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It is not a mere “ritual” or “symbol,” but a powerful means of grace by which God grants faith and the forgiveness of sins.
Return to Baptism FAQs | Return to main menu QUESTION: I believe I understand the LCMS position on Baptism although it seems to lead down a troublesome path.
Return to main menu QUESTION: Can you please clarify the Lutheran view of Baptism and its purpose? ANSWER: Lutherans believe that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by God’s grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. 18:6) and that new birth (regeneration) happens in Baptism (John 3:5-7; Titus 3:5-6).
The Bible tells us that such “faith comes by hearing” (Rom. Jesus Himself commands Baptism and tells us that Baptism is water used together with the Word of God (Matt. Because of this, we believe that Baptism is one of the miraculous means of grace (another is God’s Word as it is written or spoken), through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person’s heart (see Acts ; Acts ; 1 Peter ; Gal. The infant’s faith cannot yet, of course, be verbally expressed or articulated by the child, yet it is real and present all the same (see e.g., Acts -39; Luke ; 2 Tim. The faith of the infant, like the faith of adults, also needs to be fed and nurtured by God’s Word (Matt. Lutherans do not believe that only those baptized as infants receive faith.
The LCMS entrusts to individual pastors and congregations the responsibility of making decisions about finding ways to involve such people in the baptismal service (e.g., sometimes they are asked to serve as “witnesses” to the baptism).Luther goes to the heart of the foundational theological questions at issue over against errant understandings of Baptism present among those involved in the Anabaptist movement of his time.Perhaps we can make a couple of points that seem pertinent to the issue(s) you have raised. It is no less a miracle of God's grace at work that an adult should believe by hearing the words of the Gospel, than that an infant should receive through Baptism the Spirit who creates the very faith by which one receives incorporation into Christ (Rom.If indeed the prooftexts of baptismal regeneration do actually refer to salvation, it must only be for babies since adults would of necessity believe before being baptized.And if they do only speak of babies who do not have the capacity to believe, why don't these verses say so.