“For you Jesus Christ came into the world. For you he lived and showed God’s love. For you he suffered the darkness of Calvary and cried at the last, ‘It is accomplished.’ For you he triumphed over death and rose to new life. For you he reigns at God’s right hand. All this he did for you, though you do not know it yet.” ---Church of Scotland

When parents have their infants baptized they are reminded that the promises of God are for them and their children. The above quote from the Church of Scotland beautifully describes the power of the sacrament of baptism for the children of believers. Infant baptism properly situates the life of covenant child in the journey of discovery of their role in the Kingdom. A journey of discovery where the children of believers come to who they are and what salvation is for in the community of God's people even though the they may not understand why until later, their primary orientation is that of being a child of the covenant. 

One of the most "world changing" things two of God's people can do is to become parents, baptize their infants and immerse them in a community that will disciple them to embrace and confess the meaning of their baptism, and raise them to love the Lord. What a wonderful opportunity!!

"It takes a village" to help covenant children live out the meaning of their baptism. When infants are baptized, then, the pastor calls the local congregation to accent to this vow: "Do you as a congregation undertake the responsibility of assisting the parents in the Christian nurture of this child?

Once a child confesses in Christ that God did all of the things mention by the Church of Scotland for him or her they are truly free to discover and embrace their role in the story of God redeeming all things. Parents and churches have a wonderful opportunity with covenant children to set children free, truly free, to become the adults that God will use in his work in the world to love God and neighbor in important ways.

Westminster Confession of Faith Chapt 28, para 4--"Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.

The Belgic Confession, Article 34--We believe our children ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant, as little children were circumcised in Israel on the basis of the same promises made to our children.

And truly, Christ has shed his blood no less for washing the little children of believers than he did for adults.

Therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of what Christ has done for them, just as the Lord commanded in the law that by offering a lamb for them the sacrament of the suffering and death of Christ would be granted them shortly after their birth. This was the sacrament of Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, baptism does for our children what circumcision did for the Jewish people. That is why Paul calls baptism the 'circumcision of Christ.'"

Scripture References: Gen 17:7, Gal 3:9, Col 2:11, Acts 2:8-9, Rom 4:11

In you'd like to read the why how the Bible teaches infant baptism please read Westminster Seminary prof Scott Clark's wonderful article A CONTEMPORARY REFORMED DEFENSE OF INFANT BAPTISM.

Posted
AuthorAnthony Bradley