What gives Baptism its power to save?

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How can water do such great things? It is not the water indeed that does them, but the Word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the Word of God the water is simple water and no Baptism. But with the Word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus Chapter third: According to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.

Water in itself cannot save us, but God’s Word places the saving gifts into Baptism. Through faith, which trusts this Word of God, a person receives these gifts for himself.

Eph. 5:25-26: Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.