Household Faith | Remembering Baptism - Lesson Four

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Household Faith Series - Remembering Baptism - Lesson 4
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About the Household Faith Series

Calvary’s Household Faith Series is a collection of lessons on a series of important faith formation topics designed for parents to lead their children through as they teach them the faith. God has given every parent the gift of being the greatest influence on the faith life of their children. The church’s role is to partner with them as they pass on the faith to their children. This Series is an attempt to do that by equipping parents with the necessary resources and lessons.


The Household Faith Series includes

  • First Communion Preparation

  • Remembering Baptism

  • Reading the Bible

  • Learning to Pray

  • Confessing the Creed

  • Learning the Liturgy

About Remembering Baptism

Remembering Baptism consists of five lessons following the questions and answers Martin Luther puts forth on Baptism and the Apostles’ Creed in his Small Catechism.


These lessons seek to help parents whose children are baptized or who are preparing them for baptism learn what Holy Baptism is, what its benefits are, how Holy Baptism can do what it does, and what it means for the new life of the baptized. It also aims to teach them about various aspects surrounding Holy Baptism, like infant baptism and baptismal sponsors.


Each lesson makes use of readings from the Bible and Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, videos, important vocabulary words to know, and questions to reinforce and solidify learning.


In the end, we hope these lessons will help those who are baptized learn more about what happened at their baptism and help those preparing for baptism understand how God works through the water and word of Holy Baptism.

 

Lesson Four: How can water do such great things?

Review the following before you begin Things you’ll need for this lesson:

  • Bibles for those going through the lesson

  • A copy of Luther’s Small Catechism. If you don’t have or can’t find a physical copy, you can download the Small Catechism app in your smart device’s app store or go to https://catechism.cph.org/ to view it online.

  • An electronic device that can play YouTube videos. We’ll be using videos from BibleProject.

  • A pen or pencil for recording your student’s answers at the end of the lesson

LEARNER GOAL: At the end of this lesson, students should understand what faith is and its importance in Holy Baptism. They should also know that baptism is a work God does for everyone, regardless of intellectual abilities.

 

NOTE TO PARENTS: The third main question Luther presents about baptism is tied to his answer to the second main question. It could be helpful to review that during the Small Cateishim Reading or before the lesson.


This lesson will also cover infant baptism and the baptism of those whom some Christian traditions would consider intellectually incapable of confessing faith in Jesus. It could be helpful to review that section before going through this lesson.


Introduction

PARENTS SAY: So far we’ve learned that in Baptism God puts his name on us—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We also learned who God is and that he not only gives us all we need to live, but also all of himself in Jesus and all that we need to believe in him. In our last lesson, we learned what God gives us in Holy Baptism.

In this lesson, we’ll learn about how baptism can do what does. We’ll learn about faith and the role of the Holy Spirit in Holy Baptism. We’ll also learn about how the gifts that God gives in baptism—forgiveness of sins, rescue from death and the devil, and eternal life—are for everyone regardless of age or intellectual ability.


Small Catechism Reading

Open your copy of Luther’s Small Catechism (or go to https://catechism.cph.org/) and turn to the fourth chief part entitled, “The Sacrament of Holy Baptism” and read the third main question, “How can water do such great things?” and Luther’s answer.


Review the vocabulary word below, then ask the following questions:

VOCABULARY: Faith, Trust, or confidence in someone or something; to believe
  • What gives Holy Baptism the power to do such great things (forgive sins, rescue from death and the devil, and give eternal life)?

  • A: The word of God

  • What trusts in the word of God in the water?

  • A: Faith

  • Which person of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is working through the water and word of baptism?

  • A: The Holy Spirit

Video - Faithful

Watch the Faithful video on the BibleProject Youtube page (https://youtu.be/HCLuq_5o7_o). This video will cover the basic definition of the word sin and how the Biblical authors use it to talk about humanity and Jesus.

Discuss what you saw in the video. If you need to, you can use some of the following questions:

  • Why does Moses call God a rock?

  • Who is the first person in the Bible who consider God to be trustworthy and why?

  • How do we know God is faithful?

  • What was something new that you learned?

  • Parents, feel free to share something you learned

  • Was there anything in the video that was weird, confusing, or that you didn’t understand?

  • Parents, don’t hesitate to share something that was weird or confusing to you or that you didn’t understand.

  • Also, feel free to write down these questions and try to find the answers throughout the week.

PARENTS SAY: To believe in God, to have faith in him, and consider him trustworthy is impossible for us to do on our own. That’s because sin has made us distrustful of God from the start. We’re constantly tempted to doubt God’s word and not trust in him.


But sin and mistrusting God is not a “grown-up” problem. It is a problem for all people, children included. David in Psalm 51:15 wrote, “Behold, I was brought forth in inquiry, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”


So how do we come to believe in God or have faith in him and how do we know we have faith? The good news is God knows we can’t trust in him on our own and because he is gracious, merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, he gives us what we need.


