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From the Word: At the time, all discipline seems miserable rather than joyous, but afterward it yields to those who have been trained by it a peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)
From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
“The Promise of Baptism”
What gifts or benefits does Baptism bring?
It brings about forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe, as the Word and promise of God declare.
What is this Word and promise of God?
It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Mark: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)
Pulling It Together: God’s discipline is a difficult thing, but the Father does not discipline us so severely that we die (Psa 118:18). His Son, however, was disciplined to the point of death for the sins the world. Therefore, when we were baptized into Christ, we were also buried with him into his death (Rom 6:3), thereby escaping the second death (Rev 20:6). Eternal death has no power over those who keep faith in Christ. Nonetheless, we do not escape the Father’s discipline.
Through the Father’s corrections, the Holy Spirit trains us for eternal glory (Rom 8:18). Divine discipline is also good for the present because it produces peace: “the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” This is not some personal righteousness, the yield of toughing it out. It is the righteousness of Christ Jesus produced in us through God’s discipline. His loving discipline calls us to look beyond ourselves to a righteousness not our own (Phil 3:9). Because Christ has given us his righteousness in baptism, the chastened spirit may look to God for help and find an abundant store at the foot of the cross. God’s discipline drives us to keep faith in Christ who is our forgiveness, deliverance, and certain peace in difficult times.
Prayer: Give me faith, Father, to know the peace of Christ. Amen.
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Learning the Apostles' Creed teaches the Apostles' Creed according to the pattern of Luther's Small Catechism, and is recommended for the Fourth Grade Level.