Lutherís teaching: Baptism is nothing else than the Word of God in the
water, commanded by His institution, or, as Paul says, a washing
in the Word; . . .
we do not hold . . . that God has imparted to
the water a spiritual power, which through the water washes away
sin. Nor [do we agree] that, by the assistance of the divine will,
Baptism washes away sins, and that this ablution occurs only
through the will of God, and by no means through the Word or
The Smalcald Articles 1537
Jesus answered, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can
enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.
As they (the eunuch and Philip) traveled along the road
they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look, there is
water. What is to prevent my being baptized?"
Churchís teaching: drawing on Sacred Scripture and the earliest of post-
apostolic Tradition, the
, has always strictly prescribed
living or flowing water as the proper matter for the sacrament of