Volume 12, Issue 12
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EXCERPTS FROM REGENERATION IN BAPTISM
Originally written by Dimitri Quast for the Lutheran Free Conference in Germany, August 29-31 2014
III) Baptism in the New Testament
– The circumcision was a shadow in the Old Testament for the real covenant made by God with the human, namely the baptism.
– God‘s covenant in baptism breaks through the curse the human was bonded with directly after his birth.
– „But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace all of you are saved;) And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: “ Eph. 2, 4-6
– We all were dead and God made us alive with Jesus, he raised us up. We do not understand how he made that, but we just believe in God’s word.
– Peter says: „Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,“ 1. Petr. 1,3
– In the German translation there is the word „regeneration“ in this verse. That means that the regeneration makes us able to have a lively hope. Without regeneration we have no chance to be saved.
– Jesus in person speaks in the important chapter 3 of the gospel of John: „Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Joh. 3,3
– This new birth is in the eyes of Jesus so important, that he says we cannot see the kingdom of God without it.
– Nicodemus is very surprised about the expression „born again“. He is confused about the words of Jesus and about the regeneration.
– Jesus talks about regeneration as something very natural and as something he doesn’t have to be surprised about.
– „But Jesus answered and said unto him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?“ Joh. 3, 10
– Regeneration seem to be a very natural issue for a Jew, otherwise Jesus would not talk to him like this. It is not a new doctrine which Jesus teaches Nicodemus.
– Although the bible does not use the word „regeneration“ or „new born“ in the Old Testament, was the meaning of regeneration already in the Old Testament visible.
– Regeneration was performed in the circumcision.
– In circumcision God made out of a heathen a child with promises and an heir to the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Without circumcision no one was allowed to be part of God’s people.
– According to that, regeneration is a change of status, from the status of a „lost“ human to the status of communion with God.
– This change is fulfilled without any influence of man and is not an act of man.
Jesus says: „Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Joh. 3, 5
– Regeneration is fulfilled by water and Spirit. Both elements are only combined in baptism. During baptism we can see water as a visible element and the invisible Spirit, who performs the regeneration of the human being. What is born of the Spirit, that is Spirit, says Jesus. But in the same time is neither the actual regeneration nor the effect of it immediately visible.
– It is important to point out, that not water has such power, but the promise in God’s word in combination with water affects such great things.
– What cleaned Naaman from his leper? Did the water of the Jordan clean him? Was it the water or the promise of the prophet Elisha? No doubt, only faith in God’s word can fulfill such great effects. Naaman did, what the prophete told him to do. Although Naaman could not understand how the water of the Jordan could heal him and he did not obey immediantly, the promise of God was stable.
– Also Titus tells us about a cleaning bath or a washing: „But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit;“ Titus 3, 4-5
– The blessedness is given us as a present through regeneration and the donation of the Holy Spirit .
– God is not able to have a communion with a sinner. Therefore God cleanse his creation in baptism, forgives him his inherited sins and gives him his Holy Spirit.
– „Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and all of you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. “ Acts 2, 38-39
– Very clearly Peter says that in baptism we get the gift of the Holy Spirit and forgiveness of all sins.
- Regeneration is not a new birth in flesh like Nicodemus thought.
- Regeneration does not mean that the human is after this act automatically a human like God wants him to be. Regeneration gives us the requirements for a communion with God, namely the adoption and the state the human being had before the fall of Adam and Eve in sin.
- Baptism and regeneration do not save the human without faith in all promises God lays in the baptism.
- Baptism requires a life in sanctification. Without that we would show, that we do not believe in our baptism, like millions of baptized people.
Making Communion Bread
By Matthew Ude
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken2 for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. (1Co 11:23-26 NKJ)
In the Lord’s Supper we receive from Our Lord Jesus Christ a very precious gift. Here He comes to us to remind us of His love and the forgiveness of our sins. Beyond that He joins us to Himself making us a part of His kingdom and uniting us to one another. For this reason every true Christian will greatly desire to come to the Lord’s Supper often to receive this gift from Christ. But I know that there are some among our overseas brothers who are not able to make use of the Lord’s Supper as often as they would like because they lack either the bread or the wine for use in this holy Sacrament.
Here then is a recipe which I have copied and edited from communionbread.org. It is not hard to make your own communion bread but there are two things it is important to remember. 1. Do not use any leavening agent, such as yeast or baking powder. Salt is not leavening agent, so there is no problem with salt. 2. Use wheat flour. We should not use corn flour, or rice flour, or any other flour except wheat flour only.
Take one cup (128 grams ) of wheat flour
Gradually add 1/2 cup (236 ml) cold oil ( best to use olive oil if you can ) until it beads up.
Add gradually 1/2 cup (236 ml) warm water mixed with 1/2 tsp. ( 2.5 grams ) salt.
Stir with a fork or fingers (fingers work best) until it is formed into a ball.
Knead ball but don’t overdo it!
Roll it on a non-greased surface to thin thickness and then cut into pieces.
Score and stripe with a fork.
Cook in skillet without grease or oil.
If using electric skillet turn to 400 f ( 200 c ) degrees.
Watch closely so they don’t burn.
Transfer onto clean paper towels to cool.