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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 26

1 Peter 3:21-22 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
God loves to use water. As we saw yesterday, though He saved Noah and his family, He used water to drown the sinful creation. God also rescued the Israelites through the Red Sea, and drown their Egyptian pursuers (Exodus 14:1-31). It was at His baptism in the waters of the Jordan where God announced that Jesus was His beloved Son (Mark 1:9-11). And, now, it is through the waters of baptism that Jesus saves you!

As we saw yesterday, children’s books make too light a story of Noah and his Ark. It is a story both of God’s wrath and of God’s mercy. We run into the same trouble with baptism. It is no cute, innocent ceremony where children are dedicated to God for the sake of the grandparents. No, baptism is an all out assault on sinners! In baptism, God doesn’t mean to give us a ceremony where we show how much we love him. No. He means to drown our sinful nature and leave it in the grave. He means raise us to a new life. He means to kill us and make us alive with Christ!

This is why Peter says today baptism is an appeal to God for a good conscience. We cannot come to God and say, “See, we did our part in the ceremony, so we’re covered, right?” No. Our consciences are clean because, in baptism, God united us to Christ in His death and raised us with Him in His resurrection (Romans 6:1-11, Colossians 2:12). It’s no mere bath, but an act of God where He drowns our sinful nature and raises a new person from the dead. So, Peter can promise you today, baptism saves you... through the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

+PRAYER+
Father, I praise you that I am baptized into your Son Jesus Christ. Help me to daily return to my baptism by drowning my sinful nature. Raise me to live as your child, day by day. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *

Pastor Bob

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email