There is just something about hymns and music that brings me joy and wonder. Such is the case of this Lutheran hymn: God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It
You can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/ULrYskFmuFg
When God first converted me to faith in Jesus Christ my first years were spent in a Pentecostal Baptist Church. I remember well filling out the “Baptismal Request Card”, afterall, I had never been baptized. At 19 Jesus had changed everything in my life and about my life. It was a drastic change, and I know not everyone has that, but it certainly did throw my parents for quite the loop. In fact, it was the date of my upcoming baptism which proved to my own mother that indeed I’d been “saved.” See, she’d been baptized as an adult convert on “Anniversary Friday” at our church and when given the day of my upcoming baptism it was “Anniversary Friday” exactly 20 years later. This was all well and good to “prove” my conversion to my mom but since nothing spectacular happened at my water baptism it often left me wanting something more.
Fast-forward 20 years and we were reforming and coming to learn that Baptism is a sign and seal of God’s Covenant with us not a pleadge we make to Him. We were understanding that it is a sacrament, meaning it was a means of grace from God to us; a gift. However, though viewed as a sacrament it still did not actually do what the Bible said it does; rather, it was simply a sign and seal of God’s promises but not the reality. So, for the dozen or so years I was dutch reformed I did understand that baptism was not my pledge to God but His pledge to me.
Enter the Lutheran, aka Biblical view of Baptism and I was in for quite the comfort. This is because, as Luther’s Shorter Catechism says, “Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s Word….It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.”