#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Lord Of The Torah Who Gives His Flesh To Eat


#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Lord Of The Torah Who Gives His Flesh To Eat

John 6:41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said,  “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say,  ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43Jesus answered them,  “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

 

When the Lord delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians they often grumbled against the Lord. Now in chapter sixth of John they are grumbling against the same Lord. They were grumbling against him because he said he was the bread that came down from heaven. They thought they knew Jesus, who he was and where he was from, but they did not. For while Jesus is certainly man, he is also the Lord, the living God of Israel.

 

He came down from heaven to teach his people. So that the word of the prophet would be fulfilled, “And they will be taught by God.” Even though he knew they would grumble against him and not believe him, he deigned to teach them anyway. Jesus admonishes them not to grumble. These ones, at least at this point, were not drawn by the Father to come to Jesus. There’s that come to phrase again. To the ‘come to’ we add the ‘drawn by’ phrase. Now Jesus ties himself to the Old Testament and to the Father for they are one. If you claim to believe in God the Father and you listen to the Father, then you must listen to Jesus. If you reject Jesus and his word then you never listened or believed what the Father revealed in the Old Testament.

Now Jesus adds one more phrase to the mix though it is just a word, eat. Jesus says whoever believes has eternal life in v. 47 and he then adds that as he is the bread of life whoever eats this bread may have eternal life. So now to eat Jesus is to believe Jesus. Jesus offers up his flesh for the world. His offering his flesh and his blood is his sacrifice upon the cross. His sacrifice is as John the Baptist proclaimed in the beginning of John he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Just as in the Torah, any sacrifice must be accompanied by faith in the promise the Lord attached to the sacrifice.

 

So now in John we have ‘labor for,’ ‘come to,’ ‘looks to,’ ‘drawn by,’ and ‘eats my’ being equated to believing in Jesus. To believe Jesus is to do all these things. If say you believe the Lord of the Torah, then you must also believe that Jesus is the Lord of the Torah in the flesh to offer himself up as a sacrifice for the sin of the world, for your sin. He calls you to trust in him and in his promise so that you may, when you are raised from the dead, have eternal life.

 

Heavenly Father, draw us to Jesus that we may believe in him, come to him, look to him, and eats his flesh that we may have eternal life and be raised on the Last Day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Do You Trust In Jesus Just For This Life Or For Eternal Life?


#DailyDevotion Do You Trust In Jesus Just For This Life Or For Eternal Life?

John 6: 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

 

In the previous Gospel lesson the work of God was to believe in one whom God had sent. That work is to believe. Now Jesus introduces another term “come to me.” When you come to Jesus you will not hunger. Coming to Jesus is paralleled by “believes in me.” To come to Jesus is to believe in Jesus that is to trust Jesus. Now who will come to Jesus? Only those who are given to Jesus by the Father. Those whom the Father gives to Jesus, Jesus gives himself to as the bread of life. Now such people Jesus will never cast out. The Father draws us to Jesus through the proclamation of forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life in Jesus. We know he has drawn us when he puts his name on us in baptism. Just like when we went to camp as kids or going off to school and we put our name on those objects that belong to us, Jesus puts his name on all those the Father has given to him.

 

Now as we come to Jesus, Jesus has come down from heaven for us. He came to do the will of the Father, to be the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He promises us that all those given to him by the Father he will never lose but will raise them up to eternal life on the last day. Now how do you know you are such a one? Are you baptized? Do you gather together with his body the Church to hear his Word and receive his sacraments? Such ones can be certain they indeed are those given to Christ. They are where Christ promised to be and where he promises to preserve us in the faith unto life everlasting.

 

Now we come to another phrase, “looks on the Son.” Looking on the Son is the same as believing on the Son namely Jesus Christ. Jesus said in chapter 3 he will be lifted up as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent. As those who looked upon the bronze serpent and lived, those who look to Jesus Christ and him crucified will be saved as well. To look on Jesus is to believe he was the sacrificial lamb of God who has taken your sin away and reconciled you to God the Father. To those who loon on Jesus, i.e. believe in what Jesus has done for them, Jesus promises he will raise them up on the last day to eternal life.

 

So now we have “labor for,” “come to” and “look on” Jesus all refer to believing in Jesus, trusting in him for eternal life on the day of the resurrection. This gift of eternal life last forever. It does not fade, rust, decay or in any spoiled and it last forever. Yet many people will turn their back on Jesus if they don’t get their way today, if God doesn’t answer their prayers exactly how they want him to.  They hope is for this life only and they are most to be pitied. But we endure all things for the prize that is eternal kept safe for us in heaven.

