:31:24.680 --> 01:31:29.960
we have the comparison of marriage to the relationship of Christ to the church,

01:31:29.960 --> 01:31:35.640
there is typology all throughout scripture, and that is what we have here in 1 Peter 321.

01:31:37.400 --> 01:31:44.680
Baptism is the anti-type, and the verse is very clear, baptism now saves you,

01:31:45.240 --> 01:31:48.760
and so if someone comes up to you and tells you, baptism does not save you,

01:31:49.480 --> 01:31:54.200
there's a very real problem, because what he's just told you is directly contrary to the

01:31:54.200 --> 01:32:00.360
literal word for word statement from 1 Peter, baptism now saves you,

01:32:02.280 --> 01:32:05.240
and some of you may be thinking, well, there's a clause in the middle there,

01:32:05.240 --> 01:32:09.160
when you translate something, you can move around dependent clauses, that's fine,

01:32:10.600 --> 01:32:18.040
but here the dependent clause just emphasizes the point, because it says baptism, which

01:32:18.040 --> 01:32:24.200
corresponds to this, and as I've already said, the this here, this is anti-type,

01:32:25.080 --> 01:32:28.680
baptism is the anti-type, and corresponds to the type.

01:32:30.280 --> 01:32:33.960
Well, let's look at the nature of a type and an anti-type.

01:32:35.000 --> 01:32:38.280
What is the relationship of a type to an anti-type?

01:32:39.720 --> 01:32:47.000
A type, presages, prefigures, comes before points to, it is in a way related to the anti-type,

01:32:47.880 --> 01:32:55.080
but it is necessarily inferior to the anti-type, state another way, the anti-type is the fulfillment,

01:32:55.080 --> 01:33:00.760
the perfection, or the completion of the type, or of the types, usually there's more than one.

01:33:01.880 --> 01:33:11.000
Here, we have the type as Noah and his family being saved by the ark from the flood.

01:33:11.960 --> 01:33:17.000
We have water, of course, which is typological here, the water of the flood,

01:33:17.000 --> 01:33:20.440
which did indeed save Noah and his family from the wicked world,

01:33:20.440 --> 01:33:25.800
the waters of baptism being the anti-type of that, but from what was Noah saved?

01:33:27.160 --> 01:33:33.080
Noah and his family were saved from temporal death, yes, they were also saved

01:33:33.080 --> 01:33:39.800
from the sinful wicked world, but primarily here by the ark, they were saved from temporal death.

01:33:41.000 --> 01:33:48.680
Well that's the type, and again, the anti-type must be greater, and so if baptism is the anti-type,

01:33:48.680 --> 01:33:53.480
what is the only thing that is greater than temporal death? Well, that's eternal death,

01:33:53.480 --> 01:33:59.880
that is the only thing that is greater than temporal death. And so baptism being the anti-type

01:33:59.880 --> 01:34:05.000
must save you from something that is greater than temporal death, and so it saves you from

01:34:05.000 --> 01:34:10.120
eternal death. Well how are you saved from eternal death? This is important, you must know this as

01:34:10.120 --> 01:34:18.760
a Christian, you are saved from eternal death by faith because it is faith that receives salvation,

01:34:18.760 --> 01:34:27.400
it is faith that regenerates. And so baptism gives you faith. That's all this verse means,

01:34:27.400 --> 01:34:32.200
because if baptism saves you, and it saves you from something greater than temporal death,

01:34:32.760 --> 01:34:38.200
it must save you from eternal death. Well, the only means by which you can be saved

01:34:38.200 --> 01:34:46.360
from eternal death is faith. Baptism now saves you simply means baptism gives you faith.

01:34:47.640 --> 01:34:52.680
Now, if you already have faith, baptism is going to strengthen your faith. But if you are an infant

01:34:52.680 --> 01:34:58.920
and you are without faith, baptism will give you faith. And this is one of the reasons that we

01:34:58.920 --> 01:35:06.360
baptize infants. There are other scriptures we will get to shortly. But baptism is not limited

01:35:07.320 --> 01:35:15.000
only to adults, only to those who can profess their faith. Now, typically, if we have an adult

01:35:15.000 --> 01:35:22.360
convert, we do wait to baptize that person because we want the person to understand baptism. But that

01:35:22.360 --> 01:35:27.480
isn't truly a necessary part of the sacrament. And it's certainly not necessary for the infant.

