Baptism is a means by which God’s Spirit comes to us to grace our lives with forgiveness, acceptance, and love. The church views baptism as a sacrament because it is a special means of grace that Christ commanded His disciples to do (Matt. 28:18-19 ) and that comes to us connected to a physical element (water).
The Bible teaches us that we are born as children of a fallen humanity. We are not perfect beings. We are born into a broken, sinful world. As humans, we cannot escape being a part of the sinfulness. We are born with original sin (Ps 51:5). Sin separates us from our world, from our God, and from ourselves, If we live with sin continually dominating our lives, we will never know the fullness, joy and strength that God intends for us to experience. We will never find peace with our world, ourselves, or our God. We will never know eternal life. In Romans 6:23 Paul tell us that “the wages of sin is death.” That is bad news. Unless we can find and escape from our sin, we will pay for it with our lives, This is serious business! Unless we can escape from sin’s power, it will destroy us and everything good around us.
The Good News
There is good news: In baptism God destroys the power of sin by joining us to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through baptism the old self with all its sin and rebellion is drowned and buried. As Paul writes, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life.” (Rom. 6:4 ). Baptism is a sacrament of newness. It is the beginning of a life in Christ in which the old sinful self is washed clean by the power of God’s forgiveness, claimed as God’s child, called to live as a new person daily, and made an inheritor of eternal life.
How does this work? As a child grows up in the family of God and hears the word of the Gospel, they learn to know God, to love God, and to trust God for strength, peace, and joy. They begin to understand Christ’s sacrificial love and start to live in His forgiveness and newness. This adds beauty, depth, and power to life that no other experience can equal. Unless children are brought up in a living relationship with God, these meaningful benefits just aren’t part of their experience, and they miss out on their best chance for a full Christian life.
Baptism is The Beginning
Jesus Christ is the foundation for a life of true love, joy, meaning, and fullness. Baptism is the beginning point of life with Him. Christian baptism is the starting point of a life lived in relationship with God through Christ. It is the beginning of a life tapped into the greatest resource available to the world. In baptism a life is plugged into the source of God’s love and power. Your child is adopted into a large and wonderful family and is promised a rich inheritance. They are brought into a caring community that promises to stand by you and with you as you begin the tremendous task of raising a child into this changing world. Baptism is the starting point of the Christian life.
How to Set Up a Baptism at Risen Savior
Baptisms can be done privately with a pastor and your family attending or publicly during a non-communion church service. At Risen Savior, we do not schedule baptisms on church holidays. Contact the church office several weeks in advance to schedule your baptism and to meet with a pastor.
Choosing a sponsor is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. If any thing should happen to the parents it is the sponsor’s responsibility to see to it that the child is brought to worship regularly, raised in the Christian faith and taught to read the Bible as a resource for life’s direction. Sponsors should be supportive of Infant Baptism and its importance.