Tuesday of the 17th Week after Trinity

Today's Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 9:1-22; Matthew 11:1-19

One Lord, one faith, one baptism; (Ephesians 4:5)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The world around us is filled with lots of different lords, many different faiths and a bunch of baptisms. Through all that noise of different lords and faiths, Christ's Word through the Apostle Paul sounds a clear note of the true Lord's gifts and grace.

One Lord. Jesus. He's true God begotten of the Father from eternity and true man born of the virgin Mary. He was born to be like us in every way except without sin. He came to conquer sin, death, devil and hell by His perfect life, His suffering and death on the cross, and His resurrection. By His blood shed, our sins are forgiven. There is no other Lord, no other God who does this Himself: He saves the world from its sin.

One faith. True and saving faith is a gift. You can't crank it up in yourself. True and saving faith is the faith and trust which cling to Jesus because He has answered for our sins and taken them away. It isn't you with some Jesus sprinkled in. It's not your doing it with a little help from Jesus. It's all Jesus accomplishing your salvation and the Spirit delivering that salvation in the Word and Sacraments. There is only one true faith and that's the one that's not about you, but the one which trusts in Jesus and everything He has done.

One Baptism. Water and the Word and the Spirit. Not a separate baptism of the Spirit which is proven with strange signs like "speaking in tongues." One Baptism. The one that was done at the font whether you were an infant or older. The one by which you are born from above. The one which clothes you with Christ, unites you to His death and resurrection, and is a washing of new birth in the Spirit. That's the Baptism that counts because it's the only real Baptism--the Baptism the one Lord has given you to put you into the one faith.

If the lord, faith or baptism aren't about Jesus, they aren't the one Lord, one faith, one Baptism that God's Word teaches about. For where Jesus is, there's nothing plural or multiple or confusing or unsure. One Lord, one faith, one Baptism because there is one Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Elect from ev'ry nation, Yet on o'er all the earth; Her charter of salvation: One Lord, one faith, one birth. One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses with ev'ry grace endued. (The Church's One Foundation, LSB 644:2)

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.