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. (Matthew 3)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. HEAVEN is OPENED by Christ Jesus. 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 for ALL your sins. Jesus dying in the place of sinners. By the Blood of Jesus HEAVEN is OPEN.

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. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 1)

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 for you. 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 to you. God proclaims that He is well pleased with you. Baptism now saves you…through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3) 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.

He saved us…according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. (Titus 3)

HEAVEN is OPEN. You are precious to our Lord – He has gifted you JESUS.

BUT what about my sin? The sins that continue to war against me? Where do we turn? THE WORD OF GOD! Christ who lives in me. 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. (Gal. 2)

In Baptism the flood of forgiveness never runs out. Your Old Adam is at war against your new life in Christ. What to do with sin? Kill it! REPENT. What comes forth from the waters of BAPTISM? New Life. Resurrection Power. 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.

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 & believing in Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.