Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Promises of Baptism For You! Part 2

As time goes on and the end of life approaches many troubling things may happen. One of these things is the possibility of becoming so feeble minded that I forget Christ. Through accident, stroke or dementia it may be that I will not recall him someday. What then is my hope should this occur?

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
(Romans 6:3 ESV)

This is one of the most strong and precious promises Our Lord, through the Apostle Paul, gives us. In Baptism I have already died to sin and are no longer under condemnation for it. Through this gracious gift Our Father has placed his name upon me and all his Baptized children.

This is certainty beyond compare. Rather than false security when a person recalls that through Baptism they are received into the family of Christ it is a strong testimony of firm trust in the promises of Christ. Jesus has linked his death to us in Baptism. We can therefore walk in newness of life forsaking our selfish ways by drowning our inner brat, recalling this strong Sacramental work of Christ for us.

If accident, old age or illness robs a person of his or her recollection of this promise Our Lord certainly does not. He has taken our salvation so seriously he bore our sin to the cross thereby removing condemnation from us. We can hardly expect he would withdraw from us when we are feeble and weak and can not remember him.

Trust this good news and live in its peace. Amen. †

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Promises in Baptism For You!

I awoke from a very interesting dream this morning. Not a bad dream at all. Rather it was regarding the generations that will come after me. It has been a long practice of mine, dating back to High School, to pray for my children, grandchildren etc. This was started by my Christian grandparents explaining to me they prayed for me, my siblings and cousins long before we were born.

No why on earth would one do that?

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
(Acts 2:38-39 ESV)

One sees in this section that Baptism is not all about the person Baptized. The strong and precious promises of Our Lord is contained therein. This is glorious for the responsibility for the salvation of us, our spouse, children, grandchildren, etc. belongs to Our Lord. This is good news because we are unable to save them. Who else has this ability? Us? Surely not.

Some will object to this due to the fact that some of their children may reject the Gospel. My answer to this is we do not doubt a promise from God due to the unbelief of others. How is it that we will see a child forsake the church and wander off will never be granted true repentance and the forgiveness of sin in the name of Jesus? Certainly we train our children in the faith in order to keep this from happening but sometimes our hearts will break along with our child's break with the church.

As demonstrated by the innocent sufferings and death of Our Lord on the cross we know he takes the salvation of the sinner quite seriously. It is of great difficulty for a person, upon whom Our Lord has placed his name, to apostatize eternally. It has happened recorded in the letters of the Apostles but it is of heroic effort to accomplish this leaving.

Rather than spend hours and days examining others and whether we can see if they are in Christ we cling to the promises we have in Jesus and live in the peace they give us. Amen. †

Sunday, June 15, 2014

God's Love Shown For You!

"What did Jesus do this for?" I have had this question asked of me many times. Depending upon whom a person asks one will get varied answers.

From the Calvinist's leaning person one may hear Jesus did it solely for the Glory of God. While certainly God was glorified in the Crucifixion of Jesus, as spoken in Jesus' prayer recorded in John 17, Our Lord is far from being stingy in what he does. We see in his life he was constantly about his neighbor.

From a person of a Methodist background one may hear it is to make salvation possible. That we must respond to this gracious invitation before it is ours. While we do receive this gift of eternal life through faith this faith is not of our doing. It is not something we work up in ourselves. Rather it is a gift of God and not of any decision or desire on our part. Ephesians 2:8-10

From a person of Roman Catholic training one may hear that he died to get us a jump start toward salvation. That we must complete this salvation through our efforts at works of charity. While works of charity, love, are definitely necessary in the life of a believer they do not add anything to our salvation. Rather they are done as obedient children for a Loving Heavenly Father. Ephesians 2:10

What does Our Lord say, through St. Paul, was the reason for his Crucifixion?

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:6-8 ESV)

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
what wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

Let us trust this good news and live in its peace. Amen †