Baptism is a one of the two sacraments of the Church of Scotland. Baptism is not a christening or a naming ceremony. People only become Christians when they consciously ask Jesus into their lives, people are not Christians because they are born in Scotland or because their parents are. The child has already received their name shortly after birth. So what is it? Well Baptism is a sign which shows two things:
Firstly it's a sign that God gives forgiveness to everyone who turns to Him through Jesus Christ his Son. A Christian is someone who has come into a new relationship with God through faith by believing in and following Jesus (Ephesians 2 v 8-9).
The bible tells us that before we come to God we are separated from him because of our sin. Therefore we need forgiveness through what Jesus has done by dying for our sin in order that the separation is dealt with.
Forgiveness is like being made clean, being washed clean of that sin. So the sprinkled water in baptism symbolises that cleansing that only Jesus can bring to our lives and points to the real forgiveness that comes only through faith in Jesus.
Secondly baptism is also a sign that we are joined with Jesus. It is about faith. It is a sign for the relationship that he creates with us as we trust in him.
A sign showing faith in God, a sign showing that we belong to him and to his church. God gave Abraham the sign of circumcision to show that his Son Isaac belongs to God's people (Genesis 17v9-14). Baptism is a sign like that and has always been seen as the first steps into membership of the church (Matthew 28 v 19-20).
The Church of Scotland practices infant baptism (although it is also happy to baptise older children and adults who have not been baptised before). In the case of infants it is the faith of parents that is being declared. For adults they will declare their faith in God.
Parents at the baptism take promises or vows to bring the child up in the Christian faith and bring them to church. Parents take these promises looking forward to the day when their child accepts Jesus for themselves and joins His church thereby completing the journey that began on the day they were baptised as an infant.
Because of the connection between baptism and membership, the Church of Scotland requires at least one parent or grand parent of the child to be a member of the church. If none of the parents or grand parents are members of the church but are coming along and are moving towards membership then the Minister will be happy to discuss the baptism going ahead.
We have prepared a leaflet to help you as you consider baptism at Lecropt:
If you want to talk to the Minister about any of this please do not hesitate to get in touch. If you feel that the vows of baptism are not for you but you wish to seek a blessing for your church see the page on "Blessing of Infants" on the menu.