 

Heavenly Father, draw us to your Son Jesus Christ that we may believe in him and preserve in this faith unto life everlasting through your Word and Sacraments. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion You Are Part Of A Body To Live In It


#DailyDevotion You Are Part Of A Body To Live In It

Eph. 4:14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

 

It is a shame that so many people don’t respect their pastor. They read every crock-pot book some charlatan is hawking on his tv show and send a tithe to that guy but they do not spend an hour a week in bible study with their pastor and they give their church the same 2 bucks they’ve been giving since Sunday School. As a result of not sitting at their pastor’s feet, the one whom Jesus has given them as a gift they go about tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Of course pastors have a duty to teach the pure teaching of Christ so that the saints of God are built up so they may recognize when someone is teaching them falsely as well.

 

But as it is, the Church teaches one doctrine with many articles which point us to Christ. It teaches God’s law so we may repent of our sins and the Gospel of Christ, the free forgiveness of sins we have in Christ so we may be renewed. It proclaims the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit who created us, redeemed us and sanctifies us.

 

Through the pastor’s instruction and proclamation of Christ we are built up in Christ and strengthened in him. Having received instruction by Christ through the pastor we are to speak that truth in love to one another and to build one another up in love in Christ. We will grow in every way into Christ who is the head of the body of the Church.

 

The Holy Spirit working through the word and sacraments holds the whole Church together. Each part of the body of Christ is equipped and placed into its proper place in the Church when each of us uses the talents and abilities for the sake of the Church namely in service to our fellow believers. Too often we may perhaps use what God has given us for ourselves, our family and maybe even the community—and we should. However oftentimes we forget about our congregation. How can I use what God has given me to help the people of my congregation. This is your eternal family, the people you are spending all eternity with. When we remember that Church just isn’t an hour on Sunday morning and maybe perhaps a Wednesday evening but rather it is an organism that does a lot of stuff to prepare for those hours everyone is there. We should ask ourselves what we can do to show love to the people Christ has gathered there and then do it. For Christ has called you out of the world to be part of his body. He has served you with his body and blood on the cross and gives it and its benefits to you as the congregation meets. He gives us response to that to serve one another in love.

 

Precious Christ and Savior, you have sent men to teach us your word, proclaim your salvation and to build us up in love. Grant us faith and your Holy Spirit  so we may treasure your gifts and use them in love to build up our fellow Christians. In your name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion We Are Given Salvation Unmerited But We Have Been Called To Live Holy


#DailyDevotion We Are Given Salvation Unmerited But We Have Been Called To Live Holy

Eph. 4:17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

 

You have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, freely, without works or any merit of your own. Your salvation is completely God’s work. But you haven’t been saved to continue your past life outside of God. Paul gives some understanding of that past life. It was one of futility of mind. Our minds were darkened in understanding. We were ignorant of God’s will for us due to the hardness of our hearts. That is we did what we wanted to do no matter what, even against conscience till even our conscience couldn’t recognize the wrong we did.

 

In our lives outside of the life of God, we were callous to our spiritual calling. We gave, gave ourselves to sensuality and were greedy to practice every kind of impurity. Those who have suffered the torments of addiction probably realize this the most. They start with a number of decisions we know aren’t good but make us happy, fulfilled in some sense, make us feel normal even, and then they take over. Christians can find themselves even being deceived and starting out on a path that isn’t ultimately good for us because we justify some behavior as fulfilling our happiness or some other perceived need. We may ignore the Spirit’s prompting and do the behavior anyway and then we find ourselves trapped in it. It becomes our idol and we harden ourselves against the will of God.

 

But you haven’t been saved to practice immorality—sexual, greed, drunkenness, anger, selfishness, gluttony, hate, unforgiving, unmerciful and the like. This is not what we learned in Christ. Christ forgives us but also tells us to sin no more. He calls us to put off the old self which corrupt through deceitful desires. If you have been a Christian your whole life but have adopted the patterns of selfishness and self-centeredness, if your happiness is what matters most, if you have picked up resentments, hardened yourself to those who need mercy, you may need to go to confession and drop those unchristian ways at the altar and receive Christ again or hear the words of his unselfish, you centered words of mercy from the pastor’s lips.

 

We continually need to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. We never reach perfection in this life but we are called to reach for it. We daily need to put on Christ who is our new self. We put on his mercy, kindness, love and forgiveness that we may be Christ to those we encounter today. We are created now after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. This likeness to God starts with faith in his love to us in Christ and then extends that love to others. It starts with forgiving others as God in Christ forgave us. It continues with love and mercy to our enemies because that is what God has shown us and given to us.

 

Gracious and Merciful God, grant us faith to turn from the ways of the world and to clothe ourselves with the life of Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion When You Despair Of Yourself The Lord’s Word Will Strengthen You


#DailyDevotion When You Despair Of Yourself The Lord’s Word Will Strengthen You

1 Kings 19: 1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree.

 

You would probably think this is strange or at least you should. Elijah had just called upon the Lord to answer his prayer for the sacrifice and the Lord had answered. Elijah had all the false prophets of Baal killed as was right in Israel. And now with the threat of the queen he is afraid for his life. How is that?

