Baby Dedication Service
Explanation of Service:
Although some churches baptize infants, we believe this to be both unnecessary and inadvisable.
Infant baptism is unnecessary because young children are already secure in Christ. They are unable to understand their sin nature and need of a Savior because of their young age. God does not hold them responsible for what they do not, and cannot, yet know.
1. Child not old enough to be responsible.
“He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right. But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.” (Isa 7:15-16 NivUS)
2. Child of believing parents.
“They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved— you and your household."” (Ac 16:31 NivUS)
3. God’s sovereign election.
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,” (Eph 1:11 NivUS)
Infant baptism is inadvisable because it can lead to false security. Salvation does not come because we are baptized. Rather, baptism must come as an act of faith because we are saved. And salvation is a matter of the heart by individual choice to believe the way of God in Christ.
And baptism seals that personal choice.
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Ro 6:3-4 NivUS)
The appropriate time for baptism is when the child understands his or her need of a Savior because of their sin nature. We do not want to hinder the necessity of this personal choice that each must make to believe in Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
Infant dedication is an act by parents to recognize and invoke the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their own lives and in the life of their child. They renew the offering of themselves to Christ as "living sacrifices" and desire to publicly extend that offering to their most precious possessions – their children. Grandparents, if present, may join with them in an expression of intergenerational commitment to the welfare of the child. And the congregation joins the ceremony as part of the larger family of God within which the child will be nurtured in the faith.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 NIVUS)
From everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children - with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. (Psalms 103:17-18 NIVUS)
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off— for all whom the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:39 NIVUS)
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16 NIVUS)
In light of these Scriptures, it is our privilege to present our children to the Lord and our duty to raise them in His ways. Throughout the ages, godly parents have presented their children to the Lord in dedication. Most notably, Jesus our Lord, as a baby, was brought by Mary and Joseph to the temple, where the prophet Simeon took Him in his arms, blessed him according to their custom, and they dedicated themselves to the sacred responsibility. You follow a noble heritage. In presenting your child to the Lord, you enter into a solemn relationship with God, who keeps His covenant to a thousand generations.
This is a ceremony of thanksgiving to God for the joy and hope that has come into your lives by the presence of this child. It is recognition of God as the Giver of Life and an affirmation that all children are His. It is a re-consecration of yourselves. The love of your home will help determine the future characteristics of your child. God will enrich your child's life, if you will keep the doors of your own lives open to God.
I would like the parents/grandparents to now come forward with the child to be dedicated.
To the Parents:
1) Before God and this congregation, do you joyfully accept the blessings and responsibilities of Christian parenthood, promising through the power of the Holy Spirit to maintain lives in submission to the Lordship of Christ that will enable your child to come to personal faith in Jesus Christ at an early age through your example and instruction?
2) Do you further acknowledge that, because your child ultimately belongs to the Lord, you are but guardians of his precious life and you are accountable to the Lord for the spiritual direction and nourishment you provide him as he matures in life here on earth under your care?
3) Finally, do you submit to God's sovereign will for his life, allowing him to develop the gifts and pursue the unique mission that God has in mind for him, even if it involves taking risk for the cause of Christ?
To the Congregation:
1) Do you, the members and friends of Mayfair Bible Church, dedicate yourselves to prayerfully and tangibly support these parents in fulfilling the commitments they have made to God and their child today?
2) Furthermore, do you together promise to live and serve the Lord in such a way that this child will come to personal faith in Jesus Christ at an early age, and follow Him wholeheartedly in pursuing God's unique will for him?
Pastor takes the child in his arms or places his hand on the child's head.
Caleb Stephen Jones, I dedicate you to God in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. May your young life be nurtured and matured under the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit. May God protect you physically and deliver you from temptation. May he early call you into his kingdom and ultimately into his service, using you to advance his glory and to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, we thank you that you have given these parents the privilege of parenthood, and have blessed their home with this little life. And thank you that you have given us the privilege of joining with them in anticipation of the blessings that their child will be to all of us as we strive together in nurturing him in the faith. Bless this child, O Lord, with strength of body, soundness of mind, and health of soul. Help these parents to keep Christian values, to develop Christian priorities, and to walk in the paths committed to faith, truth, justice, and righteousness so that this child may grow toward you. Grant them patience and wisdom, good judgment and balance for this demanding task, in the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.