In our society there is a common misunderstanding that salvation is all about what we do and how we live our lives. Salvation is often misunderstood as something we are able to secure for ourselves. However, this model of do-it-yourself salvation is not a Biblical model. Jesus told Nicodemus that, unless he was born anew from above by God’s power, he would not be able to save himself (John 3:3). Paul tells us that, just as none of us are complete when we emerge from the womb, God’s design and plan for each of us is to be a never ending work in progress. Daily we turn to God who first turned to us in our baptism. Daily we make an effort to accept God’s plan for our lives. It takes a lifetime of repentance and forgiveness for us to recognize our eternal inheritance in God’s eternal family through baptism. This is why we daily remember our baptism!
The daily goal of remembering our baptism can be summed up by Martin Luther, So truly, a Christian life is nothing other than a daily remembering of our baptism, once begun and ever to be continued. For this must be done without ceasing, that we always keep purging away whatever belongs to our old nature, through the power of Christ’s death. Then what belongs to our new nature, through the power of Christ’s resurrection, may come forth.
What do you know about the When, Where, and Why of your baptism?
"I am impressed with "The 7 Habits of Jesus." The Christian faith, after all, is not simply a thought to think, or a matter of disincarnate philosophical perspective. It is a life to live. It is faith-filled habits to form. It is a Savior to follow into the world, by grace through faith. This book is wonderful help for the journey. It is theologically grounded, Biblically informed, and practically oriented. I am very pleased indeed to recommend it."
Rev. Chuck Lindquist Director, World Mission Prayer League
Remembering our adoption in God’s family. The daily habit of remembering helps us to recall and reclaim the greatest gift God will ever give us: eternal life through baptism! St. Paul explains that through the renewal of baptism, Christ’s death brings death to our sinful selfcenteredness, while Christ’s resurrection brings new life to Christ’s presence in our hearts. (Rom 6:2-18)
Listening to God’s voice in Scripture reading. The daily habit of listening to God’s voice in Scripture fills our hearts with his love. Allowing God’s voice of love to penetrate the depths of our being through Scripture reading is the most essential habit needed if we are to live our lives with Christ. The most reliable way for us to listen to God’s voice in Scripture reading is to identify God’s two major themes: law & Gospel.
Praying for God’s help with our daily needs. The daily habit of praying provides us with the opportunity to ask for God’s help with our needs. As the old favorite hymn tells us: What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer! Most prayer is experienced through spontaneous petitions we pray throughout each day.
Preparing to hear God’s voice in worship. The habit of preparing for worship involves our intent to bring a specific sin, or broken relationship to worship for forgiveness. God’s forgiveness breaks into our lives most powerfully through his means of grace: Baptism, Bible, and Communion; which are provided within a weekly liturgical worship service of Word & Sacrament.
Returning a percentage of what God gives us. The offering we give to God represents a small portion of all that God has first given us, which is our time, talents, and treasure! Giving (more accurately returning) helps us to recognize that everything in our world, including all that we have, is a gift from God. The tithe (10%) offering has been the standard offering for Christians throughout the ages. Returning a tithe offering to God, helps us to experience a renewed sense of gratitude for all that God has given us.
Inviting others to baptism & Christ’s mission. The ascended Lord gave his disciples the Great Commission: Go out and invite everyone into a new life with God by baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then our Lord instructed them in the practice of all that he commanded. (Matt 28:18-20). Jesus instructed his disciples through the seven habits as a means to participate in the expansion of his Kingdom to all people.
Caring for others & creation with Christ’s love. The true meaning and purpose of our lives is to recognize that God has put us on earth to join in Christ’s mission of love. Our love for God is revealed in our capacity to love others in our family, at work, and in the world. We do not love others by our own will or determination, but by Christ’s love and forgiveness, which has been planted in our hearts.