In recent discussions on baptismal regeneration, a wholly unProtestant view, it seems, I mentioned Luther in an unrelated point (he was 34 when he challenged all of Rome, and my accuser stated that I simply could not say anything because my age, which is barely three years from Luther). Luther it seems, contrary to popular opinion, supported a notion of baptismal regeneration.
Below are a few quotes – meant to start a discussion:
In his commentary on Romans, Luther wrote concerning Romans 6:3, as follows: “We are not found in a state of perfection as soon as we have been baptized into Jesus Christ and His death. Having been baptized into His death, we merely strive to obtain (the blessings of) this death and to reach our goal of glory. Just so, when we are baptized into everlasting life and the kingdom of heaven, we do not at once fully possess its full wealth (of blessings). We have merely taken the first steps to seek after eternal life. Baptism has been instituted that it should lead us to the blessings (of this death) and through such death to eternal life. Therefore it is necessary that we should be baptized into Jesus Christ and His death.” (Commentary On The Epistle To The Romans, By Martin Luther, translated by J. Theodore Mueller, page 85).
“This is diligently to be noted, because of the fond and fantastical spirits, which go about to deface the majesty of baptism and speak wickedly of it. Paul contrariwise commendeth and setteth it forth with honourable titles, calling it ‘washing of the new birth, the renewing of the Holy Ghost.’ (Tit. iii.) And here also he saith, that all they which are baptized have put on Christ. As if he said, Ye are carried out of the law into a new birth, which is wrought in baptism. Therefore ye are not now any longer under the law, but ye are clothed with a new garment; to wit, with the righteousness of Christ. Wherefore baptism is a thing of great force and efficacy. Now, when we are apparelled with Christ, as with the robe of our righteousness and salvation, then we must put on Christ also as the apparel of imitation and example. These things I have handled more largely in another place, therefore I here briefly pass them over.” (Emphasis ours.) (This quote from Luther was taken from the unabridged: “A Commentary on Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians.” Robert Carter Publishers, N.Y., N.Y. 1848, pas. 346-347).
“To put it most simply, the power, effect, benefit, fruit, and purpose of Baptism is to save. No one is baptized in order to become a prince, but as the words say, to ‘be saved.’ To be saved, we know, is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil and to enter into the kingdom of Christ and live with him forever.” — Martin Luther (Quoted from The Large Catechism)