Monday, 24 June 2013

My Daughter's Baptism

Our daughter Hope was just baptised at 5 years old. You can click on the video above to see my husband baptising her. 

Some may wonder, why so young? Others may ask, why so old?! So here are a few of my beliefs about baptism, based of course on the Bible! 

Why get baptised?

It is commanded - 'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit' Matthew 28:19

It is a declaration of faith - Baptism is not necessary for salvation (the thief on the cross who repented was told he would be with Jesus that day in Paradise, yet he wasn't baptised), but it is a way of showing everyone that you have become a Christian.

It is symbolic  - of union with Christ in death, burial and resurrection, and having our sins washed away. Going down into the water is a symbol of being buried with Christ, dying to our old selves, and then coming out of it again symbolises being raised with Him, so now we can walk in newness of life. 'You were buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.' Colossians 2:12

It is a great witnessing opportunity - many times unbelieving family and friends will come along to a baptism. So it is a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel, and for them to hear testimonies if those who are being baptised give them, and also just to see that someone believes the gospel enough to prove it by being dunked under water!

How should you get baptised?

By immersion - by being put completely under water and coming back up again. I know not all Christians do it this way, and it doesn't bother me that they don't. But it is the example of Scripture: when Jesus was baptised it says 'when He came up out of the water' Mark 1:10. Also it fits the symbolism of death, burial and resurrection.

In front of others - I don't think the location is that important - I have been to baptisms in rivers, oceans, baptismal pools and swimming pools! What is more important is that it is in front of others as that is clearly seen in the New Testament, and also a way of acknowledging Jesus before men (Rom 10:9, Matthew 10:32)

Who should be baptised?

Believers - the pattern of Scripture is that those who have faith in Christ should be baptised. It is a symbol of beginning the Christian life, so should only be given to those who are actually beginning it. 'But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized' Acts 8:12

Old enough to give a believable profession of faith - I like what Wayne Grudem says here: 'When parents see convincing evidence of genuine spiritual life, and also some degree of understanding regarding the meaning of trusting in Christ, then baptism is appropriate.' 

One thing I made sure of with my children is not to press them or push them towards either becoming Christians or getting baptised. I would talk about it when it came up, but let them bring it up themselves - which to me makes it a lot more believable when they say they want it.

And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name. 
Acts 22:16 


Florence said...

This is great news for your daughter, God bless her and you all in supporting her.

Alison Wellby said...

Brilliant! We're preparing our two eldest (8 and 6) for baptism - they should have been baptised a few weeks ago - at home in the paddling pool - but the onset of colds and a turn in the weather meant we had to postpone. We've been talking to the kids about 'dying to self' and explained it in terms of film credits. In the film of your life, who is the main star, the script writer and the director? Is it you? Or is it Jesus? If you're truly dying to self, then the answer should be Jesus. We had a good conversation over the kitchen table about that this morning!

Brooke said...

I love the video - you had me in tears (in a good way of course!). Congratulations Hopey! I can't wait to see what other good things God does in your life and through your life!!

Rhoda said...

Thanks Florence, it is great news!

Alison you must be like Anne of Green Gables with a great imagination! I am never that good of thinking of illustrations like that :)

Thanks Brooke, I was also in tears when I watched it for real :)

Stefan Hoefer said...

God bless you guys! Say hi to Clint from me please!

Rhoda said...

Thanks Stefan, I said hi for you! God bless you guys too!

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