Friday, July 13, 2012

Laestadius on Original Sin, Baptism and New Birth

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matt. 3:11,12.

We hear from this holy gospel that Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan, whereby He showed that baptism is a holy ritual and an act of grace, which men cannot deny or change. It is true the Savior, who was born pure, did not Himself need washing or cleansing; but the children of men are not born pure, and they therefore need baptism or the cleansing of the new birth so that they would become cleansed of all uncleanness and filthiness which accompany them from the very womb of the mother.

Let us therefore behold how the parent bathes her children in the cleansing of the baptism and the new birth. Now that the child is bathed the first time, the parent sees to it that it becomes clean in every place - not only behind the ear but in the armpit also. And only after a child is thus washed and cleansed does the parent enwrap it in clean linen clothes. And then she places her breast in the child's mouth and trains it to suckle.

L.L. Laestadius, Third Postilla, sermon 12.

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