 

Elijah ran for his life and went into the wilderness. After about a day he takes rest and tells the Lord that he is ready to die for he isn’t any better than his fathers. How can this be? He just called down fire from the sky (or rather the Lord heard his prayer). Why is he afraid of this little queen’s threat? Did he forget who is God the Lord? Did he forget the Lord was with him? It sure seems so.

 

Yet before we start harping on Elijah, how often have we done the same thing? How often have we had some great victory with the Lord’s help and then with the next moment some other struggle comes along and threatens us. Then we cower under the new threat.  How is that? Did we forget who is the Lord our God? Did we forget the Lord Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of God is for us and with us? We, yes, just as much as the prophet Elijah did.

 

The Lord though did not give up on Elijah and he will not give up on you. He might not send you some angelic being to help you but he will send you a messenger with a word of comfort and strength. It could be your pastor or a fellow congregation member. It could be a member of your family or some other Christian. But the Lord will never abandon you or forsake you. Even if no one ever comes, he has given you the Holy Spirit who will remind you of his promises and will strengthen you. Don’t beat up on yourselves too badly when you find you are weak. God’s power is made perfect in weakness. When we cease relying on our own power and strength then we are more open to relying on God’s.

 

Heavenly Father, in the midst of all our trials and tribulations ever remind us of your promises and send forth your people to speak your good word to us. In  Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Gives Us The Bread From Heaven That Gives Eternal Life


#DailyDevotion Jesus Gives Us The Bread From Heaven That Gives Eternal Life

John 6:25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them,  “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

 

In the Gospel of John, unlike the other Gospels, Jesus does signs so the Jews may come to believe he is their Messiah. The crowd had been part of a sign, the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. Yet they come to Jesus on the other side of the sea not because they believed the sign but because they want another free lunch.

 

Jesus tries to awaken them from this spiritual stupor by telling to make it a priority, to work for,  to have the food that endures to eternal life. Well that sounds kind of good, well at least it gets their attention for a moment. He tells them the Son of Man (who happens to be Jesus) will give it to them. Jesus is fulfilling the word of the prophet Isaiah: Isa 55:1-7 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  (2)  Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.  (3)  Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.  (4)  Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.  (5)  Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.  (6)  “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;  (7)  let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

 

The Father has placed his seal on Jesus. He is the witness to the peoples, the leader and commander of peoples. The people wanted to know what the works of God were to do receive this bread. This is the work of God, to believe in the one whom the Father has sent. Believing in Jesus is coming to him. To trust Jesus is to eat and drink wine, milk, waters, bread without cost. Coming to Jesus, believing and trusting in Jesus gives life to our souls. He gives eternal life to all who come in faith. He has compassion and abundantly pardons who listen to him. Listening to Jesus and believing what he says is eating his flesh and drinking his blood. Jesus is the covenant in whom the Father shows his steadfast sure love for David, Israel and the world. He gave his life for us all in sacrificing his flesh and blood upon the cross.

 

Almighty God and Father, you sent your Son Jesus into the world that the world might believe on him and have eternal life. Grant us faith that we may feed on his word daily that we may eat of the heavenly bread unto eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Pastors Are A Gift From Jesus


#DailyDevotion Pastors Are A Gift From Jesus

Eph. 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

 

Pastors are a gift from God. They are sent from on high by Jesus. As they preach and teach the truth of Jesus. Paul says elsewhere, Rom 10:14-15 “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  (15)  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

 

These gifts of Christ are sent to equip God’s saints (that means you) for the work of ministry, that is service to your neighbor, works of mercy and kindness. For they preach and teach the mercy and kindness of God in Christ towards you who don’t deserve it. We who have received it are called to do likewise.

 

They are to build up the body of Christ. In what manner? Paul lists several things: unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, mature manhood i.e. the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, and steadfastness. While we certainly have a duty to make sure the pastor preaches and teaches the pure word of God, we also should submit to his teaching unless we have a reason to believe otherwise. Then we are to act in accordance with that preaching and teaching. We are to use that teaching to teach and correct others so they too may be united with us in the unity of faith.

 

As we are taught the truth of Christ the Holy Spirit uses that Word to help us grow in Christ. He intends for us to conform to his image and likeness in righteousness, holiness and knowledge. This word Christ preaches through his pastors makes us participants, communicants in the divine nature. We are going to bear the weight of eternal glory one day and the Word Christ gives us through them helps us to endure and grow until that time.

