Tuesday Bible Study: Jan 11, 2022

January 11, 2022
Epiphanytide

Today’s Readings: 

  1. Essay: Who may be baptized?
  2. Judges 5:12-21, The song of Deborah
    • Lesson: A victory song
  3. 1 John 5:13-21, The life of those born of God
    • Lesson: Continue to follow Christ

Invitatory

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

     It is right to give thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, sovereign God of all,

     to you be glory and praise for ever.

You are our light and our salvation.

From the deep waters of death

     you have raised your Son to life in triumph. [1]

Opening Prayer

WE GIVE YOU THANKS, Lord Jesus, that though you had no need of baptism, you entered the waters to lead us to the fountain of forgiveness and new life; pour out on us, we pray, the Spirit’s power that we may live as your beloved children. Amen. [2]

Hymn

“Christ, when for us you were baptized”

By F. Bland Tucker, 1895-1984

Lyrics

1 Christ, when for us you were baptized,

God’s Spirit on you came,

as peaceful as a dove,

and yet as urgent as a flame,

as urgent as a flame.

2 God called you, “”My beloved Son””;

you are God’s servant true,

sent to proclaim the reign of heaven,

God’s holy will to do,

God’s holy will do to.

3 Straightway and steadfast until death

you then obeyed the call

to serve with free and willing heart,

to give your life for all,

to give your life for all.

4 Baptize us with your Spirit, Lord;

your cross on us be signed,

that likewise in God’s service we

may perfect freedom find,

may perfect freedom find. [3]


Morning Prayer

Grant that all who have been born anew by water and the Spirit may daily be renewed in your image, walk by the light of faith, and serve you in newness of life; through your anointed Son, Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit we lift our voices of praise. Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Blessed be God for ever. Amen. [4]

Short Verse

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

1 Peter 3:21

Morning Reading

Who may be baptized?

From the beginning, the Church has understood baptism as:

  1. Our first death: “Our first dying with Christ in baptism was our death with Him on the Cross. In the fourth century, St. Cyril of Jerusalem instructed his new converts, ‘You were led by the hand to the holy pool of divine baptism… you descended into the water… In the very same moment you died and were born.’” [5]
  2. Our first resurrection to righteousness: “This is our life in Christ, our new birth and entrance into God’s Kingdom (Jn 3:3), our ‘newness of life’ (Rom 6:4). It is our being joined to Christ in His glorified humanity and indwelt by God Himself (Jn 14:23). Our relationship with God is not something static, a legal fiction given to us by a Divine Judge. Rather, this is a dynamic and real life in Christ, holding the promise of everlasting life. Our resurrection to new life now forms a prelude to the resurrection of our body at Christ’s second coming.” [6]
  3. Our intimate and continual communion with God: “We are raised to new life for a purpose: union and communion with God. In this sense, baptism is the beginning of eternal life. For this reason, Peter writes that baptism now saves us (1Pt 3:21)—it is not the mere removal of dirt from our bodies, but provides us with ‘a good conscience toward God.’” [7]

“Baptism is called the “door” to the other Sacraments because it must be received before any others can be conferred.” [8] “It is by the Sacrament of Baptism that we become the adopted sons and daughters of God, for it is there that we first receive the sanctifying grace that incorporates us into God’s family. God’s acceptance of every one of us as his son or daughter is called divine filiation.” [9]

God’s plan, as found in the Holy Scriptures, does not include restrictions for Baptism on the basis of age, accountability, or mental ability. “When Christ instituted Baptism, He did not apply such restrictions but simply instituted Baptism ‘for all nations’… Such issues as age did not arise among the earliest Christians, who are known to have baptized whole households of people [including infants] (Ac 16:15, 33).” [10]

“Those baptized in the name of the Father have God as their Father; baptized in the name of the Son, they receive all the benefits of the Son’s redeeming act; baptized in the name of the Spirit, they receive the life-giving, life sustaining power and presence of the Spirit… Baptism is no human plaything, but is instituted by God Himself… Just as [in Mt 28:19] salvation is offered to all, Baptism is offered to all, to men, women, children, infants… because salvation is offered with baptism.” [11]

Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that this child is regenerate and grafted into the body of Christs Church, let us give thanks unto Almighty God for these benefits, and with one accord make our prayers unto him, that this child may lead the rest of his life according to this beginning.

