SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM:
AS IT IS MOST PLAINLY TO BE TAUGHT BY A FATHER TO HIS FAMILY.
What is Baptism?
Ans. – Baptism is not only simple water, but it is the water that is comprehended in God’s command, and connected with his word.
Which is that word of God?
Ans. – It is that which our blessed Savior declares in the last chapter of St. Matthew: “Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
What does Baptism confer or benefit?
Ans. – It effects the forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and confers everlasting salvation upon all who believe it, as the words and promises of God declare.
Which are those words and promises of God?
Ans. – Those words of our blessed Savior, recorded in the last chapter of St. Mark: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
How can water effect such great things?
Ans. – Indeed it is not the water that has such effect, but the word of God that is with and in the water, and the faith trusting such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is mere water, hence no baptism; but with the word of God it constitutes a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life, and a washing of regeneration, in the Holy Ghost; as St. Paul says, Tit. Chap. 3d: “According to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” This is most certainly true.
What does such baptizing with water signify?
Ans. – It signifies that the old man in us is to be drowned by daily sorrow and repentance, and die with all sins and evil lusts; so that daily there may come forth and arise a new man, for ever living before God in righteousness and purity.
Where is this written.
Ans. – St. Paul says, Rom. Chap. 6th, verse 4: “We are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”