01:35:29.080 --> 01:35:35.240
Because this is, again, God's work, not man's work. And that is the fundamental question.

01:35:35.880 --> 01:35:42.520
If you come to this, thinking about it as it being God's work, then you are less concerned

01:35:42.520 --> 01:35:49.560
about the state of the man being baptized. Because God doesn't rely on that. It's the same as

01:35:49.560 --> 01:35:53.720
when we speak of whether or not the sacraments could be administered by wicked men.

01:35:54.840 --> 01:36:00.120
Those who say they cannot are called donatists and they are heretics. Because the sacraments

01:36:00.600 --> 01:36:05.800
are God's work. And so it does not depend on the man administering the sacraments as to whether

01:36:05.800 --> 01:36:12.040
or not they are valid. It depends upon God's work. Because he is the one who has promised

01:36:12.040 --> 01:36:19.800
to be present to do certain things in the sacraments. And so here, we don't look to the nature

01:36:19.800 --> 01:36:25.080
of the one being baptized. We don't look to whether or not the infant can profess faith. We know,

01:36:25.080 --> 01:36:29.960
of course, that an infant cannot profess faith. Now, that does not mean that an infant does not have

01:36:30.040 --> 01:36:38.440
faith. Because incidentally, when Scripture speaks of Timothy, it says that he is familiar with the

01:36:38.440 --> 01:36:45.160
Scriptures from his infancy. It's not childhood because the word that is used there is brephos,

01:36:45.160 --> 01:36:53.240
which is Greek for infant, or even fetus, which is also the word that is used in some other parts

01:36:53.240 --> 01:36:59.960
of Scripture, some other Scripture passages, dealing with little children. Because often,

01:36:59.960 --> 01:37:06.760
Christ speaks about bringing the little children to him, not hindering them. And in some of those

01:37:06.760 --> 01:37:14.200
verses where he speaks of not hindering the little children, he uses brephos, which is again

01:37:15.400 --> 01:37:21.400
the smallest of infants. That is an infant that you carry around or even a reference to an unborn

01:37:21.400 --> 01:37:28.040
child. Because we have several different words for children or infants that are used in Scripture

01:37:28.040 --> 01:37:33.320
that sometimes unhelpfully are all translated as children into the English. Sometimes we do have

01:37:33.320 --> 01:37:40.840
the word infant, but you have technon, pideon, and brephos, brephos being again the youngest.

01:37:40.840 --> 01:37:47.240
It can literally mean fetus in Greek. So I want to read again briefly a passage from Ephesians 5

01:37:47.240 --> 01:37:53.800
in contrast or compare it to the 1st Peter quotation. As Christ loved the church and gave

01:37:53.800 --> 01:37:59.640
himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with

01:37:59.640 --> 01:38:06.600
the word. Now compare this with baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you not as removal

01:38:06.600 --> 01:38:11.720
of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of

01:38:11.720 --> 01:38:18.040
Jesus Christ. Now how do you have an appeal to God for a good conscience? Am I just going to go

01:38:18.040 --> 01:38:24.200
to God in prayer and say, you know, I feel pretty good about today. I didn't do too bad. I have a

01:38:24.200 --> 01:38:29.640
clean conscience. I go to bed and I think, yeah, I really nailed it today. I didn't do any sins,

01:38:29.640 --> 01:38:35.000
no sins at all in this house. A, if that's your prayer, you're not going to be praying to begin

01:38:35.000 --> 01:38:42.040
with because you're not Christian. B, it's just absurd. It's the exact opposite. So

01:38:43.400 --> 01:38:51.240
in 1 Peter 3, when he says baptism is not a removal of dirt, remember Ephesians 5 is talking

01:38:51.240 --> 01:38:58.040
about washing away filth. The filth is the sins and the only possibility for an appeal of a clean

01:38:58.040 --> 01:39:06.680
conscience before God is without sins. And the only way to have that state is through washing of

01:39:06.680 --> 01:39:12.760
baptism. And so this is one of the reasons that Lutherans always point back to baptism, because

