Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20)
Why We Baptise?
In the final chapter of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus instructs his disciples to ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you’ (Matt 28:19-20) which is the great commission Jesus left for us to do.
What is Baptism?
Baptism is a symbolic washing by water with prayer. It involves calling on the name of the Lord for salvation (Acts 22:16). Baptism symbolises Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Anglican Articles of Religion describe baptism as ‘a sign of regeneration or new birth.’ Those who ask for baptism recognise their spiritual salvation depends on the work of Christ on the Cross, and not their own efforts. It is dependent on the Grace of God.
St Matthew’s is willing and pleased to baptise people of any age, who are prepared to commit their life to Jesus Christ and who are dedicated to becoming regular members and attendees of St Matthew’s. Joining with the rest of God’s family here on Sundays – embracing ongoing learning and growing to be more like Jesus.
If you are interested in baptism, the First Step is to come along to one of our Sunday church services (10 am), and then speak to a leader after the service.
Together, they help you plan a mutually acceptable time to discuss the sacrament of baptism and what being a committed member of the Body of Christ entails with our Vicar – that’s Step Two.
Step Three is deciding what is right for you, or your family at this time.
The Anglican Articles of Religion speak of baptism as ‘a sign of regeneration or new birth’, in which the promises of the forgiveness of sin and of our adoption to be the sons of God ‘are visibly signed and sealed by virtue of prayer unto God’ (Article 27).
God wants our children to experience a loving home, gain wisdom, live generously for the good of all, grow in faith, and come at last to share in his eternal kingdom.
Children, who are to be baptised, make promises through their sponsors (parents and godparents). For this reason, the sponsors are required to declare their Christian faith publicly, agree with the teaching in the Apostles’ Creed and promise to live as a disciple of Christ. This requires a commitment to gathering regularly with other church members. The congregation also promises to support the sponsors in their vows.
What Responsibilities Do Godparents Have?
In selecting godparents, it is best to choose people who will be best placed to help your child grow in Christian faith and who take an active interest in helping your child grow to maturity in Christ.
- They promise to actively support and encourage the child as they grow, so the child learns more about being a follower of Christ.
- They should be involved in the “special times” of the child’s growth and seek opportunities to talk about their relationship with Christ.
- They are there to support and guide the Child as they approach the time in their life when they might personally confirm the promises made on their behalf at baptism. Usually at a confirmation service.
- They should pray for their Godchild.
- They need to be people of faith, who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and have been baptised themselves.
During the service of baptism, parents and godparents be asked to respond yes to the following questions:
- Do you turn to Christ?
- Do you repent of your sins?
- Do you renounce evil?
If sponsors/godparents are unable to agree with all the teaching of the Apostles’ Creed or are unable to be committed to attending a regular Sunday service, then a Thanksgiving service for a child is an appropriate option instead.
What is a Thanksgiving Service?
A thanksgiving service does not replace regular baptism; rather, it provides an opportunity to thank God for the birth of a child, to declare the name of the child and to seek God’s blessing upon the family.
The parents are not asked to make a profession of faith in Christ. Friends or family members may be invited to stand with the parents, so to encourage them in their role.
We hope this helps you plan your special occasion with us and hope to see you soon.