The Low-Down on Baptism



This past Sunday we spent time considering how baptism is a sign and reminder of our washing and purification by the blood of Christ. Baptism itself does not save or guarantee that anyone is or will be saved; it is a reminder of what Jesus has done for those who has chosen and offers to anyone who may hear and profess the good news of the cross and the empty tomb.


When we celebrate baptism in our worship services, there are a series of promises that are exchanged: we hear God's promise to the person being baptized (and are reminded that God made the same promise to us at our baptism!). In the case of an infant baptism, we hear the promises made by the parents to embrace God's call to them to teach their children about Him; in the case of a new believer, the one being baptized affirms their faith and promises to pursue God's call on their life for the rest of their days. There is also a promise made by the congregation: a promise to support, encourage, and uphold the one being baptized, accepting the responsibility we all have as members of the Body of Christ.


Below you will find each of these promises. As you read over them, you are invited to consider your own baptism (even if you don't remember it) and the promise God made to you. You are also invited to consider the promise you have likely made to someone else. How have you upheld this promise in your relationship with them? How might God be urging you to renew your commitment to the communal promise?


God's Promise...

Baptism is the sign and seal of God's promises to this covenant people.

In baptism God promises by grace alone...

to forgive our sins,

to adopt us into the body of Christ, the church,

to send the Holy Spirit daily to renew and cleanse us, and

to resurrect us to eternal life.

This promise is made visible in the water of baptism.


Water cleanse,

purifies,

refreshes,

sustains;

Jesus Christ is living water.

Through baptism Christ calls us to new obedience:

to love and trust God completely,

to forsake the evil of the world, and

to live a new and holy life.

Yet, when we fall into sin,

we must not despair of God's mercy,

nor continue in sin,

for baptism is the sign and seal

of God's eternal covenant of grace with us.


Parent's Promise...

Do you promise to instruct this child

in the truth of God's Word,

in the way of salvation through Jesus Christ;

to pray for them, to teach them to pray, and

to train them in Christ's way by your example,

through worship, and

in the nurture of the church?


Congregation's Promise...

Do you promise to love, encourage, and support

this family

by teaching the gospel of God's love,

by being an example of Christian faith and character, and

by giving the strong support of God's family

in fellowship, prayer, and service?



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