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1 Peter 3:18–22
From the Confessions: The Chief Articles of Faith in the Augsburg Confession
Of Baptism they teach that it is necessary to salvation, and that through Baptism is offered the grace of God, and that children are to be baptized who, being offered to God through Baptism are received into God's grace.
They condemn the Anabaptists, who reject the baptism of children, and say that children are saved without Baptism.
Pulling It Together
Lutherans confess that baptism is “necessary for salvation.” Because Johann Eck, a German defender of Roman Catholicism, tried to lump Lutherans in with more radical players in the Reformation such as the Anabaptists who did not believe in the baptism of children, Melancthon asserted that Lutherans also believed children were to be recipients of God's grace along with adults. As there is no way to receive God's grace without baptism, strictly speaking from Scripture, they condemned the idea that children—or anyone else—received grace without baptism.
This is the thrust behind the doctrine of the baptism of children. Just as Scripture does not give an example of children being baptized (outside of entire households being baptized and that in such cases children may have been included [Acts 16:33]), there is no teaching against it. There is teaching however, to baptize and that baptism saves (1Pet 3:21). So, we confess what the Scripture does say: baptism is needful for salvation.
Prayer: Thank you, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for saving me according to your mercy. Amen.
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 book 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.
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