Holy Sacraments - Baptism

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The Lutheran faith defines a sacrament as being, “A sacred act instituted by God, in which God Himself has joined His Word of promise to a visible element, and by which he offers, gives, and seals the forgiveness of sins earned by Christ.” With this narrow description of a sacrament within the Lutheran church, Dr. Martin Luther constricted the number of sacraments from seven, which was what the Roman Catholic Church had taught, to two; The Lord’s Supper and Holy Baptism. Luther put a heavy emphasis on reading the Bible and the two sacraments that the Lutheran tradition holds are both clearly present and strongly supported within the text of the Bible. The additional five Roman Catholic sacraments that Luther left out included; Confirmation, Confession, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the skin. Luther did not feel as though these five “sacraments” were supported by the Bible and because the Bible was and still is the sacred word of God himself, Luther did not believe these five extra sacraments to be as important as Holy Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. Within the Lutheran faith, the sacraments are considered Means of Grace given to us by God and along with the Word of God lay the foundation for the Lutheran religion. Because these two sacraments are a Means of Grace given to us by God, Lutherans believe that The Lord’s Supper and Holy Baptism are ‘gifts’ from God and we cannot do anything within our power to receive this gift. It is all in God’s Grace that we as sinners receive these gifts for our forgiveness, resurrection from death, and the promise of eternal life. Through the means of a called and ordained servant of God, a Pastor, we receive this give of Holy Baptism so that we may receive Christ and live t... ... middle of paper ... ...n to the Lutheran Confessions. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Publishers. Luther, M. (1991). Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. The Lutheran church of the Missouri synod. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.lcms.org/results.asp?q=baptism The use of the means of grace. (1997). [ELCA]. Retrieved from http://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Worship/Learning-Center/The-Use-of-the-Means-of-Grace.aspx Interviews: Costar, Lois. Interview, March 9, 2011 Omaha, NE (LCMS) Melang, Jim Associate Pastor. Interview, March 4, 2011. Sinai Lutheran Church (ELCA) Fremont, NE Olson, Lori. Interview, March 9, 2011 Granite Falls, MN (LCMS) Ostrom, Mike Pastor. Interview, March 3, 2011. Sinai Lutheran Church (ELCA) Fremont, NE Schmitt, Thomas Pastor. Interview, March 3, 2011. Zion Lutheran Church (LCMS) Omaha, NE

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