Believer’s Baptism: What are we celebrating?

As the title of this article might suggest, I am a credobaptist. If you’re not quite sure what the term credobaptist means, it simply means that I believe that the sacrament of baptism is not for infants/children, rather it is intended for people who have repented of their sin and placed their faith in Jesus Christ. This weekend I had the great honor exercising my credobaptist convictions as I baptized three people including my oldest son Jeremiah. What a time of celebration! Yet in the midst of the celebration I find it helpful to remind myself of what it is that I am actually celebrating. You see, all too often I find that my fellow credobaptists seem to make the central focus of our baptismal celebrations the individual’s response to the gospel message. And while it is certainly appropriate to celebrate an individual’s response to the gospel (see Luke 15:7-10), I can’t help but think that our celebrations ought to have as their primary focus God’s gracious and sovereign work. After all, this is just what the Apostle Paul does in…

  • Colossians 2:12-15—having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

His focus isn’t “You guys have really made a great decision” or “Through baptism, you’re really standing for Jesus.” Instead, his discussion of baptism is almost exclusively about the “powerful working of God” and we credobaptists ought to follow Paul’s example. We must be diligent to remind ourselves of what it is we are celebrating when we have the opportunity to baptize a new believer. We celebrate the glorious, powerful, gracious, and merciful work of God through Jesus Christ. That’s what we are celebrating. Soli Deo Gloria!

This entry was posted in Sacraments. Bookmark the permalink.