forgiven in Christ.
Grace is not something for which I must look in my heart. It is in the heart of God.
Holy Baptism & Holy Communion
AND WHAT THEY MEAN, FROM LUTHER'S SMALL CATECHISM
What is Baptism?
Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word, as Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew:
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. — Matthew 28:19-20
What benefits does Baptism give?
Baptism gives forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare:
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. — Mark 16:16
How can water do such great things?
Certainly not just water, but the word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith which trusts this word of God in the water. For without God’s word the water is plain water and no Baptism. But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth 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. — Titus 3:4-7
What does Baptism signify?
Baptism signifies that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever, as St. Paul writes:
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. — Romans 6:1-4
What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
The Sacrament is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself, as it is recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and by the apostle Paul.
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 Cor. 11:23-25
What is the benefit of this eating and drinking?
These words, “Given, and shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins,” show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.
How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?
Certainly not just eating and drinking do these things, but the words written here: “Given, and shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins.” These words, along with the bodily eating and drinking, are the main thing in the Sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: forgiveness of sins.
Who receives this Sacrament worthily?
Fasting and bodily preparation are certainly fine outward training. But that person is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”
The Lord's Service at Zion
Sundays 10:30am / Wednesdays 7:30pm