Sola BlogView All Posts >>

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles part 110

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's lesson. 

Ephesians 5:25–27

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

Part III, Article V. Of Baptism.

Baptism is nothing else than the Word of God in water, commanded by his institution, or, as Paul says, a washing in the Word. Augustine also says, “Let the Word come to the element and it becomes a Sacrament.” That is why we do not agree with Thomas and the Dominicans who forget the Word (God’s institution) and claim that God has imparted to the water a spiritual power that washes away sin with the water. Nor do we agree with Scotus and the Franciscans who teach that, by the assistance of the divine will, baptism washes away sins only by the will of God, instead of through the Word and the water.

Pulling It Together

The Church is made holy — completely so and without a single stain — because God says so in his Word. This is what we believe through faith in Christ. This washing is done without mystery or human explanation, by the simple agency of water and what God has spoken. It does not need our reason to make it so; it demands our faith alone. It is the power of God’s Word joined with the water and met with faith that makes baptism a holying agent. This trust in what God says clothes the Church in a glorious gown of righteousness not her own (Phil 3:9) — a righteousness unveiled in the water and the Word through faith in Christ.

Prayer: Give me such faith, O Lord, to live in your righteousness. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

One For All is a nine-session Bible study explores the center of the Christian faith by focusing on the unique and exclusive promise of Jesus. It examines not only the claims that Christ made about himself in Scripture, but the claim that the Lord makes on our lives as well. By focusing on the Gospel message of salvation in Christ alone, the study seeks to show how God makes us a part of His mission to the whole world, and how "the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all."


Click Here For Content Archives