SPECIAL EASTER SUNDAY COLUMN: BAPTISM
Easter Sunday marks the highlight of church’s life together. Not only do we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but we also celebrate the new life that Christ has brought about by calling his people out of death into life. Jesus Christ after his death and resurrection and before his ascension gave this command to go and make disciples of all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
What is baptism? Baptism is “the washing with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; it signifies and seals our adoption into Christ, our cleansing from sin, and our commitment to belong to the Lord and to his church” (New City Catechism). Baptism is done to a believing Christian who wants to publicly confess his or her personal commitment to Jesus Christ. It is the symbolic act of dying to one’s old, sinful past and the rising again to life with Jesus. The act of baptism can be defined as an outward expression of an inward decision—that the believer has made already by confessing the Lordship of Jesus over his or her life. And it is celebrated together by the whole community of believers.
For those of you who have been baptized in the past, this is a great opportunity for you to be reminded of your own baptism and be renewed in your own commitment and dedication to Christ as your fellow brothers and sisters are dedicating and committing his life to Christ through baptism.
As we see infants being baptized or dedicated, we also celebrate God’s grace over the little ones. Westminster Confession states how “both believers and their children are included in God’s covenant love. Children of believers are to be baptized without undue delay, but without undue haste. Baptism, whether administered to those who profess their faith or to those presented for baptism as children, is one and the same Sacrament. The baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God’s love claims people before they are able to respond in faith.”
Since infants are not capable of making their own commitment, it is left to the parents to dedicate themselves to pray for and nurture their children “in the ways of the Lord” until the children come to experience the gospel and acknowledge themselves that Jesus is the Lord and Savior or their lives. It is with that hope that one day these children will make their own confession of faith in Jesus Christ that we dedicate them and baptize them today.
There are two places that a child should receive spiritual nurture and training—in the home of the parents, and in the local church. Parents should understand that their example is an important part of training a child. And also the congregation should understand that in addition to witnessing this infant baptism, we—as a spiritual family—are committing ourselves to extend our love and care to these children. And knowing that it is ultimately God’s sovereign grace that saves them, we pray earnestly and faithfully that one day they will acknowledge Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.
As a church we celebrate the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ today and we also celebrate the new life that he gives—evidenced in the lives of people who are being baptized today!
This Week’s Bible Reading Schedule:
|Monday: Psalms 28||☐||Thursday: Psalms 31||☐|
|Tuesday: Psalms 29||☐||Friday: Psalms 32||☐|
|Wednesday: Psalms 30||☐||Saturday: Psalms 33||☐|
Bible Column & Reading Plan by Rev. Chang Soo Lee
Mississauga Camps Lead Pastor