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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Therefore it is necessary for contrite persons to apprehend by faith the promise that sins are remitted for Christ’s sake, and to be confident that freely for Christ’s sake they have a reconciled Father. This is the meaning of Paul where he says, “That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed” (Rom 4:16). And, “But the Scripture consigned all things to sin, that what was promised to faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe” (Gal 3:22). In other words, all are under sin and can not be freed except by faith laying hold of the promise of the forgiveness of sins.
Pulling It Together: The law incarcerates; it does not free. Only faith in Christ frees us from captivity to sin and death. Yet thank God for the law, for without its accusations, we would never know our need for salvation and God’s grace. If there is only the law, however, we would know our need but have no solution. For without faith, our cell will stay locked up tightly and there will be no hope for release.
Then we hear the promise of remission of sins and deliverance from this prison. When we believe, faith takes hold of the key who is Christ Jesus, and discovers freedom and forgiveness. Having then been justified by faith in Christ, our cell is unlocked and we are set free from sin, death, and the devil. The law can no longer restrain us, so long as we keep our faith in the promise of the forgiveness of sins.
Prayer: Help me to remember, Father, that I am baptized into the death of your Son, and have been freed to live a new life by faith in the same Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Views of Baptism is written for a range of readers including the parent or sponsor about to baptize a child, the adult who wants to understand baptism more fully, and the professional teacher or preacher who needs the truth about baptism stated simply but backed by careful research. This books explores three views of baptism: the individual-centered view, the means-of-grace view, and the Roman Catholic view. It includes a description of how Christian baptism came to us in stages from its Jewish roots. A question and answer section addresses specific matters often raised when people contemplate baptism.