What does such baptizing with water indicate? It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever. (The Small Catechism, Baptism Part 4)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. You can take absolute joy in your baptism. Why? Because it's Jesus' gift to you. It's not your work. It's not a symbol of your faith. It's not something that you did. It is something that is done for you. It's Jesus for you.
Take joy in that. Many Christians do not believe that baptism is a gift, which is sad. They think it is something that they did to show how much they love God. Worse than that, some think that it's only a symbol of their love for God; for them it's just like wearing a cross around their neck. Sure, that cross is a reminder, and it's not wrong to wear one. But there is no promises attached to it.
When you were baptized it was not just a symbol or a sign of something. When you were baptized, something actually happened. What happened? This is what St. Paul writes, "We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." When you were baptized, you were buried with Christ. Your sins were buried in the waters of baptism. You now are united with Christ. You are planted with Him in the waters of baptism. You stand as a new man.
In baptism you put on Jesus Christ. You are clothed with His Righteousness. His life, His death, and His resurrection are yours.
Yes, in this life you still struggle with your sinful flesh. That's why Luther tells you that every day you need to be reminded of the promise of your baptism, and what that means. Take joy in your baptism. In your baptism, you have died with Christ, and you also have the promise that you are raised with Him. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
I bind this day to me forever, By pow'r of faith, Christ's incarnation, His Baptism in the Jordan River, His cross of death for my salvation, His bursting from the spiced tomb, His riding up the heavn'ly way, His coming at the day of doom, I bind unto myself today. (LSB 604:2)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.