Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

A look into the mind of one of the most random, crazy people in all the land.

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Location: East Peoria, Illinois, United States

A Lutheran seminarian eagerly awaiting the return of Our Lord. Soli Deo Gloria!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

If I Had Been In That Water.....Dead!

Pastor: He is risen
Congregation: He is risen indeed......ALLELUIA

I'm back from Panama City Beach, Florida and what a trip it has been. What did I do? I spent time on a beach and in a resort both having fun, relaxing, and sharing the Good News of Christ. Since today is Easter I feel it somewhat necessary to hold off on writing blogs about girls and try to write one on theology and why Easter is so important to the Christian. The title of the post actually has something to do with what I'm talking about.

Think about it will you? The Sacraments of Holy Communion and Holy Baptism convey visible elements and divine action as two of the three Means of Grace (the other being the Holy Scriptures). In Holy Baptism the individual (perferrably infant ["let the little children come unto me - Matthew 10:13-16....remember, Holy Baptism is not a work of man, but a gift and work of God. Also, Holy Baptism is done to whole families - Acts 2:37-39- just as circumcision was done on children within seven days old in the Old Testament to bind them to the covenant of God's chosen people....a blessing] or as soon as possible for a new Christian) is baptized ("washed") with water and the Word of God. This signifies burial and in it God gives the individual forgiveness of sins and binds the benefits won by Christ. But many churches or individuals in different sects of Christianity usually get things wrong when discussing Holy Baptism. It is both a commandment and a gift of God. If one does not get baptized by water this does not mean they do not have salvation or forgiveness of sins, but it is a commandment of Christ and only God can know the individual's true stance towards His Word.

But putting the final acts of Jesus's earthly life into perspective with both of these Sacraments, several things are critically obvious. The Word of God provides the setting and central promises of God, namely that Christ is the main point of the Bible and that His sacrifice is what forgives us our sins through the gift of faith through Divine Grace. Through Holy Communion I profess Jesus's death (1 Cor. 11:23-29) and partake in eating the true Body and Blood of Christ in and with the bread and wine. Through Holy Baptism, I am brought to new life in Him and the water symbolizes the burial and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:1-4). Therefore Maundy Thursday/Good Friday are more in line with Holy Communion and Easter is in line with Holy Baptism.

A quick note: I believe that faith is a gift of God through Divine Grace. I believe that all mankind is equally without any spiritual gifts and as a result is dead to sin. I believe that conversion occurs through an individual hearing the Law and being convicted of eternal punishment. Upon hearing of said punishment the individual hears the Gospel message of salvation and through the power of the Holy Spirit faith is imparted to the individual. However, I do not believe in double predestination or the limited grace (limited atonement) of Calvinists, nor do I believe in the power of man to choose with the Spirit salvation (Arminianism) as both are in contradiction of Scripture. God desires ALL mankind to be saved (John 3:16....for those stubborn Calvinists I would say that nowhere else in the entire Bible is WORLD referring to saints in reffers to the sinful world). God choosing people to be saved and others to be condemned while showing his justice and sovereignty calls into question his love...which is equal to his justice and sovereignty (downplaying one for the other only creates new theological problems). I believe that God has elected those who will be saved...but election contains His divine plan for believers. Witnessing for example is God's plan for a Christian, but he specifically chose Saint Paul for the writing of many of the Epistles.....also, many complaints about God's non-partisanship on the part of those elected to salvation ignore that God is outside of time, and for Him all earthly time is instantaneous and without passage. In other words the elect were, are, and ever shall be the elect because He knows the outcome of the Spirit on people already. I also believe that a true Christian can lose his/her salvation (apostasy) as many passages suggest and PLAINLY say (1 Cor. 10:12-13 -->realize that God gives people an out for being tested and yet some do not take it.....perhaps this might change our understanding of the true nature of election. The most plain passage is in Saint Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews (chapter 6) which definately describe the falling away of a TRUE saved Christian.

I believe that many things about Christianity are paradoxical and contradictory to human reason....not simply predestination/free will, but many things such as the nature of the Trinity, the complete divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, etc. We still believe them however! But getting back to my initial comment about the title....think about it again! In Holy Baptism we are buried with Christ (in the water = dead), but we are brought back to life through the action of Christ's resurrection. It's quite amazing really! I do not mean to offend those Catholics who do not believe what I believe or those Protestants/Evangelicals who believe I go too far in my interpretation of what I think to be the plain teachings of Holy Scripture. What matters of course of all Christians is that in Christ we are saved, not by our actions, but by what Christ has done. He held perfectly the moral code of God given to Moses as well as being saved from the blemish of Original Sin due to the overshadowing of "the Most High" over Mary's Original Sin (Sorry Catholics....I don't believe in the Imacculate Conception) and her impregnation by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38....Magnificat included in citation for those who like it :-)).

Well, I better be off....this post has taken a good long while and I think I probably began so many points I never finished or could go into in more detail. Till next time, Happy Easter and God be with you!


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