In baptism, the Holy Spirit unites us to Jesus’ death and resurrection and creates the faith in us we need to believe in Jesus and his words of promise. In baptism, the Holy Spirit washes us clean from sin with a life-giving water, rich in God’s grace. In baptism, we receive the faith we need to believe that the gospel applies to us, that we are freely forgiven of our sins because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.


Bible Reading - John 3:1-17

Grab your Bibles and turn to John 3:1-17. Read it aloud (consider taking turns with those with you); then, discuss what you read. Use some of the following questions:

  • According to Jesus, how does one see and enter the kingdom of God?

  • What does Jesus say about the (Holy) Spirit in the passage?

  • What might Jesus have meant in verses 14 & 15? (You can read Numbers 21:4-9 for more context on Jesus’s words)

  • For what purpose did God give and send his Son?

Video - Psalm 8

Watch the Psalm 8 video on the BibleProject YouTube page (https://youtu.be/d_-xvaK4wIw). This video explores why God cares so much about us as powerless, created beings, why are we compared to babbling babies, and God’s purpose for humanity and all creation.

Discuss what you saw in the video. If you need to you can use some of the following questions.

  • What is Psalm 8 about?

  • To what tasks does God elevate the “dirt creatures,” humans?

  • Who is hailing Jesus as their king?

  • What kind of power does Jesus call his followers to share with him?

  • What was something new that you learned?

  • Again, feel free to share something you learned

  • Was there anything in the video that was weird, confusing, or that you didn’t understand?

  • Again, don’t hesitate to share something that was weird or confusing to you or that you didn’t understand.

  • Also, feel free to write down these questions too and try to find the answers throughout the week.

Bible Reading - Luke 14:15-24

Grab your Bibles again. This time turn to Luke 14:15-24. Read it aloud (consider taking turns with those with you). Then, review the vocabulary word below and discuss what you read. Use some of the following questions:

VOCABULARY: Sacrament, A sacred act instituted by Christ in which he joins his word of promise to a visible element and by which he offers forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.
  • In Jesus’s parable, what excuses did people give for not coming to the banquet?

  • See verses 17-20

  • What did the master do in response to all the excuses?

  • See verses 21-23

  • What did all the other people do to get invited to the banquet?

  • Nothing, they were invited because the master chose to invite them.

Baptizing infants & others who might not be able to say out loud that they believe in Jesus

PARENTS SAY: Jesus’s parable in Luke 14 shows us that just like the master, it is God who brings people into the kingdom. We also learn that like the poor, crippled, blind, and lame and those who were far off, we don’t do anything to get an invite, it is God who does all the work.

Baptism is the sure and certain way God brings sinful people (us) into his kingdom. The power of baptism is not in the water, but in the word of God that is added to the water. The Holy Spirit uses that word (God’s name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to wash us clean from sin and create faith in us to trust in God.


Numerous Christian traditions teach and believe that baptism is something we do to show others (and God) the work God has done in us and our commitment to him. They may say that baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. They go on to say then that only those who confess faith in Jesus can be baptized.

Remember, sin is not just a problem for grown-ups; it is a problem for all people, including us and including you.


As we’ve seen in our lesson, Holy Baptism is not our work but God’s work in our lives. We’ve also seen that faith in God is not something we can create in ourselves. We need God to create our trust in him. He does this by means of his Word preached by a pastor, by his Word added to the bread and wine of Holy Communion, and by adding his Word to the waters of baptism.


The Bible shows us that baptism is for everyone regardless of age or intellectual ability. In Mark 10:13-16, Jesus says, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”


In Matthew 28:19, he commands the apostles (and us) to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirt.” “All nations” means all people, children or otherwise.


In Acts 2:38-39, Peter says, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”


Baptism is for everyone whom God calls to himself and God calls not just some people, but all people to himself. He does so because he loves us and wants everyone to be saved from sin and death (1 Tim. 2:3-6).


David, in Psalm 22:9-10, said, “Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breast. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” The Holy Spirit can create faith in anyone including babies or those who might not be able to say out loud that they believe in Jesus.

 

Some questions to see what you learned

Review the following questions with your child to see what they learned and reinforce the information; grab a pen or pencil to record their answers

  1. What gives Holy Baptism the power to do such great things (forgive sins, rescue from death and the devil, and give eternal life)?

  2. How do we come to believe in God or have faith in him?

  3. What did John 3:1-17 teach us about entering into God’s kingdom and why God sent his Son, Jesus?

  4. What do the words “faith” and “sacrament” mean?

  5. What did Psalm 8 and Luke 14:15-24 help us understand about baptizing infants and those whom some Christian traditions would consider intellectually incapable of confessing faith in Jesus?

Closing Prayer

Close your time of study with the following prayer:


Heavenly Father, we thank and praise you for your grace in calling all people to yourself regardless of age or ability in the water and word of Holy Baptism. Amen.