We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.
Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:8). Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become new creations in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4).
What Baby Dedication Is
We believe that God must be a part of our family life if it is to be good and healthy. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Psalm 127:1
We believe that parents’ actions in raising their children are important to God. We have a responsibility as followers of Christ to raise our children in a way that will please the Lord. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
In Scripture there is an example of dedicating children to the Lord. In 1 Samuel 1:11, 26-28, Hannah vowed to dedicate her child to the Lord if He would grant her one. The Lord honored her request and she kept her vow, dedicating Samuel to the Lord. “ . . . then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life.” 1 Samuel 1:11
As a Christian parent, by dedicating your child to the Lord, you are acknowledging your need for God in your family. You are inviting God to be active in your family life, submitting your own desires for your child to God’s desires, and making a commitment to raise your child in God’s way.
We believe that your child is not only yours but is a gift from God. We are earthly stewards of the life God has placed in our home. “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5
The responsibilities the Lord has entrusted to parents include continuously praying for their children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), instructing them in the way of the Lord, setting a godly example, and disciplining them as the Lord would discipline us (Proverbs 29:15, 17; 13:24). As parents, you are only able to do these things through Christ’s strength (Philippians 4:13).
What Baby Dedication Is Not
This isn’t the day of salvation for your child. Salvation is the free gift of God, received when someone grasps his or her need for Christ and makes the conscious decision to enter into a relationship with God.
It isn’t baptism for your child. Baptism is the public profession of faith as described above. Once a child is old enough to make a decision to accept Christ as his or her personal Savior, then he or she can make a choice to be baptized.