The Ministration of Baptism,
1662 Book of Common Prayer

[15]

“Both adults and infants have received the Sacrament of Baptism since the earliest days of the Church. The New Testament records instances of whole households receiving Baptism, and the authors make no effort to exclude young children from such households (cf. Acts 16:15, 33; 18:8; 1 Cor 1:16; CDF, Pastoralis Actio). Moreover, the practice of infant Baptism is attested to in early Church writings: St. Irenæus, writing about AD 180, taught, ‘All who through Christ are born again to God, infants and children and boys and young men and old men are born again to God’ (Against Heresies, 2:22:4). St. Hippolytus, writing about AD 215, stated, ‘Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them’ (Apostolic Tradition, 21:15).” [12]

“In the third century AD, some people in North Africa proposed that, because the immature may fall into sin after Baptism, perhaps it should be withheld until a person is more mature. However, Christian leaders continued to practice Baptism as they had before – without restrictions on age. A report about a council of 66 bishops in North Africa illustrates this. The prevailing practice there was to baptize a child within two or three days of birth. These bishops even rejected the argument that baptism should be withheld until a child is eight days old so its age could correspond to the age of Old Testament circumcision (Gn 7:12)! They pointed out that God the Father could be a father to anyone at any age. ‘God shows Himself a Father to all with well-weighted equality for the attainment of heavenly grace… No one ought to be hindered from baptism and from the grace of God, who is merciful and kind and loving to all’ [St. Cyprian]. Baptism, like life, does not depend on the maturity of the one who receives it, but on the grace of the One who bestows it: the Father.” [13]

“It is certain by God’s word, that children which are baptized, dying before they commit actual sin, ‘are undoubtedly saved’” (1662 Book of Common Prayer). [14]

We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church.º And humbly we beseech thee to grant, that he being dead unto sin, and living unto righteousness, and being buried with Christ in his death, may crucifie the old man, and utterly abolish the whole body of sin, and that as he is made partaker of the death of thy Son, he may also be partaker of his resurrection; so that finally with the residue of thy holy Church, he may be an inheritour of thine everlasting kingdom, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Ministration of Baptism,
1662 Book of Common Prayer

[16]

Midday Prayer

May God, by the power that turned water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana, transform our lives and make glad our hearts. Amen. [17]

Short Verse

And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.

Acts 22:16

Midday Reading

Judges 5:12-21, The song of Deborah

12 

“Awake, awake, Deborah!

    Awake, awake, utter a song!

Arise, Barak, lead away your captives,

    O son of Abinoam.

13 

Then down marched the remnant of the noble;

    the people of the Lord marched down for him[a] against the mighty.

14 

From Ephraim they set out[b] into the valley,[c]

    following you, Benjamin, with your kin;

from Machir marched down the commanders,

    and from Zebulun those who bear the marshal’s staff;

15 

the chiefs of Issachar came with Deborah,

    and Issachar faithful to Barak;

    into the valley they rushed out at his heels.

Among the clans of Reuben

    there were great searchings of heart.

16 

Why did you tarry among the sheepfolds,

    to hear the piping for the flocks?

Among the clans of Reuben

    there were great searchings of heart.

17 

Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan;

    and Dan, why did he abide with the ships?

Asher sat still at the coast of the sea,

    settling down by his landings.

18 

Zebulun is a people that scorned death;

    Naphtali too, on the heights of the field.

19 

“The kings came, they fought;

    then fought the kings of Canaan,

at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo;

    they got no spoils of silver.

20 

The stars fought from heaven,

    from their courses they fought against Sisera.

21 

The torrent Kishon swept them away,

    the onrushing torrent, the torrent Kishon.

    March on, my soul, with might!

Midday Lesson

A victory song

“The book of Judges preserves what many consider to be one of the oldest texts found in the Bible: the song of Deborah (Jgs 5). This hymn celebrates the victory of Israel over Sisera’s army. Here readers find out how the victory was achieved. A sudden rain causing a flash flood in the valley rendered the chariot force immobile and eliminated Sisera’s advantage. Also, the poem asserts that the Israelite force included not only Zebulun and Naphtali but also Ephraim, Benjamin, Issachar, and Machir, which may be that portion of Manasseh living west of the Jordan. Other tribes are criticized for not responding to the threat posed by Sisera: Asher, Dan, Reuben, and Gilead, which may be that portion of Manasseh living east of the Jordan. The poem does not mention Judah, Gad, or Levi.” [18]

“The poem contrasts two mothers: Deborah, mother of Israel (5:7), and Sisera’s unnamed mother (5:28). Deborah was responsible for a great victory, while Sisera’s mother came to realize that Sisera’s failure to return promptly from the battle means that she will never see her son again.” [19]

“Throughout Scripture Israel celebrated its deliverance with song, proclaiming the blessings of God and the fulfillment of his plan of salvation. In this hymn, Deborah lauded the tribes that had assembled for the great battle and criticized those that did not. She offered special praise for Jael, who slew the pagan commander Sisera in her own tent.” [20]


Eventide Prayer

Blessed are you, Lord God, creator of day and night: to you be praise and glory for ever. As darkness falls you renew your promise to reveal among us the light of your presence. By the light of Christ, your living Word, dispel the darkness of our hearts that we may walk as children of light and sing your praise throughout the world. Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Blessed be God for ever. Amen. [21]

Short Verse

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13

Eventide Reading

1 John 5:13-21, The life of those born of God

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

14 And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. 16 If you see your brother or sister[a] committing what is not a mortal sin, you will ask, and God[b] will give life to such a one—to those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin that is mortal; I do not say that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not mortal.

