I always enjoy the comment, “You Lutherans always talk about Baptism too much.”
To paraphrase “Phineas and Ferb”: “Yes, yes we do.”
This of course begs the question, “Why?”
First off, what is Baptism? Is it man’s work? Is it just some water and special words? Let me quote Luther’s Small Catechism here,
“Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water included in God’s command and connected with God’s Word.”
There it is! Baptism is the command of God, given by Christ, through His Word. It is the Word that completes the work, not the man who pours the water, the one who receives it, or the congregation who witnesses it. It’s the power of God, working in His Holy Word.
So, what does it do? Baptism, quite simply, “saves.” That’s it. 1 Peter 3:21, “Baptism…now saves you.” It sanctifies us (Eph. 5:25-27), brings forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:13-14), and through the Holy Spirit in the Word, plants faith in our hearts for belief in Jesus Christ (Eph 2:8-9).
Baptism is, in effect, Jesus Himself come to us, for He is the Word (John 1). When we preach of Baptism, we preach about Jesus, who saves and brings us faith and life eternal. We talk of Baptism because we spread the Word of Christ, who is in the water and comes into our hearts through the Word. And it is this Word that, through God’s Grace, gives us eternal life by the Faith received at Baptism in Christ alone.