Volume 57 of Luther’s Works presents sermons by Martin Luther from the 1530s. During this period, much of the reformer’s preaching was topical, addressing key points of doctrine in response to internal and external challenges to the evangelical presentation of the Gospel. In January and February 1534, Luther preached a series of sermons on Baptism, which it is believed Caspar Cruciger (1504–48) later edited for publication. The following excerpt comes from the sermon of February 2, 1534 and addresses how Baptism does have, and must have, a real effect on the lives of Christians, as they live as members of the Body of Christ and exhibit the fruit of Baptism. [Read more…] about Luther on Baptism and the New Life in Christ
The following excerpt from Luther’s 1526 Trinity Sunday sermon provides the reformer’s commentary on the new birth Christians receive through water and the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. For the complete sermon, see Volume 78 of the American Edition of Luther’s Works.
We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest volume in the Concordia Commentary series: John 1:1–7:1 by William Weinrich. In the meantime, we’ve provided an excerpt below to give you a preview of Dr. Weinrich’s discussion on John 3:3.
“Unless One Is Begotten from Above, He Is Not Able to See the Kingdom of God” (Jn 3:3)
In his reply to Nicodemus Jesus confronts the Pharisee with the necessity of partaking in the Baptism of Jesus if one is to “see” the kingdom of God (Jn 3:3). At his Baptism the Spirit of God came down, “descending” (καταβαῖνον), that is, from above, and rested upon him (Jn 1:32). This event was “seen” by John the Baptist (τεθέαμαι, Jn 1:32; see also ἴδῃς, Jn 1:33), and this seeing brought John to recognition and confession: “This one is the Son of God” (Jn 1:34). This is the background for the response of Jesus to Nicodemus (Jn 3:3). [Read more…] about Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
The Church from Age to Age examines key historic events from the time of the apostles through today. Informative and clearly written, readers of all ages will find the answers to the who, why, and how behind the current state of Christianity the world over. The following excerpt discusses some of the reforms that occurred in the Church as a result of Martin Luther’s teaching. [Read more…] about Martin Luther and Reform
Because we’ve just celebrated the Baptism of our Lord, we thought it appropriate to offer an excerpt from Infant Baptism in Nineteenth Century Lutheran Theology. In his endorsement of the book, Dr. Martin Conkling, Associate Professor of Theology at Concordia College—New York, wrote, “Luther wanted Christians to have no doubt that in their baptisms, God had made them his own, and this faith, received at baptism, was to be exercised each day in repentance and trust. Dr. Scaer shows how that confident confession was eroded by a fragmented modern understanding of the individual and a resulting defective theology. This book uncovers the errors, faulty logic, and inconsistencies among 19th century theologians and serves to restore the confidence in baptismal faith as the Lutheran Confessions attest.” [Read more…] about Faith and Infant Baptism