in Christ’s forgiveness.
“Grace is not something for which I must look in my heart. It is in the heart of God.”
What is Baptism?
Baptism is not simply water. It is the water which is included in God’s command and connected with God’s Word, as Christ our Lord says:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
What good does Baptism do?
Baptism works forgiveness of sins, saves from death and the devil, and gives eternal life to all who believe the promise of God's Word:
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
How can water do such great things?
It is not merely water that does these. It is the word and promise of God which is connected to this water, along with faith which trusts this Word of God with the water. Without God's Word it is simply water and not Baptism. With the word of God it is a Baptism, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Spirit as St. Paul says:
“God saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
What is implied by baptizing with water?
Baptizing with water implies that your old sinful nature should be drowned daily by repentance. A new person emerges to live before God, pure and righteous forever, as St. Paul says:
“Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, given through the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink. It is instituted by Christ Himself, as the holy Scriptures declare:
“Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: ‘Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.’
“In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’”
MATTHEW 26:26-28 • MARK 14:22-24 • LUKE 22:19-20 • 1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-25
What good does this eating and drinking do?
Forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given to you in this Sacrament through these words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins”—for where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.
How can eating and drinking do such great things?
It is not merely eating and drinking that do these things, but these words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” These words, along with the eating and drinking, are the main thing in the Sacrament. Anyone who believes them has what they say: forgiveness of their sins.
Who is worthy to receive the Sacrament?
Anything you do outwardly, like fasting, might be good training, but the person who is truly worthy and prepared has faith in Christ's words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” If one doubts or does not believe these words, then they are unworthy and unprepared, because the words “for you” require wholehearted faith.