What is Baptism?
◾ Baptism is not the occasion when God's Spirit enters your life. God is with you from the beginning to the end of your life and beyond.
◾ In the New Testament, Jesus himself is baptised and asks everyone to turn to God and be baptised as an expression of this repentance.
◾ Baptism means “becoming Christ's and signifies the intention to develop and grow as a follower of Christ.
◾ Baptism is a “sacrament” – which means “an outward sign of inward grace”. The sign is the water and the grace is what God gives in the relationship between himself and the person who is baptised.
◾ Baptism is about promises – God's promise to bless you and your child. And your promise to God to live as responsible members of His family and to bring up your child to trust and obey Him and His Son Jesus Christ.
◾ There is an expectation upon the church that they will have a continuing responsibility for your child, by providing love, friendship and Christian teaching to you as a family.
When should baptism take place?
◾ In the New Testament, an adult who confessed faith in Christ was immediately baptised unconditionally.
◾ The New Testament supports both the baptism of adult believers and the baptism of infants from a believing family.
How should baptism take place?
◾ Baptism should include repentance and ‘washing' with water. It does not matter whether total immersion or ‘pouring/sprinkling' is the method, because both are symbolic of the spiritual phenomenon of passing from death and burial of the self to life and resurrection in Christ.
◾ The sacrament of Baptism should be administered in the presence of the Congregation within whose life the candidates or the parent(s) of the infant(s) are currently or promise in future to be involved .
◾The baptismal vows need to be taken seriously when the candidate(s) or the parent(s) of the infant(s) are asked questions.
◾ If you (or your child) are not yet baptised, you might like to consider being baptised. There is no upper age-limit (If you are an adult, you could be both baptised and confirmed at a Confirmation Service).
◾ If you are already baptised, you might like to consider getting confirmed when the church arranges the next Confirmation course.
◾ If you choose any of the above options, you or your child (as appropriate) will be invited to follow a short course of preparation – either a course for parents and godparents of infants who are to be baptised; or a course for older children or adults who would like to be baptised and/or confirmed.
Our desire is that you as parents or a parent gain the true blessing of baptism – making vows before God that they are able and intend to keep. So before the Elders approve a baptism they need to be satisfied that:
At least one believing parent is committed to regularly worshipping with their local church, and ensuring that their child receives Christian training at home and church.
Parents who are new to church are asked to take part in a one hour session that helps them understand the Christian faith.
An Elder may also have some involvement in this process. Over a period of around one month (at least 3 weeks) attendance at Sunday worship, as parents grow in their faith, and as the church gets to know them, then the baptism is able to be considered by the Elders and the minister.
We understand it might not be easy to get to church every week, especially with young children, but that is our aim. This may mean that priorities are rearranged in order to fulfil the vows required to be made.
We want to help you come to experience the joy of knowing God and following Jesus for yourself as well as for your child.
Minister: Rev Don Everhart 9181 2047