01:39:13.720 --> 01:39:19.800
in contradistinction to the Roman Catholic view that it washes away your original sin and all

01:39:19.800 --> 01:39:24.840
your sins at that point, and then you basically reset the clock and you're back to zero sins,

01:39:24.840 --> 01:39:28.360
and then you start racking up sins and you have to go to confession, and

01:39:28.360 --> 01:39:36.280
yeah, keep getting those new sins taken away. The scriptural view is that all of your sins

01:39:36.280 --> 01:39:41.320
are washed away in baptism. Well, what about the sins I commit after baptism? Yes,

01:39:42.040 --> 01:39:45.880
just as all of your sins are paid for at the cross. Well, what about all the sins that I

01:39:45.880 --> 01:39:50.440
committed after Jesus died on the cross? Well, in this day, that's literally all of them. None of us

01:39:50.440 --> 01:39:55.640
are over 2,000 years old. Every sin we've ever committed was committed after Jesus died on the

01:39:55.640 --> 01:40:02.600
cross for it. And this is one of the places where the illogicality of God's action in time and creation

01:40:03.400 --> 01:40:09.720
makes it possible for us to say dumb stuff, because if suddenly you start bounding God's

01:40:09.720 --> 01:40:17.320
promises by time, which is created time as part of creation, it's not inherent. It is a product

01:40:17.320 --> 01:40:22.760
of what God desires. And then he works within it, but he's not bound by it, which is why every

01:40:22.760 --> 01:40:29.080
sin you're ever going to commit was paid for on the cross. And so when we are washed in baptism,

01:40:29.080 --> 01:40:34.520
and the reason that we say I am baptized is precisely because of this. All of your sins are

01:40:34.520 --> 01:40:40.920
washed away. Are you going to keep sinning? Yes. Are those sins also washed away in baptism? Yes.

01:40:41.000 --> 01:40:47.880
Your baptism is a permanent state because it's a moment in time for you to point to for comfort,

01:40:48.600 --> 01:40:55.000
but it's not the only moment that that forgiveness is given. That forgiveness,

01:40:55.000 --> 01:41:02.360
that washing away, is the new state you have as a Christian. When we are adopted as sons of God

01:41:02.360 --> 01:41:08.280
in baptism, the adoption is permanent because the baptism is permanent. It's part and parcel.

01:41:09.160 --> 01:41:13.240
You become a part of the body of Christ, you become a part of the bride of Christ,

01:41:13.240 --> 01:41:19.000
who in Ephesians 5 is washed clean from this filth, from our filth, so that the clean conscience

01:41:19.000 --> 01:41:24.760
that we have, that we can make an appeal to God for, is in view of the baptism that's taken away

01:41:24.760 --> 01:41:29.560
those sins. One of the other last passages that we're going to get to today is from Acts 2.

01:41:30.280 --> 01:41:33.240
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the

01:41:33.240 --> 01:41:37.880
apostles, Brothers, what shall we do? And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized. Every one

01:41:37.880 --> 01:41:42.360
of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive

01:41:42.360 --> 01:41:46.920
the gift of the Holy Spirit, for the promises for you and for your children, for all those far off.

01:41:47.720 --> 01:41:53.640
Everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. So here again we have God saying,

01:41:54.520 --> 01:42:00.680
repent and be baptized, for the forgiveness of your sins. It's always the same thing. The

01:42:00.680 --> 01:42:06.040
repentance imparts forgiveness, the baptism imparts forgiveness, the baptism and the forgiveness

01:42:06.040 --> 01:42:12.440
work together. It's all one thing. And I think that one of the real weaknesses of systematic

01:42:12.440 --> 01:42:17.800
theology and of the sort of autistic view that we often bring to Scripture is

01:42:19.400 --> 01:42:23.160
trying to figure out if it's this thing or it's that thing. Because if it's one thing,

01:42:23.160 --> 01:42:30.360
it can't be the other. If it's water, it can't have forgiveness. Well, if it's man, it can't be God.

01:42:30.360 --> 01:42:34.120
Like I said earlier, you have to be really careful when you're talking about God's things,

01:42:34.120 --> 01:42:38.120
because one thing can also be another thing. It can be two things at once.

