31 years ago today, I was baptized. Sure, it was a neat day for my parents, who baptized their son while family, friends, and congregation looked on. Sure, it was neat for people like my grandparents who got their picture taken holding me. But my baptism means to most to me, not because of the pictures or the the family-togetherness of the day. No, it means so much to me because of what God did to me there. He clothed me with Christ. He made me God’s own child.
The benefits of my baptism were important for me that day, and they’re just as important for me now. I will share a couple of short quotes from Luther’s Large Catechism on this topic.
Imagine there was a doctor somewhere who understood the art of saving people from death or, even though they died, could restore them quickly to life so that they would afterward live forever. Oh, how the world would pour in money like snow and rain. No one could find access to him because of the throng of the rich! But here in Baptism there is freely brought to everyone’s door such a treasure and medicine that it utterly destroys death and preserves all people alive.
We must think this way about Baptism and make it profitable for ourselves. So when our sins and conscience oppress us, we strengthen ourselves and take comfort and say, “Nevertheless, I am baptized. And if I am baptized, it is promised to me that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both in soul and body.” …
In this way one sees what a great, excellent thing Baptism is. It delivers us from the devil’s jaws and makes us God’s own. It suppresses and takes away sin and then daily strengthens the new man. It is working and always continues working until we pass from this estate of misery to eternal glory.
(Large Catechism, IV, 43-44,83, quoted from Concordia: the Lutheran Confessions, CPH, 2006.)
Do you remember your baptismal day in some special way? Or do you have tips for how we can make better daily use of our baptism? I’d love to hear it in the comments!