A Baptism Homily

I was baptized by my grandfather in August of 1986. My grandparents had just retired from 38 years of work in Chonju, Korea and were living in Montreat, NC. The church I grew up in did not baptize infants, so my parents had me baptized at Montreat Presbyterian Church, where my grandparents attended in their retirement.

The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children. To such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His commandments to do them.

For the promise is unto you, and to your children and to all those that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

David and Liza, the Word of God teaches that the children of believers are included in the covenant and church of God. Along with all of us who believe, they belong to the membership of the Church, through the covenant made in Christ. This is confirmed to us by God in this Sacrament of baptism, which is a sign and seal of our cleansing from sin, of our engrafting into Christ, and of our welcome into the household of God. As your child is born within the covenant he has a right to receive this seal of the covenant. Like all of us, he too is a sinner in need of cleansing which baptism signifies, and when he is older he too must confess his sin and acknowledge his need of forgiveness and by faith claim salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. It is therefore your duty as well as that of all members of the larger household of faith, to set a godly example before him, and to instruct him in the truths of our Christian faith. I know from visits in your home that you already have a daily time with your children when together you sing and pray and hear God’s Word. Let me urge you to continue this practice and lead this child toward mature faith in his Savior.

Prayer

Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we invoke Thy blessing upon these parents as they take these column vows and present this child for baptism. As he is presented in humble faith, we beseech Thee to receive him, endue him with Thy Holy Spirit, and keep him ever as Thine own through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

To the Parents:

In presenting your child to God to be sealed in baptism for the blessings of the covenant of grace…

  1. Do you reaffirm your own faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord?
  2. Do you acknowledge your child’s need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
  3. Do you claim God’s covenant promise on his behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus for his salvation, as you did for your own?
  4. Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before him a godly example, that you will pray with and for him, that you will teach him the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive by all the means of God’s appointment to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

To the Congregation:

Baptism is a sacrament given by our Lord to His body the church, and is to be administered in an atmosphere of faith. The congregation is, therefore, invited at this time to stand and participate in the sacrament of the covenant.

Baptism

Timothy David, child of the covenant, I baptize thee in the name the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, descend upon thee and dwell in thine heart for ever. Amen.

Prayer

Oh loving God, we thank Thee for setting us in families and for the gift of each new life. We give thanks for this particular child and for love and faith of his parents. By Thy Holy Spirit continue to work in this home that it may be a center of Christian life and witness to Thee.

Give these parents the grace to keep the vows that they have just made, as well as all the wisdom and patience needed to train up this child in the way he should go. Help them and all others to set before him an example of honesty, truthfulness, generosity, fairness, kindness, and above all devotion to Thee.

And as Timothy learns to walk on his little legs maybe ha also walk with Thee. As his mind grasps the world about him may he know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Give him health of body and strength of mind, moral courage and spiritual insight.

Enable him to able the instruction of the Apostle Paul to another Timothy so long ago to present himself approved of God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. Through all the days and years ahead watch over and protect him. Bless him and make him a blessing to others about him.

In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pages 1 and 2 of Baptism Manuscript
Pages 3 and 4 of Baptism Manuscript

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