01:42:38.760 --> 01:42:41.960
This is, you know, when we've been talking in this episode about typology,

01:42:42.840 --> 01:42:48.120
that is a methodology that men use to understand Scripture. Sometimes I go overboard. Some of

01:42:48.120 --> 01:42:52.760
the early church fathers went completely nuts with typology and just made a mess of everything.

01:42:52.760 --> 01:42:58.440
They wanted every word, every passage to have seven layers of typology, which is just silly.

01:42:59.400 --> 01:43:05.800
The reason that typology is important is that God introduced it just as poetry and storytelling.

01:43:06.360 --> 01:43:13.160
These are things from God. They're not human things that God is operating in our human language,

01:43:13.160 --> 01:43:19.080
so we understand he's the originator of this stuff. Art, beauty, poetry, all these things that are

01:43:20.120 --> 01:43:27.160
desirable, wonderful parts of human life are from God. They're typological too. All the stuff that

01:43:27.240 --> 01:43:30.600
we like, we think, oh, these are human endeavors. These are human expressions.

01:43:31.480 --> 01:43:36.120
They're fundamentally from God. He did it first, and then we have a smaller version of it, an

01:43:36.120 --> 01:43:41.720
imperfect version. When we're talking about typology, it's not like this theological concept that some

01:43:41.720 --> 01:43:47.400
people came up with, and we're sticking it in Scripture. God explicitly says in some places,

01:43:47.400 --> 01:43:53.000
this is a type of this other thing, as Corey was saying earlier. When you're looking at something

01:43:53.080 --> 01:43:56.200
and the desire is to say, well, if it's one thing, it can't be the other thing,

01:43:57.800 --> 01:44:01.640
you have to be really careful that you're not making claims against what God is able to do,

01:44:02.200 --> 01:44:06.840
because as soon as you say God can't, you just stop talking probably for the rest of the day,

01:44:06.840 --> 01:44:11.880
because you've got some sort of problem. You have some spiritual gas that you need to get

01:44:11.880 --> 01:44:18.680
burped out, because you should never say God can't. That's not a thing. It does happen when we

01:44:18.680 --> 01:44:24.840
try to make sense of these things, and we make mistakes. They're well-intentioned mistakes.

01:44:25.400 --> 01:44:30.120
It is a good thing for Christians to try to figure these things out, to try to speak faithfully

01:44:30.120 --> 01:44:37.880
as God speaks, and to when you have a conviction of conscience to stick to your guns. I don't want

01:44:37.880 --> 01:44:41.960
someone who hears us to change their mind just because some podcasts are told you something

01:44:41.960 --> 01:44:48.360
different. That's not a firm foundation for faith. The firm foundation needs to be Scripture,

01:44:48.360 --> 01:44:53.320
which is why this has been a Bible study, because we're talking about these in Lutheran terms and

01:44:53.320 --> 01:44:58.760
from a Lutheran perspective, but we could do a bunch of citations from some of the Lutheran

01:44:58.760 --> 01:45:04.280
Fathers. I think they're interesting sometimes, but it's still only them making arguments from

01:45:04.280 --> 01:45:09.000
Scripture. We also can make arguments from Scripture. Now, as I said at the beginning,

01:45:09.000 --> 01:45:12.280
we're not telling you anything new. We're not making up, this is not like

01:45:12.280 --> 01:45:19.960
Stonequire baptism. There's one baptism. There's one baptism in Scripture. We should all sound the

01:45:19.960 --> 01:45:25.080
same because we're all working from the same book with the same God. The one Lord, one faith,

01:45:25.080 --> 01:45:30.680
one baptism thing is very real. An interesting thing about baptism, as we've talked about a little

01:45:30.680 --> 01:45:38.280
bit earlier, it is not in the faith of the doing that the thing has its efficacy. It's in God's

01:45:38.280 --> 01:45:45.720
promise. Even those who don't believe that baptism does what it says, God will still keep his promise,

01:45:45.720 --> 01:45:51.720
even when the men who are doing it say, I don't believe this, because God doesn't say anything

01:45:51.720 --> 01:45:57.160
to the contrary. God says, do this and the gift is yours. That's another reason why the one baptism

