Baptism of Children – Form 3

Address to the congregation

Beloved congregation in the Lord Jesus Christ:

Baptism is a sacrament ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a sign and seal that the person baptised is included in the covenant of grace. It teaches that we and our children are conceived and born in sin; it witnesses and seals to us the remission of sins and the gift of all the blessings of salvation through union with Christ. Baptism with water signifies and seals cleansing from sin by the blood and Spirit of Christ, together with our death to sin and resurrection to newness of life by virtue of the death and resurrection of Christ. Since these gifts of salvation are graciously offered by the triune God, who is pleased to claim us as his very own, we are baptised into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And since baptised persons are called upon to take up the obligations of the covenant, baptism summons us to renounce the devil, the world and the flesh and to walk humbly with our God in devotion to his commandments.

Although our young children do not yet understand these things, they are nevertheless to be baptised. For the promise of the covenant is made to believers and to their seed, as God declared to Abraham: I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. In the new covenant no less than the old, the children of the faithful, born within the church, have, by virtue of their birth, an interest in the covenant and a right to the seal of it and to the outward privileges of the church. For the covenant of grace is the same in substance in both Old and New Testament times. Only, God’s grace and salvation is more clearly seen in the New. Moreover, our Saviour called little children to him, embracing and blessing them, and saying, Of such is the kingdom of God. So the children of the covenant are distinguished from the world by baptism and solemnly received into the visible church

That we, therefore, may administer this sacrament of God to his glory, to our comfort, and to the edification of the church, let us call upon his holy Name.

Prayer

Address to the Parents

Beloved in Christ the Lord, you have heard that baptism is an ordinance of God to seal his covenant to us and to our children; therefore it must be used for that end and not out of custom or superstition. That it may be clear that this is your understanding, you are to answer sincerely the following questions:

First: Do you acknowledge that, although our children are conceived and born in sin and therefore subject to condemnation, they are holy in Christ, and as members of his church ought to be baptised?

Second: Do you promise to instruct your child in the Christian faith as revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and as summarised in the confessions of faith and catechism of this church; and do you promise to pray with and for your child, to set an example of piety and godliness before him/her, and to endeavour by all the means God has given us to bring him/her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

Parents Answer:

We do.

Then the minister of God's Word, in baptising, shall say:

N________, I baptise you into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer of thanksgiving

This is the Forms of the Reformed Churches of New Zealand