“In baptism every Christian has enough to study and to practice all his life. He always has enough to do to believe firmly what Baptism promises and brings – victory over death and the devil, forgiveness of sin, God’s grace, the entire Christ, and the Holy Spirit with his gifts. In short the blessings of Baptism are so boundless that if timid nature considers them, it may well doubt whether they could all be true.”
Here one can see the significance of baptism extending far beyond the momentary act that is the baptismal rite. Baptism is an act of birth; it gives an immediate and direct connection with Christ’s resurrection, and it lays the foundation for fellowship, which is wider and more comprehensive than the fellowship we were placed in our physical birth. Also, baptism signifies a person’s death and resurrection. It presupposes our finitude and it opens up a futurist perspective of a situation, which is on the other side of the finite boundaries that now prevail in this world. Therefore the act of baptism points back to a death which happened once for all in the work Jesus Christ, that took place down in the depths of destruction; at the same time it points forward toward the baptized person’s coming death, which we perceive to be a misfortune but which in reality cannot hurt us. Both in the pointing backward and in the pointing forward baptism speaks the same reality – eternal life. “We have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” And even though the baptized have been born anew destructive forces still remain and continue their devastations, even though Jesus as Savior has fulfilled his work. This is why w...
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...s who are “holding down the fort” till the masses return. I believe that the church’s leadership needs to revolve around congregational identity, outreach, and relevancy. As someone who hopes to be ordained for Word and sacrament ministry, I believe that these three items can be addressed through fostering a culture of discipleship. By discipleship I mean a community of people who are a dedicated to central practices that enables them to be life long learners of Jesus Christ. These central practices would rely on my gifts for preaching and teaching the scripture, worship leadership, and administering the sacraments as well as service as means of faith. I believe that through my classroom work, field education experiences, and other ministry contexts I have demonstrated that I have abilities to perform the former that would make me qualified for rostered leadership.
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