01:45:57.160 --> 01:46:03.320
thing is important. There's no such thing as rebaptism. The only possibility where it might be

01:46:03.320 --> 01:46:08.200
appropriate to baptize someone who thinks they were baptized before is if you're not sure if they're

01:46:08.280 --> 01:46:13.080
baptized in the name of the Trinity. If there's doubt, if you believe that there may have been

01:46:13.080 --> 01:46:19.880
an erroneous baptism or is literally not what it says in Matthew 28, then it is permissible to do

01:46:20.840 --> 01:46:25.400
effectively a provisional baptism. It should be in full view that we're not trying to rebaptize

01:46:25.400 --> 01:46:32.600
this person. We're trying to obey God. We're trying to make sure that we are doing what God commands.

01:46:33.560 --> 01:46:38.520
In this case, it is very much in ordinance. It's God saying, do this. If we think that someone has

01:46:38.520 --> 01:46:43.400
failed in the past, we're still going to do it. That's an act of faith that's perfectly permissible.

01:46:43.400 --> 01:46:50.520
That's entirely Christian. What is not permissible is to say, well, I think Rome's wrong

01:46:50.520 --> 01:46:54.440
about a bunch of stuff. We've got to rebaptize you so you can be made a real Christian. You're

01:46:54.440 --> 01:46:58.920
going to be a Lutheran. You've got to have a Lutheran baptism. The Orthodox are very

01:46:58.920 --> 01:47:03.720
commonly do that. They reject all baptism except their own. That's not scriptural. Again,

01:47:03.720 --> 01:47:10.040
there's one baptism. A baptism in the name of the triune God is valid. That's part of the promise.

01:47:10.040 --> 01:47:13.960
That's part of the confidence is that even when we have these disputes, even when we have these

01:47:13.960 --> 01:47:19.320
disagreements about what's actually going on, we still can have confidence that God has done what

01:47:19.320 --> 01:47:27.240
He said He would do. I hope that if someone is listening in maybe some of this, probably many

01:47:27.240 --> 01:47:33.640
of you the wrong way, if some of your feeling unsettled, know that whatever unsettling feeling

01:47:33.640 --> 01:47:40.200
you have about the theology doesn't undermine God's promise. That's the whole point of this

01:47:40.200 --> 01:47:47.160
entire episode. God's promises are kept because it's God that's making them. When we get stuff wrong,

01:47:48.440 --> 01:47:54.360
when we are foolish, when we are unbelieving, when we're doubting, we can't break God's things.

01:47:54.440 --> 01:47:58.200
Even when we break our own, even when we mess up our own lives, we sin against each other,

01:47:58.200 --> 01:48:03.560
we lie, we get stuff wrong inadvertently, whatever mess we make, we can be confident

01:48:03.560 --> 01:48:10.600
in God's promises. I hope that whatever else you take away from this is you'll keep that in mind.

01:48:10.600 --> 01:48:14.280
It's fundamentally rooting this, not, I know you have to have the perfect confession of this

01:48:14.280 --> 01:48:22.440
stuff. It's that when you believe that God does the things He says He'll do, you have them. It's

01:48:23.400 --> 01:48:27.160
God we're talking about. He's going to do what He said He did. He's already done it.

01:48:27.160 --> 01:48:35.080
You are baptized. That is a promise written in the book of life from before eternity.

01:48:35.080 --> 01:48:40.680
Your name is in the book of life saying I elect you from eternity by God. You receive baptism in

01:48:40.680 --> 01:48:47.640
time, marking you as his child, placing his triune name on you, on a tiny screaming baby who just

01:48:47.640 --> 01:48:53.880
like Jesus in the manger, who was helpless and didn't know anything and was completely dependent.

01:48:54.680 --> 01:49:00.120
We're fundamentally like that spiritually at any age until we have God. You can be the smartest,

01:49:00.120 --> 01:49:05.640
most well-versed man in the world. You're a spiritual infant until God comes to you and gives you

01:49:06.280 --> 01:49:13.160
faith. Very often that comes in baptism. The confidence that God is going to keep his word

01:49:13.160 --> 01:49:18.760
is the whole point of this. It's the whole benefit of this type of sacramentology. Again,

01:49:18.760 --> 01:49:24.280
it's not like here's a strategy for a greater confident faith. This is what God says we should

01:49:24.280 --> 01:49:29.560
have and when we believe it, everything works out. It's a recurring theme on Stone Choir.

