Daily Lectionary: Ezekiel 34:1-24; Romans 3:19-31
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! (Isaiah 42:1a, from the Introit for the Baptism of Our Lord)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jesus is God’s “Elect One.” The beloved Son of God with whom He is pleased. This is the Good News of the Gospel which the Church preaches to all nations. Believe it. Receive it. Wash in it and be saved. By Baptism you are drowned in God’s election.
He chooses to include you in the life of His Son, in whom His soul delights. There’s no “but” here. There’s no catch. No tit-for-tat. There is only the “for you.” It’s the certain promise of God who wants, and will stop at nothing, to be your Father, too. He does it through Jesus. He does it in the blessed flood. He announces it with unconditional words that claims you today, and forever, as His own beloved child.
It does no good to talk about God’s choosing sinners by Baptism to be His children and yet not teach faith in this promise. Baptism was instituted for the purpose of nourishing faith. We must not then pass over this faith or we lose the certainty that we are truly chosen, that all our sins are forgiven. Otherwise we destroy Baptism and leave sinners wondering whether they are really chosen, really those in whom God delights.
This is how wonderful Baptism is! Even if you want to, you can’t lose salvation, however much you sin, unless you will not believe you are God’s chosen one. No sin can separate you from your heavenly Father except unbelief alone. All other sins, so long as the faith in God’s promise made in Baptism returns or remains, all other sins are immediately washed away through that same faith, “or rather through the truth of God, because He cannot deny Himself,” as Martin Luther writes.
That one, solid and unsinkable promise of God that can never be broken is His election of you as His beloved child by Baptism. It carries all those who are washed in the font to the well of salvation. It is the Truth of God giving us His promise by His Word in and with the water. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
My loving Father, here You take me To be hence-forth Your child and heir. My faithful Savior, here You make me The fruit of all Your sorrows share. O Holy Spirit, comfort me, When threat’ning clouds around I see. (Baptized into Your Name Most Holy, LSB 590:2)