In infant baptism, we acknowledge a number of things. First, that we are sinful even at birth and that God loves us when we are helpless. In the Old Testament covenant that God makes with Abraham, he promises to be God to Abraham, to his children, and to all who come after him. In infant baptism, most of all, we acknowledge the promise of God to love us first before we even have the capacity or desire to try and deserve or earn that love. Second, parents or guardians and the church make a commitment to raise a particular child to come to know their God and his son Jesus Christ. We say that the child is “engaged to profess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.” In effect, the parents pre-arrange a faith “marriage” to Jesus, but in this engagement, this child will one day need to make that faith commitment themselves through a profession of their faith as adult believers. Children are not saved through baptism. Instead, we remember and signify the promises of God, the promises of parents and the church community, and commit together to help this child come to a knowledge of and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
For more information regarding upcoming classes and baptism services, please click here.
The great Christian missionary Paul says this in Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised [Jesus] from the dead, you will be saved.” Believer baptism in the early church was a sign and seal of this profession of faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If infant baptism is like a prearranged marriage and engagement of faith, then the believers profession is like the “wedding” of faith – a committed covenant in which a person receives the deep love of God and returns it in committed faith. Baptism itself does not save a person. Paul says it this way in Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”
For more information or to see if you are ready to be baptized, read through this helpful document: Believer Baptism at Fair Haven Church.
Believer baptism is available in worship throughout the year, and during the summer we celebrate together with our other congregations in a special One Church Family Baptism Celebration in Lake Michigan (see video below).