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What Your Baptism Does for You—
Your Most Precious Gift from God

If you make a trip to a part of the world known to have cholera, your physician or local health authorities will insist that you receive an inoculation against cholera before entering the cholera-infested country. This inoculation will do two things: First, it will greatly weaken or totally kill the cholera germs already in your body.

ONGOING PROTECTION

Second, your cholera inoculation will provide ongoing protection from new cholera germs that enter your body, infecting and potentially killing you.


After giving you the inoculation against cholera, your physician will give you a signed document like the one shown on below. This document will state when you received the inoculation, and who gave you the inoculation, indicating such by his signature. Thus, if you live in or plan to enter a cholera infested country, you can look at your certificate and have the medical community’s assurance that you are protected.

YOUR PRECIOUS BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATE!

Now, look at the baptismal certificate on the opposite page. Just as the cholera inoculation certificate gives you assurance that you are protected from the disease of cholera overcoming you and potentially killing you, so also the baptismal document gives similar assurance about your spiritual protection. When, through His appointed representatives, God baptizes you with His water and His Word, it would not be improper for you to say that you have been spiritually inoculated and given a medicine against the disease of the power of Sin and the devil.


Just as the cholera inoculation works to build up cholera antibodies in your bloodstream, in a somewhat similar way, through Baptism, God “unites” you to Jesus Christ. Thereby, Christ actually begins to live in you (John 14:23; 15:3–4; Galatians 2:20). At that moment, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit enter your spiritual bloodstream to protect you from the deadly power of spiritual cholera. “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4; John 14:23).


NOTE ALSO HOW THE HOLY SPIRIT PROVIDES A FURTHER KEY SALVATION TEACHING, one that is overlooked by some and totally rejected by others. After being “uni­ted” to Christ in God’s mi­racle of Baptism, then He, the Father, and the Son, all come to live within you (John 14: 17, 23). This is also why, after your Baptism, you can say with St Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Ga­latians 2:20).


Although some people may be made uncomfortable by referring to God’s living Word—especially in His miracle of Baptism —as a “medicine” against the disease of Sin, the following historical note needs to be made regarding the first Lutheran Christians. They often had their backs to the wall, facing martyrdom. Nevertheless, in their open statements of confession, often made in writing, these Christians spoke very clearly about the power of Sin as a spiritual disease, and of Jesus (“the living Word”), as God’s medicine to overcome this spiritual disease. The living Word is the key divine component in Baptism, Absolution, preaching, teaching, and Holy Communion.

DISPLAY THE TESTIMONY OF THOSE WHO WITNESSED WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU IN YOUR BAPTISM—AND HIS ONGOING PROTECTION!

It is also for this reason that, for centuries, Lutheran Christians have prominently displayed their baptismal certificates in their living rooms or bedrooms of their homes. GOOD NEWS encourages you to do the same. Just as you would treasure the certificate of your inoculation against cholera, and just as you would make sure you would never misplace or lose your cholera-inoculation document if you were in a cholera-infested country, so also it should be with your baptismal certificate. Why? Satan and the power of Sin are constantly seeking to enter you to destroy you. Therefore, your baptismal certificate, together with God’s promises, serves as a daily and hourly reminder of the protection that comes from Christ living in you. Even if you may have been only a few hours or days old at the time of your Baptism, the signature and testimony of those who witnessed the moment God baptized you, are witnesses you can trust, as Scripture declares: “On the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed” (Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 18:16). Cling daily to the blessed assurance He gives you through the testimony of the witnesses to what God has done for you in Baptism. Through God’s miracle of Baptism you are “united” to Christ (Romans 6:5). Jesus says that you are then attached to Him as closely as a branch is connected to a vine and the power of His Sin-defeating death and resurrection constantly flows into you. Sin can then no longer make you its slave (Romans 6:6–23). As the Spirit teaches: “Greater is He who is in you than he [Satan]who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).… 

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