"...and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ..."
1 Peter 3:21
Baptism is the first step of obedience in the life of a Christian (Matt. 28:18-20). It is also a way for Christians to be publicly identified with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism does not bring salvation (Eph. 2:8-9), but symbolizes our new life, much like a wedding ring symbolizes one’s marital status.
Nativity performs two types of Baptism Services:
The baptism of a child is where a committed Christian publically promises to bring the child up in the Christian faith and in the life of the church, teaching them by word and deed how to follow Jesus.
The baptism of adults is for anyone who willingly promises to follow Jesus, and is where they are formally welcomed as part of the Christian church. Anyone undertaking this type of baptism should understanding the seriousness of what they are promising.
Baptism of Children
"This promise is for you and your children, for all whom the Lord will call."
You and your family matter to God.
All parents understand that the arrival of a new child is a wonderful blessing that is also accompanied by great responsibility. One way that we can show our commitment to our children is by publically declaring that we accept the responsibility of raising them as a Christian. There are two ways this declaration can be made; either within a Baptism Service or a Thanksgiving Service.
In the Baptism service, we baptise your child by name, using water. It is important to understand that baptism doesn't automatically make your child a Christian, but rather is a wonderful outward symbol of spiritual cleansing and fresh start we all need from God. This comes from being united with Jesus Christ by faith in Him and in what he has done for us through His death and resurrection.
In this service, parents (and godparents) are asked to publicly affirm that they are followers of Jesus Christ and members of His church, and also that they take responsibility for their child's Christian upbringing. As such, a baptism service will only be conducted when at least one of the parents is willing to undertake the promises made at baptism. During the service, the church congregation also affirms that they will help the family with their task of teaching their children to follow Christ.
In the Thanksgiving Service, we give thanks and pray for your child by name. We also pray for you in the special task of raising your child. We commit you and your child to God's love and care, knowing that He will happily hear our prayers.
Some people find that the Thanksgiving Service gives closer expression to their commitment to God and their children. (Please note that this is not a baptism and there is no water involved).
People who decide to follow Jesus adopt his values, accept his teachings, and worship him alongside his other followers. When an adult is baptised, this ceremony that marks the beginning of a life devoted to following Christ and is the event at which the family of the church welcomes a new member.
If you would like to discuss any questions you may have about baptism, come along to church and have a chat to one of our ministers after the service. Or else you can contact the office to make an appointment. We'd be delighted to meet with you.