One of the most important aspects of Christian parenting is seeking God sovereign grace for our infants through baptism or dedication. Through infant baptism or infant dedication we humbly claim that God is the initiator, the actor, and the sustainer of his saving grace upon our children. The following are some frequently asked questions with answers regarding infant baptism or infant dedication at Highrock Covenant Church.
Historically, there have been two major views on the sacrament of baptism. The first view is that baptism is only for adult believers; the second is that baptism is inclusively for both adult believers and infants of adult believers. These two views each find support within scripture, thus in an effort to maintain unity within the church, Highrock is open to both. As parents, you may choose to baptize your infant, or if you choose to delay baptism until your child is of a mature age, you may dedicate your infant. The choice is yours as parents. Prayerfully consider these options as you seek counsel from the Highrock staff.
Infant baptism focuses on the "sovereign grace of God." This means that by faith you submit to and rely on the sovereign grace of God for your infant’s future salvation. You also as parents take a vow, along with the congregation as the extended family of God, to take direct responsibility for the Christian training of your child. In so doing, we acknowledge that long before we sought the Father’s forgiveness or even knew of our need, God did all that was required for our salvation. Baptizing your infant does not "save" him or her, but rather, it is a tangible way to seek and rely on God’s grace that "prevenes”¾runs ahead¾preparing the way and making possible your child’s future approach to God. (Traditionally, baptism requires that both parents be Christians. However, baptism is also appropriate for the children of one parent when Christian sponsors stand with and take vows with the parent.)
We are bold to claim that God’s grace is always at work in the life of one baptized early. This is why baptism is administered only once for each person. Hence, “no more water" will be necessary when a baptized infant comes to a mature age¾the water applied on the infant will still be effective and efficacious because God's sovereign grace transcends any human merit or time. Although rebaptism is not appropriate, there will be a time for “confirmation” for those who were baptized as infants.
Infant dedication emphasizes one’s "personal faith in God." This means that you as parents choose to delay baptism until your child is of a mature age. Hence, no water will be applied on your infant during the dedication. You are dedicating your infant to God while the congregation stands with you as the extended family of God. In so doing, you are taking a vow to take direct responsibility for the Christian training of your child. (Traditionally, dedication requires that both parents be Christians. However, dedication is also appropriate for the children of one parent when Christian sponsors stand with and take vows with the parent.)
We are bold to also claim that we come to a saving grace of God through personal faith in God. When you choose infant dedication, you are relying on God to lead the way for your child to come to a personal faith in Jesus Christ. The baptism is intentionally delayed until your child reaches a mature age. At that time, he or she can be baptized, making a public confession of faith in Christ. Since the appropriate age for this baptism varies in each case, the general rule of thumb is to consult with the pastoral staff for discernment.
When those who have been baptized as infants reach a mature age, there will come a time to renew his or her relationship to God. This significant time is called "confirmation." This is appropriate for two reasons. First, in confirmation, God confirms his promise to those who were too young to understand that promise when they were baptized. Second, these persons confirm their personal commitment as a public witness which they were unable to make as infants. Confirmation is not rebaptism¾there will be no water applied on the basis of the sovereign grace of God during the infant baptism. Confirmation also celebrates full membership at Highrock for those who were baptized as infants.