The new life of Baptism

The whole of September has been set aside to celebrate the Carnival of Flowers in Toowoomba, Queensland. The city becomes awash with the beauty of God’s creation. As I go for my daily walk, there certainly are some pretty flowers growing in people’s gardens! Some of the flowers give off a wonderful scent that makes me ask, “How did God come up with the idea to create plant life that produce such wonderful fragrances!”

The beauty of God’s creation reminds me of the glory given to us through our Baptism. Luther’s Small Catechism reminds us that Baptism “works the forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.” The Apostle Peter writes that Baptism now saves us (1 Peter 3:21).

Luther then goes on to say that being baptised with the water and the Word indicates that “the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.” In the waters of Baptism, we have been buried and raised with Christ. Therefore, we should continuously resist every impulse of the Old Adam until he is drowned one and for all when we die. At the same time, we should continually give free reign to the new man until he rises in final victory on the Last Day. The Apostle Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life i now live in the flesh i live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”