Friday, May 17, 2013

A special day

“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven”
Mt 19:14

The day after Ally's first birthday party we had the honor of celebrating her baptism with almost all of her family in attendance.

She was baptized into the covenant family by our dear friend Wade whom had baptized Kenny as a believing adult many years ago and then also performed our wedding ceremony almost 9 years ago. Ally was baptized in the same church congregation that I was baptized in by my parents 34 years ago and which continues to be very dear to us. Such a beautiful image of God's covenant across generations.

Ally was trying her best to make this a baptism to remember. First she kicked her brother Adam and jerked on his hair several times. But The best part was when Kenny and I were asked questions for our part of the baptism, Ally confidently nodded her head "Yes!" Very dramatically in response to each of Pastor Wade's questions. Read the questions below and you can imagine the congregation cracking up as Ally made her dramatic affirmations along with ours ;-). Love my silly girl!

We parents made these three affirmations:

1. Do you acknowledge your child's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, & the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?

2. Do you claim God's covenant promises in her behalf, & do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for her salvation, as you do your own?

3. Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, & promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before her a godly example, that you will pray with & for her, that you will teach her the doctrines of our holy religion, & that you will strive, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring her up in the nurture & admonition of the Lord?

Ally agreed to all these along with her parents :-). Unfortunately I forgot to get the video camera out of the bag and didn't get any of her antics captured.

"And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you." (Genesis 17.7)

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:31)

I often get questions from fellow believers about why we chose to baptize our children before they've made their own personal profession of faith. We believe that the children of believers, in this case ours, ought to be baptized because they belong to the covenant and people of God.

We do not however believe that baptism guarantees that Ally or her big brothers will be saved. We believe Salvation is always by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone (Eph 2.8-9). Faith, not baptism, is the instrument whereby the righteousness of Christ is received and imputed to the sinner. Baptism, however, is a sacrament of inclusion into the covenant of grace whereby God promises salvation to those who believe. It is also a seal, for the one who believes, that acts as a pledge and token which the Holy Spirit uses to give greater assurance of faith. (www.pcanet.org)

My greatest prayer and hope for my daughter Ally is that she would one day soon find true faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior. That her joy would come from believing in and abiding with The Lord all her days.