01:49:30.120 --> 01:49:34.120
If you have a normal, healthy family and you do normal, healthy family things,

01:49:35.080 --> 01:49:39.480
you will be blessed and you will have the things that God promises. When we do the

01:49:39.480 --> 01:49:43.880
thing the way God says to do it, we get the good things that come from it. That's the case in

01:49:43.880 --> 01:49:49.400
everything. This is just another example of that, but it's a crucial one because everything else may

01:49:49.400 --> 01:49:55.160
go wrong. But because your baptism is past tense, because it's a moment in time, when you realize

01:49:55.160 --> 01:50:01.320
that that past tense is actually present tense, you can have faith and confidence throughout

01:50:01.320 --> 01:50:07.560
your life. Whatever goes wrong, whatever happens, you're confident that you are baptized. In that

01:50:07.560 --> 01:50:11.000
gift that God promised, he continues to deliver to you every day.

01:50:12.840 --> 01:50:17.560
There's one more point that I would like to cover before we close out this episode,

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and then a couple sections of scripture related to infant baptism, just because I know that's going

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to be a difficult one for some people. But the issue that I want to address first is a seemingly

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minor one, but it has been an ongoing fight in the history of the church between traditions.

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And that is the method or the mode, the means of baptism. There are four. There's aspersion,

01:50:48.600 --> 01:50:54.760
effusion, immersion, and submersion. And for those who are unfamiliar with the terms,

01:50:54.760 --> 01:51:00.280
aspersion is sprinkling, effusion is pouring, and then I think we all know what immersion and

01:51:00.280 --> 01:51:04.120
submersion are, the distinction being whether or not you go completely under the water.

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These are all valid. And the reason they are all valid is because that the wording of scripture,

01:51:13.560 --> 01:51:19.400
what scripture says, is what is required for baptism and what does scripture say?

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Scripture says water and word. Scripture does not specify the amount of water.

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Scripture does not say that you have to use a certain method of applying the water.

01:51:31.320 --> 01:51:36.600
Scripture simply says water and the word. Now,

01:51:38.280 --> 01:51:43.400
many of those who were baptized in scripture were indeed baptized by immersion or submersion. We

01:51:43.400 --> 01:51:49.080
don't necessarily know which one of those two, because they were baptized in a river. We know that.

01:51:49.160 --> 01:51:55.800
But there are probably others who were baptized with alternative methods, because

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do bear in mind this is a part of the world where fresh water is not always available in

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large quantities, particularly depending on the time of year. Even the Jordan largely dries up.

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Now, of course, speculation is not a valid reason to draw a conclusion when it comes to

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scripture. But I already pointed out that scripture simply requires water and the word. It does not

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require an amount of water. And also we have the historical argument, not in terms of historical

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practice, although that is somewhat compelling, but the historical argument that God has given faith

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to those who were baptized using a spursion or a fusion. There are those who were baptized as

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children using those methods and they were given faith. They became Christians because of that

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baptism. God is not going to bring his gifts if we are deliberately or even accidentally

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not complying with what he has said is the requirement. And God has given his blessing

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very clearly to all four of these methods. Because again, this just goes back to the

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fundamental difference that we have, whether it is God's gift he is bringing to men or something

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men are doing for themselves. Because certainly the amount of water is not going to matter.

01:53:20.040 --> 01:53:24.760
If it is God's gift, if God is the one doing it, because scripture doesn't specify,

01:53:25.400 --> 01:53:29.240
but if it's men doing it, then perhaps we need more of a show, we need more water.

01:53:29.240 --> 01:53:35.560
And so this is going to flow naturally from your belief about the nature of baptism. The same thing

01:53:35.560 --> 01:53:44.520
is true of infant baptism, which I will get to in a minute here. Now, there is one final point about

01:53:44.520 --> 01:53:49.720
the method that I want to make that is sort of an ancillary point, but it is worth addressing.

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Subversion is the best method in terms of the picture it portrays. Because what is baptism?

