Matthew 9:1-8 - Trinity XIX - October 6, 2013
How Can Faith Do Such Great Thing?Baptism saves. That little girl just received the forgiveness of all her sins. In that font right there she was forgiven the original sin, which she inherited through me, her earthly father; at the same time she was forgiven whatever other sin she might have committed since the moment she was conceived. Now, of course, only God could possibly be a witness to these things—either to her sinful nature or any actual sins. She’s just a baby. She’s a sinner for sure – yeah – but certainly I haven’t seen it. We know it’s true, however, not because we see it, but because God says it. For now it remains an article of faith that such a sweet little child made of sugar and spice could in reality be a poor wretched sinner in need of God’s mercy.
But, you know, in good time it will hardly take faith to admit it. Before we know it, she’ll be acting like her older sisters, who, although very sweet, from time to time blatantly disobey us and exhibit a selfishness that is unmistakably sin. Before the eyes of her parents and those around her, maybe even before you, she will prove her need for what she already needs and what each one of us continues to need today: it is the need for a Savior. And in Baptism, that’s what we get. Right there, God delivered little Sophia Dorothy from real enemies – from our enemies – from death and from the power of the devil – by washing her sin away. To her, and to all who believe this, God gives eternal salvation through water and the word. How do we know this? Well how do we know anything? God says it. The word and promises of God declare it: “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Baptism saves.