Baptism is a celebration of God’s grace – His utterly undeserved, unmerited love and favour.
When we receive a child in baptism, we are attesting to the divine truth that even before this child was born, even before he/she can make a decision on his/her own, God through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, has already done everything necessary for his/her salvation. All he/she can do is accept it by faith! Infant baptism is a reminder to all of us that the Kingdom of God is never earned or deserved but is, in our Lord’s own words, reserved for those who receive it in child-like trust.
The Meaning of Baptism
Baptism is the sacrament by which people are initiated into the faith and family of Jesus Christ.
A Sacrament is:
1. Something commanded by Jesus (Matthew 28:19)
2. Something which He Himself experienced (Mark 1:9)
3. A visible enactment of the gospel – a sign or symbol of God’s grace and salvation in Jesus Christ
In baptism we proclaim that God has acted to save us. The use of water symbolizes that Christ died for us to cleanse us of all sin and shame; that He wants to adopt us as a member of His forever family.
In Baptism we proclaim that it is God’s intention that we know the New Life available through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4). We dedicate ourselves to God’s purpose praying only for knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry it out.
Baptism is a commitment. It is a commitment that we make as an adult, based upon our belief in a God of love and to actively seek to follow God in every part of our lives.
The congregation also has a role in this commitment as we are all part of the “Body of Christ”. The congregation undertakes the responsibility to support those who are being baptized. Thus, there is a three-way relationship created in baptism: between God, ourselves and the congregation.
Adult baptism is celebrated each year at the Celebrate Life Recovery Gathering on Easter Sunday.