18 We know that those who are born of God do not sin, but the one who was born of God protects them, and the evil one does not touch them. 19 We know that we are God’s children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true;[c] and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.[d]

Eventide Lesson

Continue to follow Christ

“Like the Gospel of John, this Letter closes with a statement of purpose (Jn 21:24–25).” [22] “When we know we have been given the gift of eternal life, we are to continue to believe and follow the Son of God” (v. 13). [23] 

“God knows how to give good gifts to His children (Lk 11:13). We do not always know what to ask, but His will is always for our salvation and for the salvation of all.” [24] “God will give whatever we ask if it is good for our salvation and the salvation of our brother . This is [especially] true whenever we pray for others.” [25]

“What about those Christians who are not living righteously [v. 16]? Sin leading to death is willful, continual disbelief in the grace of the Holy Spirit toward us. (See Mt 12:28, 31, 32; Heb 6:4-6; 10:26–31.)” [26] “Any unrepented sin can lead to death (cf v 17). But if a believer is open to repentance and to God’s forgiveness, his sin will not lead to death… God will grant forgiveness of sins and life to the brother for whom we pray. Cf Jas 5: 20.” [27]

“All wrongdoing is sin. Any sin could lead to death if not for the Gospel, which is our victory over sin, death, and the world. The children of God repent of all sin. They hate their sin and the weakness of their flesh. But when believers fall into sin, they know that they have One who prays for them and offers forgiveness to them (2:1–2). Cf v 16.” [28]

“If we abide in His Word, Jesus remains in us and guards us from the evil one, so that the devil cannot touch us. Jesus cast out demons simply by the power of His Word.” [29]

“All unbelievers are under the dominion and control of Satan (Eph 2:1–3) [v. 19]. But God has rescued us (Col 1:13; Ac 26:18).” [30]

“Idols are either false gods or things that turn us away from God (Col 3:5).” [31] “We have the genuine Christ and Savior by believing that Jesus is God the Son in the flesh. He is the true God and eternal life. Any teaching that presents Jesus as one who is not both true God and true man in one person actually presents an idol. Likewise, any teaching that denies that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, purely by God’s grace alone, also presents an idol. Cf Ac 15:20, 29; 21:25; Gal 5:19–20; 1Co 5:10; 6:9; Eph 5:5; Col 3:5.” [32]

“Knowing that we have eternal life in Jesus gives us confidence to ask for anything, and we can be certain that we shall receive what we ask according to God’s will, especially when we pray for our brother for Jesus’ sake. All wrongdoing is sin, and any sin could lead to death if not for the Righteous One, Jesus Christ, who cleanses us from all sin by His blood. Not only can we be confident of our own forgiveness in Him who is the genuine Savior and the true God, but we can also pray even for our brother who sins and be certain that God desires his repentance and life because of Jesus. • Son of God, protect us from the evil one, and keep us from every idol. Amen.” [33]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

May the living waters of Christ cleanse us,

may the Spirit descend upon us,

and the blessing of God be with us

this night and always.

Amen. [34]


Citations:

[1] Church House Publishing. (2005). Thanksgiving for baptism. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 373).

[2] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Seasons of the Year. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 160). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[3] CHRIST, WHEN FOR US YOU WERE BAPTIZED. (n.d.). Retrieved January 06, 2021, from https://digitalsongsandhymns.com/songs/3340

[4] Church House Publishing. (2005). Thanksgiving for baptism. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 373).

[5] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Holy Baptism [Article]. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1565). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Ibid. 5

[7] Ibid. 5

[8] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Sacrament Of Baptism [Article]. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2917). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[9] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Church As The Family Of God [Article]. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2313). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press

[10] House, C. P. (2009). New Life Through Baptism. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 1369). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[11] House, C. P. (2009). Matthew. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 1650). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[12] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Infant Baptism [Article]. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2918). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[13] House, C. P. (2009). New Life Through Baptism. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 1369). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[14] Cummings, B. (2011). The book of common prayer: 1662. In The book of common prayer: the texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662 (ebook, pp. 440). prayer, Oxford University Press. 

[15] Ibid. 14, P. 438

[16] Ibid. 14, P. 438

[17] The Episcopal Church. (2018). Seasonal Blessings. In The Book of Occasional Services (PDF ed., p. 10). Then Episcopal Church. Retrieved November December 15, 2020, from https://episcopalchurch.org/files/lm_book_of_occasional_services_2018.pdf

[18] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). Judges. In The Catholic study Bible: The New American Bible, revised edition, translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources (Third ed., p. 368). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[19] Ibid. 18

[20] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Judges. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 684). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[21] Church House Publishing. (2005). Blessing of Light. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 145).

[22] A., E. E. (2016). 1 John. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 8670). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[23] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 John. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1733). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[24] A., E. E. (2016). 1 John. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 8670). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[25] Ibid. 24

[26] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 John. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1733). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[27] A., E. E. (2016). 1 John. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 8670). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[28] Ibid .27

[29] Ibid. 27

[30] Ibid. 27, P. 8670-8671

[31] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 John. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1733). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[32] A., E. E. (2016). 1 John. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 8671). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[33] Ibid. 32

[34] Church House Publishing. (2005). Night Prayers. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 421).

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