 

The word they preach helps to give us solid ground upon which to stand if that word is Jesus our Rock, Foundation and Cornerstone. As we meditate upon the truth they preach in Christ’s name and we put it into practice when false teaching comes our way we will be able to recognize it and dismiss it. The love of Christ we experience in his word helps us to share the truth of that love with love and gentleness with those who are erring. In that pure word we are built up and build one another up in Christ.

 

Heavenly Father, continually send us pastors from your Son, and grant them faithfulness that we may be built up into the unity of Christ to give glory unto him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Has Given You Peculiar Gifts To Serve One Another


#DailyDevotion Jesus Has Given You Peculiar Gifts To Serve One Another

Eph. 4:7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

 

Perhaps it is from worrying about giving the wrong impression about getting into heaven by works or maybe it’s a matter of human jealousy or perhaps a combination of the two that gets Christians thinking that we all have the same amount of faith and/or grace as all other Christians but that simply isn’t the case as Scripture clearly teaches otherwise. Now it is true that there is no particular measure of faith or grace needed to be saved. How much faith or grace do you need to be saved? Well you need faith in Jesus and the grace to have that faith. There is no measurement.

 

But now Paul says “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Each Christian being a distinct member of the body of Christ is given a measure of grace to accomplish what Christ desires for you to do as a member of his body. We don’t all get the same gifts nor the same measure of any particular gift.

Paul is fairly clear here: Rom 12:3-8 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.  (4)  For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,  (5)  so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  (6)  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;  (7)  if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;  (8)  the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

Now he has given us these gifts as he ascended into heaven to the right hand of God. Like the Lord who goes on a journey and gives 5 years worth of salary to one servant, 2 years worth to another and 1 years worth to another and tells them to go do business with it, our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a measure of faith, a measure of grace to use in serving one another and our neighbor. So the only question then is are we using the gifts given us to serve our neighbor?

 

Now remember the Lord who has given us these gifts is the Lord who originated in the heavens above, descended to us in our flesh to win salvation for us and ascended back into heaven and fills all creation. He is with us always and exercises his power on our behalf, on behalf of the Church. Instead of fearing of using our gifts because of the fear of failure step forth boldly to use the gifts he has given you knowing he is with you and for you in the use of them and will accomplish through you what he intends to accomplish.

 

Gracious God and Father, your son Jesus Christ has poured out upon us the gifts of your grace and faith that we might serve our neighbor and give glory unto Christ. Remove the fears from our hearts that keep us from doing this and replace it with love for you and for our neighbor that we may serve them and give glory to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion God Is One And The Church Is One


#DailyDevotion God Is One And The Church Is One

Eph. 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

 

Well that’s a lot of ones but all put together they all equal one. There is only one body, that is one holy, catholic, apostolic Church. The true church has no divisions, private interpretations, different interpretations and it is an article of faith. That is to say you can’t prove the Church though you can recognize its presence by the proclamation of the Gospel, namely Jesus is the only savior of mankind, he has won salvation for all men, and he gives this salvation away freely to all who would trust in him alone. You know its presence by the confession there is only one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each person God and Lord and each person distinct from the other yet there is only one God.  This Church exist in the hearts of men and can only be seen for certain in the presence of God.

There is only one Spirit which confesses in this one Church that Jesus Christ is Lord. The Holy Spirit proclaims through the Church that Jesus is the Lord, born of  woman, who is the same Lord who created the heavens and the earth, formed man, delivered Noah, was friends with Abraham, delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians and brought them to the Promised Land.

 

There is only one hope, Jesus Christ who died for our sins, who is our redemption, ransom, atonement, and sanctification. He, the Father, and the Spirit are one Lord and God, as Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” Not just one in will and purpose but one in essence and substance as well.

 

There is only one faith. God did not give us many faiths. Narrow is the way to eternal life and broad is the way to destruction. There is no division in the faith. There is no you can believe whatever you want to believe. What the Scriptures say is what we are given to say. We are to give our Amen to the Word and go neither to the left or to the right, to add or to subtract.

 

There is only one baptism. We are called only to be baptized once for the repentance and forgiveness of our sins. We are not called to keep going back and being baptized because we didn’t think the first one took. We are baptized just once into Christ Jesus, his life, death and resurrection through water and the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Should we sin, we remember our baptism, we repent, confess our sins and receive absolution. We come to the Lord’s Table where he gives us his body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.

 

There is only one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. The Father is the head and source of all, even the Son and Holy Spirit from all eternity, the Son eternally begotten, the Spirit eternally proceeding. He has made us to be his children and gives himself to all who would trust in his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as our inheritance. He has made us to be one with him in Christ. He made us so that we would be one in Christ in him, even as Christ, the Father and Son are one with one another. All this is the gift of God.

 

Heavenly Father, grant us faith and the Holy Spirit that we may be one with you , confess the one faith and be one with one another in love now and in the world to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.