Pastor's Pen for 05/22/2018When Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him. (Matthew 3)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Heaven is opened by Christ Jesus. Here at the Baptismal font in the River Jordan. Jesus standing in the place of sinners. What do sinners deserve? Death. For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6)

From the banks of the Jordan – Jesus’ face is set resolutely on His journey to Calvary's Cross. Jesus paying your debt of sin. Jesus dying in the place of sinners. It is by the Blood of Jesus that heaven is open for you.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1) God the Father is well pleased with His Beloved Son. Jesus has come to bring you back to God. You are no longer separated from God by your sin because Jesus has made atonement for you. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 1)

Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11). Believing in Jesus you are pleasing to God. There is no other way to the Father except through the Son. The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus, crucified and risen, comes to you through the power of His Word. In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3)

In Holy Baptism heaven is open for you. God proclaims that He is well pleased with you. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1) Jesus WINS salvation for you. Jesus DELIVERS salvation to you in His Word.

You are the baptized Children of God. Washed clean in the flood of forgiveness at the font.

You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6) Heaven is open. Great boldness and confidence to live as the Children of God.

BUT what about my sin? The sins that continue to war against me? What about my struggles? Where do we turn? THE WORD OF GOD! Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7)

Return to your baptism. The flood of forgiveness never runs out. Your sinful nature does not take days off. As long as you live in the body the Old Adam is at war against your new life in Christ. What to do with sin? Kill it! Let your sins die at the bottom of the baptismal font. What comes forth from the waters? New Creation. Resurrection. Life lived by faith in Christ.

Luther says: (Baptism) indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sin and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever. (LS Baptism IV)

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (Romans 6) Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. (Mark 16) Heaven is open. Happy living as the Lord's Baptized Children. Repenting of your sins and believing in Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.