We aim to explain baptism below as we have learned from Scripture, with excerpts taken from the Psalter Hymnal.
Baptism teaches that we and our children are sinful from the time of conception and birth. This means that we are all under the judgment of God and for that reason cannot be members of his kingdom unless we are born again.
Baptism, whether by immersion or sprinkling, teaches that sin has made us so impure that we must undergo a cleansing, which only God can accomplish. Therefore, we ought to be displeased with ourselves, humble ourselves, and turn to God for our salvation.
Baptism is a sign and a seal that our sins are washed away through Jesus Christ. For this reason we are baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Our baptism into the name of God the Father is his assurance to us that he makes an everlasting covenant of grace with us and adopts us as his children and heirs. Therefore, he surrounds us with his goodness and protects us from evil or turns it to our profit.
When we are baptized into the name of Son, we are assured by Christ himself that he washes us in his blood from our sins. Christ joins us to himself so that we share in his death and resurrection. Through this union with Christ we are liberated form our sins and regarded as righteous before God.
Baptism in the name of the Holy Spirit is the assurance that the Spirit of God will make his home with us. While living within us, the Spirit will continually work to strengthen and deepen our union with Christ. He will make real in our lives Christ’s work of washing away our sins. He will also help us each day to live the new life we have in Christ. As a result of his work within us, we shall one day be presented without the stain of sin among the assembly of the elect in life eternal.
Because all covenants have two sides, baptism also places us under obligation to live in obedience to God. We must cling to this one God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We must trust him and love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We must abandon the sinful way of life, put to death our old nature, and show by our lives that we belong to God.
If we through weakness should fall into sin, we must not despair of God’s grace, nor use our weakness as an excuse to keep on sinning. Baptism is a seal and totally reliable witness that God is always faithful to his covenant.
On the basis of the covenant, the children of believers are to be baptized despite their inability to understand its meaning. Adults, however, should not be baptized unless they have felt their sins and confess repentance and faith in Christ. This is why John the Baptist followed God’s command by preaching the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and why he baptized those who confessed their sins (Mark 1:4-5;Luke 3:3). Similarly, our Lord Jesus Christ commissioned his apostles to makes disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). To these instructions he added the promise that we who believe will be saved (Mark 16:16). And as the book of Acts clearly shows, the apostles accordingly followed the rule of baptizing only those adults who confessed their penitence and faith.
Also today, therefore, only those adults are to be baptized who have come to understand the meaning of baptism through the preaching of the gospel, and who are able to give an account both of baptism and of their own faith.
Are you and/or your family interested in getting baptized?
Contact the office - firstname.lastname@example.org - and they will help arrange your baptism!