(Download the BAPTISM APPLICATION FORM)
Baptism is one of two sacraments in the Presbyterian Church (USA)—the other is the Lord’s Supper. Our church baptizes or dedicates infants and baptizes adults. If the one baptized is a child, one or both parents must commit themselves to a personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and one or both parents must be members of NPC. A parents’ training session with the Pastor usually takes place the week before a child is baptized. If you’re an adult interested in baptism, we are thrilled that God is calling you and invite you to join our inquirer’s orientation.
What is Baptism?
The Book of Order, the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), sheds light on what Presbyterians believe about Baptism:
“In Baptism, the Holy Spirit binds the Church in covenant to its Creator and Lord. The water of Baptism symbolizes the waters of creation, of the flood, and of the Exodus from Egypt. Thus, the water of Baptism links us to the goodness of God’s creation and to the grace of God’s covenants with Noah and Israel. Prophets of Israel, amidst the failure of their own generation to honor God’s covenant, called for justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like an everflowing stream. (Amos 5:24) They envisioned a fresh expression of God’s grace and of creation’s goodness—a new covenant accompanied by the sprinkling of cleansing water. In his ministry, Jesus offered the gift of living water. So, Baptism is the sign and seal of God’s grace and covenant in Christ. (Book of Order W-2.3003)”
“Baptism enacts and seals what the Word proclaims: God’s redeeming grace offered to all people. Baptism is God’s gift of grace and also God’s summons to respond to that grace. Baptism calls to repentance, to faithfulness, and to discipleship. Baptism gives the church its identity and commissions the church for ministry to the world.” (Book of Order W-2.3006)
“The water used for Baptism should be common to the location, and shall be applied to the person by pouring, sprinkling, or immersion. By whatever mode, the water should be applied visibly and generously.” (Book of Order W-3.3605)
“Baptism is received only once. There are many times in worship, however, when believers acknowledge the grace of God continually at work. As they participate in the celebration of another’s Baptism, as they experience the sustaining nurture of the Lord’s Supper, and as they reaffirm the commitments made at Baptism, they confess their ongoing need of God’s grace and pledge anew their obedience to God’s covenant in Christ.” (Book of Order W-2.3009)
“As there is one body, there is one Baptism. (Eph. 4:4-6) The Presbyterian Church (USA) recognizes all Baptisms with water in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit administered by other Christian churches.” (Book of Order W-2.3010)
The Presbyterian Church believes in infant baptism:
“Both believers and their children are included in God’s covenant love. Children of believers are to be baptized without undue delay, but without undue haste. Baptism, whether administered to those who profess their faith or to those presented for Baptism as children, is one and the same Sacrament. The Baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God’s love claims people before they are able to respond in faith.” (Book of Order W-2.3008)
If you have questions, please contact jkelley [at] newtonpres.org