In the sacrament of Baptism water is united with God’s Word and serves as our entry into God’s kingdom. Jesus told his church to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching them (Matthew 28:18-20). God places His name on us, blessing us and making us his own (Numbers 6:23-27). Baptism unites us with Jesus’ death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5). Baptism works the forgiveness of sins, and grants salvation to all who believe.
If you desire Baptism for yourself or your children, the first step is to contact the church to arrange a visit with pastor. If you are an adult, a couple month period of instruction in the Christian faith is a prerequisite for Baptism so that you can feel confident making a profession of the faith. (We want you to know the great things that God has done for you in Christ.) If you are bringing your children for Baptism, we too want you to have a basic understand of what is going on, as well as an understanding of good ways to nurture your child’s faith.
Luther’s Small Catechism
As the head of the family should teach them in the simplest way to those in his household.
THE INSTITUTION OF BAPTISM
First: What is Baptism?
Baptism is not just plain water, but it is water used by God’s command and connected with God’s Word.
Which is that Word of God?
Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!”
THE BLESSINGS OF BAPTISM
Second: What does Baptism do for us?
Baptism works forgiveness of sin, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare. What are these words and promises of God? Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
THE POWER OF BAPTISM
Third: How can water do such great things?
It is certainly not the water that does such things, but God’s Word which is in and with the water, and faith which trusts this Word used with the water. For without God’s Word the water is just plain water and not baptism. But with this Word it is baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of rebirth by the Holy Spirit.
Where is this written?
St. Paul says in Titus, chapter 3, “God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” This is a trustworthy saying.
THE MEANING OF BAPTISM FOR OUR DAILY LIFE
Fourth: What does baptizing with water mean?
Baptism means that the old Adam in us should be drowned by daily contrition and repentance, and that all its evil deeds and desires be put to death. It also means that a new person should daily arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
Where is this written?
St. Paul says in Romans, chapter 6, “We were buried with Christ through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”