October 17, 2017

The Sacrament of Baptism

Baptism is the sign and seal of incorporation into Jesus Christ. In baptism we recognize and accept the grace of God that already exists in a person’s life. Baptism allows us to see that person as God’s child, to know the gift of God’s grace, and to celebrate God’s presence in human life, cleansed of sin, and given a new life in Jesus Christ.

Presbyterians also believe that when a person receives the Sacrament of Baptism that person is welcomed into the family of believers - the church. The person now belongs to a community of sisters and brothers around the world, a family composed of all people who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, and who, therefore, may call themselves by the family name “Christian.” 

 

Presbyterians believe that the Sacrament of Baptism may be received only once. Furthermore, Presbyterians recognize as fully valid the baptism of all Christian denominations.

 

WHO MAY BE BAPTIZED?

Presbyterians baptize adults, children and infants. There is no age requirement. The baptism of children and infants witnesses to the truth that God’s love claims people before they are able to respond in faith. 

As to adult baptism, no one is required to have the Bible memorized, or pass a test about Christian theology and church history. No one is required to be a perfect human being, with perfect faith and no doubts or faults. The Sacrament of Baptism is God’s way of coming to imperfect human beings and working the miracle of renewal in their lives.


When the sacrament of Baptism is celebrated, vows and promises are made by adults on their own behalf or by parents/guardians on behalf of infants and children. Those desiring Baptism must

  • profess their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior,
  • renounce evil and affirm their reliance on God’s grace,
  • declare their intention to participate actively and responsibly in the worship and mission of the church,
  • and, in the case of infant or child baptism, declare their intention to provide for the Christian nurture of their child. (W-3.3603)

In infant or child baptism, at least one parent or guardian must be an active member of this congregation. These requirements are not put in place to make it difficult to baptize a child, but rather to maintain the integrity of the sacrament and ensure the fulfillment of the vows taken by the parents and the church.

 

WHEN MAY BAPTISM OCCUR?

In the Presbyterian Church Baptism is celebrated during the corporate worship service. Because the Sacrament of Baptism is an act of the whole community of faith, the congregation also makes promises at the time of baptism on behalf of that particular congregation, as well as the Church Universal. 

While other denominations allow “Godparents,” who take similar vows, in the Presbyterian tradition the whole congregation functions in that role. 

 

WHY IS WATER USED IN BAPTISM?

 

Water is a necessary element for life. Water also cleanses and refreshes the physical body. Presbyterians affirm that the water of Baptism is a sign of God’s cleansing power, symbolically washing away the sin of the past and providing for a new and fresh beginning. 

 

WHAT STEPS NEED TO BE TAKEN IN PREPARATION FOR BAPTISM?

 

For parents/guardians desiring to have their child(ren) baptized, the first step is to be an active member of the congregation. When you discern that it is time for your child(ren) to be baptized, please contact the church office where the request will be reviewed and approved by the Pastor, Worship Committee and the Session (our ruling body) which has the responsibility of approving all Baptisms. 

 

If you would like to suggest a date for the Baptism, you may indicate that on the Form at the time of application. Consultation with the pastor is necessary to determine the final date. The Outer Banks Presbyterian Church allows you to choose both the date and the service as long as no other special congregational activities are scheduled for that time. Pews may be reserved for family and friends. However, sometimes there may be more than one Baptism celebrated at the same service.

 

Typically, the officiating pastor will meet with the family prior to the baptism date. Home visits can be arranged. During that meeting, you will have an opportunity to discuss any other questions about Baptism which you might have. 

 

Adults desiring to be baptized should speak with a pastor who will talk with you more about the significance of being baptized. You are also urged to participate in the worship life of the church and then attend an Inquirer's (New Member) Class. This class is an opportunity for all who are considering uniting with our church to learn more about what it means not only to be a member of The Outer Banks Presbyterian Church, but a Christian in today’s world. After this brief period of instruction, you will make your profession of faith and the Session will authorize your baptism. You will then schedule the date of your baptism with the pastor.

 

IN CONCLUSION

 

We hope that we have answered most of the questions you may have about the Sacrament of Baptism. If you have additional questions, or would like to think more deeply about any aspect of the Sacrament, please contact the church office call, who will be glad to set an appointment for you to speak with a minister.

 

 

 

 

 
QUICK LINKS
 
 Like us on Facebook



Cotton-Patch-Gospel-Logo

Sat., October 14
7 pm
Click here for more info
 



 

 

 


 

 

 
 

Members Login



Last month October 2017 Next month
S M T W T F S
week 40 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
week 41 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
week 42 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
week 43 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
week 44 29 30 31