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Baptism fundamentally is being buried with Christ and resurrected to a new life. And

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submersion shows that illustrates that in the best way. And so for almost aesthetic reasons,

01:54:17.960 --> 01:54:22.760
but for clearly typological reasons, submersion, there is a very good argument for it. Now,

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perhaps not for infants, we're not saying do what the the EO do and triple submerged infants,

01:54:28.360 --> 01:54:33.880
that's probably overboard, pouring or sprinkling perfectly fine for the infant.

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But typologically for adults, submersion is probably best. And Luther said the same,

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this is long been something that Lutherans and others who do practice these other methods would

01:54:46.680 --> 01:54:53.960
still agree. Part of the reason we do pouring is as a statement of belief that this is something

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from God. And so it is not something man is doing, it is not the amount of water that matters.

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But then to close out this episode, I said I wanted to read a couple passages

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that deal with infant baptism. I already addressed one, I didn't read it, but that was from Second

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Timothy, dealing with Timothy, who had been familiar with the scriptures from, it says,

01:55:16.120 --> 01:55:21.960
childhood in the English standard version. But the word there is actually infant or infancy,

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brephos. And I want to read from Luke, Luke two, actually I'll start with Luke 18.

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Now they were bringing even infants, brephos, to him that he might touch them, and when the

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disciples saw it, they rebuked him. But Jesus called them to him saying,

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let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

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Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter

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it. And then from Luke two, and this will be a sign for you, you will find a baby,

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brephos, wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

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And so we have here in these two verses taken together, a picture of God's great gifts to us,

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the Christian life, and how we are to share these gifts, how we are to facilitate God bringing

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these gifts to the next generation, to our fellow Christians, to our own children.

01:56:27.400 --> 01:56:33.000
Christ is very clear, do not hinder the little children, but let them come unto me.

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Bring them to Christ, you are supposed to bring your children to Christ. Well how do you bring

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your little children, your brephos, or pydion, whichever one it happens to be, because pydion

01:56:43.560 --> 01:56:49.880
is still a little child, how do you bring your children to Christ? Well we saw at the beginning,

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that's the great commission, you bring them to Christ by baptizing them and then teaching them.

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And so you baptize your children, this is why Lutherans and others teach that infant baptism

01:57:04.280 --> 01:57:08.520
is proper, it is why it has been the practice of the church from the beginning.

01:57:10.600 --> 01:57:16.120
Yes there's also the fact that it is typologically related to circumcision, which was done on the

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eighth day, certainly an eight day old child is an infant still. But fundamentally we are simply

01:57:23.000 --> 01:57:28.440
obeying the words of Christ when he tells us to let the children come to him, do not hinder them,

01:57:29.400 --> 01:57:36.200
for to such belongs the kingdom of God. And so we hear and obey, he says to bring the children to

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him we bring them to him, how do we bring them to him? By giving them faith, how do we give them

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faith? The only way that God has given us to give them faith, by baptizing them. We baptize them,

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but really it is God using our hands to do the work, God is the one baptizing them,

01:57:54.360 --> 01:57:59.560
and that is why they are baptized in the triune name, because it is the triune God who is baptizing

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them, because it is his baptism, it is his sacrament, it belongs to him not to man, because it is his

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work not man's. And we see this connection here in Luke with the term brephos. You have the infants

01:58:15.720 --> 01:58:23.720
who are brought to Christ, and you have that infant Christ lying in the manger. All of the promises

01:58:23.720 --> 01:58:31.160
of Scripture are in that manger with that infant, and all of the promises of Scripture are brought

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to infants in baptism, because that is how God has created it, that is how God has organized it,

01:58:39.320 --> 01:58:47.800
and so we simply obey. And so baptism is a gift from God to the church, it is a gift from God

01:58:48.360 --> 01:58:55.240
to the elect, it is a gift from God to me and to you and to your children.

01:58:55.880 --> 01:58:59.960
We're going to close simply with the words from Romans 6.

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What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound, by no means?

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How then can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been

01:59:11.480 --> 01:59:16.680
baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by

01:59:16.680 --> 01:59:22.920
baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,

01:59:22.920 --> 01:59:33.880
we too might walk in newness of life. Amen.