If you’re thinking about having your child baptised, here’s some things to consider.
A person becomes a Christian through faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. Jesus put it this way –
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes might not perish but have eternal life.” John 3.16
The key idea there is belief. Jesus has done all that’s needed for us to become God’s friends by offering his life as a sacrifice for our sins on the cross of Calvary. What we are called upon to do is repent and believe. That might sound like two things, but it’s actually two sides of the same coin. To believe in Jesus is to turn away (repent) from what you previously believed (eg that you didn’t need God, that you were good enough by yourself) and to trust in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.
So a Christian is a believer, and their belief is borne out in the way they live.
Once a person becomes a Christian, they’re baptised, in that order. In a way, baptism is the outward sign of God’s inward work in them. The baptism with water is a public sign that declares their faith and repentance, and points to the cleansing and renewal Christ does in them as a result of his sacrifice. When a Christian person is baptised, they typically make a verbal profession of their faith in Christ. In the case of an infant, believing parents (or parent) profess their faith and intention to teach and model the Christian message to their child.
So baptism is a sign for professing, practicing Christians (and their children).
If you’re not a professing Christian, the question becomes – not should I (or my child) be baptised, but rather – should I become a Christian? If the answer is yes, then baptism will be a natural outworking of that choice.
If you’d like to find out more, here are some things you can do:
- Read the Bible. The first and easiest place to start is in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. If you don’t have access to a Bible, you can read it online.
- Come to church. There are people, Bibles, and the gospel message explained.
- Go to the Christianity Explored website. They’ve got lots of helpful explanations and resources.