AT GLENKIRK CHURCH:
we affirm the validity of baptisms from other Christian churches
we celebrate baptism during our worship services
we baptize people who have never been baptized when they come to faith in Jesus
we baptize the children of believers who are members of Glenkirk Church
we baptize by full immersion in water and by sprinkling
we commit to helping those who are baptized grow in their faith
we commit to helping parents who baptize their children raise their children in the faith
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19 NIV).
Jesus gave us the sacrament of baptism to mark our welcome into God’s family (Matthew 28:19). Since baptism is the New Covenant equivalent of Old Testament circumcision (Colossians 2:11), baptism is for believers and for their children. Baptism is a visible sign and seal of God’s forgiveness of our sins. In baptism, we are identified with Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4). Baptism is also a sign of our unity with God’s people around the world (Ephesians 4:4-6).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BAPTISM
- Since baptism is the New Covenant equivalent of circumcision in the Old Covenant, and since circumcision was administered to gnats born to God’s people as well as to adults joining God’s people, we baptize infants of believers (Colossians 2:11-13).
- In the New Testament, when new adult believers were baptized, the apostles baptized their households as well (Acts 16:15,33; 1 Corinthians 1:16).
- The young children of believers are considered holy (“set apart”) and included in the people of God (1 Corinthians 7:14).
- Baptism of infants was accepted and widespread in the Church by the third century.
- As a sacrament, baptism is a “sign” and “seal” (as circumcision was, see Romans 4:11) that must be joined with faith in Jesus in order to be effective. Baptism does not “save” an infant. We baptize infants to welcome them into the people of God, trusting in God’s promises and believing that God will use us to eventually bring children to faith in Jesus.
- At baptism, infants become ” baptized members” of Glenkirk. When they affirm their own faith in Jesus at confirmation, they become “covenant partners.”
- Baptism involves water administered in the Triune name of God, whereas baby dedication involves an offering of prayer.
- Baptism joins an infant to the church as a baptized member, whereas baby dedication looks forward to that child later becoming a member.
- Baptism focuses on the work and promises of God, whereas baby dedication focuses on the work and promises of parents and the church.
- We generally discourage re-baptism because the Bible affirms there is “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).
- When someone previously baptized comes to faith in Jesus, we encourage that person to publicly affirm their faith in the church through confirmation (much like a circumcised person in Israel would affirm their faith when they turn 13 at their bar mitzvah). In confirmation, we anoint the person with oils as they confess their faith in Christ publicly before the congregation.
- We remember and affirm our baptism during worship throughout the year.