We have talked about Conviction, Confidence, and Competence as we do mission and mercy. Are we convinced that the result of mission works should be a church and that means a place where people gather to hear the word and receive the Lord’s Supper and remember their baptism or be baptized? See what Hermann Sasse wrote about this ……………….
We are meditating in this hour on the divine miracle of the church in which we speak of Holy Communion. See, the church and the sacrament of the altar belong together in a special way. There are three marks by which the church is recognized in the teaching of our confessions: the gospel, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These three have to be there wherever the church of Christ is. The gospel must be proclaimed. There must be baptism in the name of the Triune God. The meal of the Lord must be celebrated. These three means of grace are only found in the church. There are many religious messages in the world, which stir the heart, but there is only one gospel. The gospel is the message of grace. It’s about the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake. For Christ’s sake! it is the glory of Jesus Christ and his special office as the redeemer of the world, for the forgiveness of sins comes only by him and nowhere else on earth. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them. He has given us the message of reconciliation. We are now ambassadors for Christ. We ask you in Christ’s stead: be reconciled to Gd. He has made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might receive the righteousness valid before God.” This is the gospel and nothing else. With it the church comes to every nation on earth. There are those who come with this message only and without any sacraments e.g. the Quakers. Can’t the church call the nations and peoples with only the gospel? No! Without the sacrament the call of the gospel would soon die away like a voice in the wind. There would perhaps, be a brief echo, but that’s all. THE SACRAMENT MUST ACCOMPANY THE WORD. Just as in the Pentecost account of the New Testament the first missionary sermon of an apostle was followed by the first missionary baptism. Those who believed his word were baptized. And there was added to the church that day three thousand souls. (Acts 2:42). lf one only preached on the mission fields and didn’t baptize, there would never be a Christian congregation but at the worst a society for the maintenance and furthering of a new philosophy. If a congregation of baptized Christians were to renounce the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, it would soon no longer understand baptism and would become a religious society no different in its end from other societies.