Baptism can be described as a passive sacrament. A sacrament being God’s oath - covenant - with us in His steadfast love. It starts with God’s grace towards us. We cannot earn the right, nor do anything to win God’s favour. Rather, we come empty handed and submit ourselves to His love shown fully in Jesus Christ through the Cross and resurrection. This is our response.
It is also then among the congregation a public demonstration of the good news of Jesus Christ and our response to all God has done for us. Baptism is about our relationship with Christ and the new life we receive through him.
• Baptism is a sign of belonging to Christ
• Baptism is a sign of a relationship that is covenantal, not contractual. That is it is based upon God’s promises which are unconditional.
• Baptism is deeply personal, but never private. It is a communal action of the gathered congregation, which represents the church in all times and places. The practice of this sacrament in the Church of Scotland is for both infants and adults.
Baptism is offered to all who want to respond in this way: whether you are an adult not yet baptised and professing faith or if it is for a child/infant of Christian parents.
Firstly you are confessing your faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. You are saying that you have already committed your life at some point to following Jesus. Additionally, you make certain promises before the whole people of God – the congregation – and God to do all in your ability and power to bring your child up to know the same faith you share and live out.
Baptism is a communal act. A key part of the service is the congregation’s role with you. As well as witnessing your profession of faith and promises, they make a promise to support you as part of God’s family in this particular place and share responsibility to provide opportunity for your child and all children in the fellowship with Christian teaching, encouragement and support and prayer.
Someone from the congregation will therefore be involved in bringing you forward and offering a prayer.
Baptism is more than just words. It is a significant event in the life of your family and for the congregation that involves us in putting these promises of faith into practice. As much as we therefore commit to this, it begins in celebration of all God has done for us.