Dr. Luther’s Small Catechism lesson for the week of October 4, 2015:
[IV] THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM
IN THE PLAIN FORM IN WHICH THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY
SHALL TEACH IT TO HIS HOUSEHOLD
How can water produce such great effects?
Answer: It is not the water that produces these effects, but the Word of God connected with the water, and our faith which relies on the Word of God connected with the water. For without the Word of God the water is merely water and no Baptism. But when connected with the Word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul wrote to Titus (3:5-8), “He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. The saying is sure.”
Tappert, T. G. 2000, c1959. The book of concord : The confessions of the evangelical Lutheran church. Fortress Press: Philadelphia