The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
Jesus was baptized
in the Jordan River.
Mark (1:9-11), and
Luke (3:21-22) each
tell the story of His
Read each of these stories, then answer these questions:
What encouraging Word did God
the Father give Jesus as Jesus
began His ministry?
What encouraging touch did the
Holy Spirit give Him?
What was the very next thing that
happened to Jesus?
Although Jesus faced
every temptation we face,
and took our sins to the
cross, his temptation right
after His Baptism shows
us that the Christian life
may not be easy for us -
but we still have the
encouraging Word of the
Father and the
encouraging touch of the
Spirit like he did.
What is a
In the Lutheran Church we have two
Sacraments – Baptism and Holy Communion. We
define “Sacrament” as an activity of God upon a
believer, that has three parts:
It offers and even works the forgiveness of sins
in a person
It has been commanded by God
There is something physical or visible to involve
our senses – water in Baptism, bread and wine in
What does the word "baptize"
“Baptize” is a Greek word that means “to wash.”
In Jesus’ day, people “baptized” cups and bowls and plates and chairs and
couches and beds.
John the Baptist baptized people to show that they were repenting their sins.
Why do we baptize people?
We baptize people because Jesus commanded us to do it (Matthew 28:18-20)
Who can perform the Sacrament of
Any Christian can baptize someone, but as
members of the Church we give that responsibility
to the Pastor. We do that at Christ the King for
It shows that Baptism belongs to the whole
We get to celebrate each baptism as the
community of God’s people together.
We can have “official records” of who is baptized,
so that if someone doubts whether they believe or
not we can say “but you were baptized on that date,
here at this church, and we were all witnesses.”
Why do Lutherans baptize babies?
Go on over to the Christ the King website at http://www.christthekinglodi.
org/holy-baptism.html to see a list of reasons that Lutherans baptize babies. At
the end of that section should be a list of Bible passages where this list is taken
This is a picture of a baby being
baptized by immersion in an Orthodox
Church. For Lutherans, this is an
acceptable but uncommon way to
baptize people. Lutherans usually
baptize people by sprinkling water on
God promise in
He promises to give three things to the
(1) The complete forgiveness of all sins.
This forgiveness includes
sins of the past
sins of the present
the promise of forgiveness for sins of
all the sins we know about
all the sins we don’t know about or
and the general “infection” of sin every
human being is born with
(2) Salvation from death and the Devil so
We know that the Devil really has no
power over us, and
(3) Because Jesus rose from the dead, we
will also rise from the dead – BUT NOT LIKE
ZOMBIES! We will rise from the dead and
We will live with Him forever in heaven!
Is Baptism necessary for salvation?
Yes! If you’d like to be sure
that you are saved,
Baptism is the way to go. It
is the act of God to give
you the forgiveness of sins,
salvation, and eternal life.
If there is a point in your life
where you aren’t sure of
your salvation, or even if
God forgives you, you can
look at your Baptism and
say “But I have been
Baptized, and God has
Is it possible for an
unbaptized person to be
Yes, but that’s up to God, not us.
The thief dying on the cross next to Jesus in the picture above came to repent
and ask Jesus to remember him when Jesus came into His kingdom; Jesus
said “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” We assume the thief did not have
the chance to be baptized.
But this is like a rule at school. When the principal makes a rule, it’s the
principal who enforces it and, more importantly, decides when to bend it.
Students can only keep or break rules - they can't bend them.
It’s a similar way with us, God, and Holy Baptism. Jesus has told us to go and
baptize, and that’s the rule we have to follow. It’s not up to us – it’s only up to
Him! – to bend the rule sometimes.
But since we know He’s merciful and loving, sometimes we pray that He will
bend the rule for someone who hasn't had the opportunity to be baptized, and
save them anyway.
Is Baptism a visible testimony of
the faith of the person being
It is when an older teenager or adult is being
baptized. We basically say to them, “Are you
saying now that you are Christian? Then show
us that you mean it by being baptized!”
But infants and smaller children aren’t able to
do that. Instead, parents and sponsors
(godparents) bring them to Holy Baptism
because it is the parents and sponsors who
believe in the forgiveness, salvation and
eternal life that God will be giving the baby in
What does Baptism symbolize?
When a person is physically born, water (amniotic
fluid) comes out from the mother’s womb with the
baby. Because water is involved in Baptism, the
Sacrament symbolizes a new birth for the person
Because Jesus was also baptized, our Baptism
links us to Him through His Baptism, and we are
then linked to everything He ever did for us –
including His Resurrection from the dead. So
Baptism also is a symbol that we should live a
“new life,” one that’s completely different than
before we were baptized.
Of course, we need someone to teach us how to
do that, so we pray for the help of the Holy Spirit,
and parents, sponsors and the whole Church to
Is Baptism a
Nope. It’s like planting a seed in a flower pot. It’s the first step. If you don’t
plant the seed you can’t expect a flower; but even if you plant the seed in
Miracle-Gro it will never grow if you don’t water it, give it some light, keep it
warm, and so forth. So you can baptize a person but never teach them to pray,
or bring them to church or Sunday School or Bible class or teach them to follow
Jesus, you can’t expect their faith to grow, either.
What about Sponsors or
When an infant or child is baptized, water is
poured on them and the promises of Jesus
are spoken. In addition, the Church asks
questions about their faith. Because babies
cannot speak for themselves, and children
don't understand the questions, their parents
may ask close Christian friends to "stand in"
for the child to answer those questions for
them. Later on in life these Sponsors should
be praying fo the child, making sure they
come to church and Sunday School, and
generally encouraging their growth in the
What is Confirmation?
When a child is baptized, certain
questions about the Christian faith are
asked that they don't know the
answers to yet. Their sponsors
answer for them.
Eventually they become old enough to
learn about the Christian faith and
how to answer the questions
themselves. They do this in the
ceremony of Confirmation. This
worship service looks the same as the
Baptism service, but without the
The time spent preparing for this
worship service is called "Confirmation
Instruction" or "Confirmation Classes"
or just plain "Confirmation."
What actually happens at a
See for yourself by watching the video on