Baptism for George and Joann Grandchildren
Genesis 17:7 I will establish my covenant is an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendents after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendents after you.
Acts 13: 32 -33 we tell you the good news: what God promised our father's. He has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising of Jesus. As it is written in the second song: you are my son. Today, I have become your father.
The Scripture makes it abundantly clear that our God is a covenant God. He is a God of families. The covenant that He made with Adam involved all his children. The covenant He made with Noah included Noah's whole family. Circumcision was given to Abram as a sign of God's covenant for him, but also for his children throughout each generation that followed. When you and I were saved, through God's grace, we were not saved to be in isolation, but rather to be saved into a community, the church.
We believe that baptism isn't about our choice. Baptism is about God and God's promises and God's people. Baptism is a statement of God choosing us. Just as in the Old Testament, a father and mother circumcised their own child as an acknowledgement of Gods choosing to incorporate their child into His family.
So today: baptism is you as parents, acknowledging the claim that God has upon you and your child. God's claim is I will be your God and You will be my people.
That is why we believe that baptism is a corporate event, and because we believe that the ultimate choice belongs to God, we administer the sacrament of baptism to infants. So from our understanding of Scripture, baptism, reminds us of the sovereignty of God, it reminds us of the covenant, it reminds us of the long history, and the deep heritage we have as the people of God stretching back to Abraham, reaching back to the Garden.
The promises of God are true, and lasting, and through baptism God has extended them to everyone who has been baptized into his name. However, you and I know that baptism is not a guarantee. We do not believe that all who are baptized automatically go to heaven. Circumcision was not a guarantee of heaven, so neither is baptism.
Baptism is a sacrament that marks your children as part of the family of God. Our children, being part of God's family will be blessed. And when he or she reaches the age of understanding must himself acknowledged the claim that God pronounced on the day of his baptism,that he in his own heart believes that God is his God and that he is one of His people. That is why your instruction as parents is so crucial that you do need to do your utmost to bring them up in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today, when your children are baptized. They are baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just as the people of Israel moved through the waters to the fulfillment of the promises, your children moved through the waters of baptism into the promise of new life. "When you pass through the waters," says Isaiah 40 "I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you."
We hold on tightly to the promises of God, we hold on tightly to the family of God, we hold on tightly to the truth of Romans 6 that all who have been united with Christ in a death like his will certainly be united with Christ in a resurrection like his.
Baptism is about welcoming these children into the covenant community, a community that is shaped by the promises of God. So it is right and fitting that we present these children to you Lord and let you hear the promises of their parents, and let the parents hear the promises of God's people and to remind all of us of the promises of God.