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August 9, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

preparing

Preparing for the Lord's Day 

Why do we practice infant baptism at Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church? I assume that many of you have a Baptist background, like myself. Therefore, you have many questions concerning the reasons why we baptize children who are not yet old enough to personally profess faith in Christ. First, four reasons we do not baptize infants. We do not baptize infants because we believe that in automatically confers salvation or the forgiveness of original sin. This is the view of the Roman Catholic Church that was decisively rejected by the reformers of the 16th century. We do not baptize our children because we think that it will protect them. Baptism is not a superstitious act whereby we ward off evil. We do not baptize our children because of tradition. While tradition gives a strong witness to the practice of infant baptism it does not form the basis of why we practice it today. We do not practice infant baptism because it is cute. While it is wonderful and sentimental to see little ones brought before the Church with their family dedicating them to the Lord, this is not the reason we include children in the covenant sign.

Then why do we baptize infants? This Sunday at the 8:00a.m. service my wife and I will present our infant daughter, Josephine Day Weber, to receive the covenant sign of baptism. We will do this for one reason only, because we believe to do it is what the Bible teaches. For the Bible alone is our final authority for faith and practice. If the Bible did not teach infant baptism, we would not practice it. Nevertheless, this week we will see from God’s Word that the call upon Christian parents is to dedicate their children to the Lord through the waters of Baptism.

To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and to meditate upon Acts 2:22-39, Genesis 17:7-8, 2 Samuel 7:12-16, Matthew 19:13-14, Acts 16:30-34, Romans 4:11-13 and Westminster Confession of Faith 28.

As we gather to worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit this Lord’s day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “All Praise to God, Who Reigns Above, the Acclamation of Praise “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing and the Hymn of Response “In Christ Alone.” Let us come to worship this Sunday prepared to hear God’s Word, to receive it in faith, to love and treasure it in our hearts, and to practice it in our lives that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him!

Sermon Information

Text: Acts 2:22-39

Title: Children of the Promise

Outline:

  1. Introduction: Why do we Baptize Infants?  

            A. Not Because

                   i. Salvation

                  ii. Tradition

                 iii. Sentiment

            B. Not because

                  i. God’s Word

                 ii. God’s Covenant Promise

   2. Covenant Promises: “I will be your God and you will be my people” 

           A. Children Included in the Covenant

  1.          i. Noah
  2.         ii. Abraham
  3.        iii. Moses
  4.        iv. David
  5.  
  6.     B. Covenant Continuity
  7.          i. Faith

  3. Children of the Promise

            A. Jesus’ Promise to the Children

            B. Peter’s Sermon

            C. Household Baptisms

  4. Covenant Baptism

            A. A Sign

            B. A Seal

  5. Conclusion: Why have your children Baptized?

            A. A Means of Grace

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