Martin Luther on Baptism and Repentance

Note: Throughout the month of October, leading up to the 500th anniversary of the legendary date of the outbreak of the Reformation on October 31, 1517, Pray Tell is publishing writings of Martin Luther reflecting his beliefs on worship and church reform at various points in his life.

“Therefore baptism remains forever. Even though someone falls from it and sins, we always have access to it so that we may again subdue the old creature. But we need not have the water poured over us again. Even if we were immersed in water a hundred times, it would nevertheless not be more than one baptism, and the effect and significance would continue and remain. Repentance, therefore, is nothing else than a return and approach to baptism, to resume and practice what has earlier been begun but abandoned. I say this to correct the opinion,which has long prevailed among us, that baptism is something past that we can no longer use after falling back into sin.”

(Large Catechism IV:77-80. Featured image: Speyer Cathedral Germany. This is the oldest font north of the Alps, dating to when immersion baptism when still in practice.)

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