The sacrament of Holy Baptism is a sacred ritual during which water, connected to God's word, is used as a sign of cleansing, dying, and new birth. Baptism is a "holy moment" in the life of the individual being baptized as well as the community of faith where the individual has found a spiritual home. It is the beginning of a lifelong commitment.
Temple Lutheran Church teaches and practices the following principles about Holy Baptism:
- Holy Baptism is for all ages, reflecting God grace for all.
- Holy Baptism takes place during a gathering of the congregation. This affirms that Holy Baptism is a public event in which we become a member of the universal church as well as a member of a particular congregation.
- Holy Baptism is only needed once, but is affirmed throughout life.
- Holy Baptism is a lifelong commitment. This commitment includes participating in God's work in the world, reading scripture, prayer, and consistent participation in a community of faith.
Holy Baptism is celebrated during a regularly-scheduled worship service. It is expected that persons being baptized (and, for children, their parents) will consistently participate in the life of Temple Lutheran Church or another community of faith both before and after the baptism is celebrated. Persons being baptized (and/or parents) will meet with a pastor or congregation member to prayerfully prepare for Holy Baptism. Inquiries regarding Holy Baptism can be directed to the offices of Temple Lutheran Church.
Downloadable Baptism Resources
Reflections for Parents
Reflections for Sponsors/Godparents
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
From The Small Catechism as written by Martin Luther
What is Baptism? Baptism is not just plain water, but water used by God's command and connected with God's Word. What then is this Word of God? Jesus Christ our Lord says in Matthew 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!"
The Blessings of Baptism What does Baptism do for us? Baptism brings about forgiveness of sins, redeems from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the Word and promise of God declare. What is this Word and promise of God? Our Lord Jesus Christ says in Mark 16:16, "The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned."
The Power of Baptism How can water do such great things? Clearly the water does not do it, but the Word of God, which is with, in and among the water, and faith, which trusts this Word of God in the water. For without the Word of God the water is just plain water and not baptism. But with the Word of God it is baptism, that is, a grace-filled water of life and a "bath of the new birth in the Holy Spirit." As St. Paul says in Titus 3:5-8, "God saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done,but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is most certainly true."
The Meaning of Baptism for Our Daily Life What then is the significance of such a baptism with water? Baptism means that the old person in us with all sins and evil desires is to be drowned through daily sorrow for sin and repentance, and that daily a new person is to come forth and rise up to live before God in righteousness and purity forever. Where is this written? St. Paul says in Romans 6:3-4, "Do you not know that all of us who have been partied into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with Christ through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." Recommended Bible reading: Matthew 28:16-20