Presentation on theme: "Westside Church of Christ welcomes you! “I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You” (Psalm 22:22) Assemblies:"— Presentation transcript:
Westside Church of Christ welcomes you! “I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You” (Psalm 22:22) Assemblies: Sunday Bible class: 9:30 AM Sunday Worship: 10:30 AM Sunday Worship: 6:00 PM Wednesday Bible class: 7 PM Men’s Training: Sunday 4:30 Ladies’ Class: 1 st /3 rd Tuesdays Please silence cell phones! Today’s Sermon Topic: Baptizing Children
Parents: How do I know when my child is ready… For me to remove toddler protection measures? To swim without me in the water? To play outside without me watching? To stay at home without an adult? To have a late curfew? To go on a date? To drive a car? ANSWER: When the child has demonstrated: Enough maturity to recognize and avoid dangers Enough maturity to make good decisions Enough maturity to seek help when needed THE SAME PRINCIPLES APPLY TO THE QUESTION OF WHEN MY CHILD IS READY TO BE BAPTIZED.
How do I know when my child is ready to be baptized? Enough maturity to recognize and avoid danger The danger of sin The danger of not being baptized The danger sin poses after baptism Enough maturity to make good decisions Decision to believe and obey the Gospel Decision to avoid future sins Decision to commit to faithful discipleship Enough maturity to seek help when needed Recognize when they commit new sins Seek forgiveness for new sins (pray, confess, repent) Seek guidance from the Bible and church members
Age of Accountability Jesus was 12 in Luke 2:40-47 But was this His first time to the temple? (Probably not!) Did He become accountable at the age of 12? Accountable for what? Cannot say that any exact numerical age is the “age of accountability” Notable Old Testament examples: Numbers 14:28-32 – those under age 20 were not held accountable for the sins of those over age 20 1 Samuel 3 – Samuel was just a boy when God spoke to him Samuel had the “advantage” of being raised in the priesthood A child “raised in the church” has advantages Constant exposure to God’s Word and Godly examples Will mature spiritually faster than those who do not attend church A child not raised in the church will develop spiritual readiness slower Being “raised in the church” means constant attendance!
Hoyt Houchen, Guardian of Truth XXV: 1, p. 2 The specific age at which a child should be baptized cannot be determined. It all depends upon the circumstances. One child may be taught sufficiently at a very early age and will, therefore, want to render obedience. Whatever the age may be, the child should be accountable; that is, he should know right from wrong, realizing that he is lost and must obey the gospel. When the age of accountability is reached must be determined by each individual case. One child may have reached it at a very early age, whereas another child may not have reached it until later years. How much the child knows, his awareness of his condition and his desire to be baptized are determining factors as to when the child is a proper subject of baptism. Dealing with the child who wishes to be baptized can be a very difficult matter. A young child should not be pressured to be baptized, neither should he be discouraged. First, parents should make it their duty to teach their children fully as to the seriousness of the step in becoming a Christian. Also what is involved in being a Christian, in addition to the truth about baptism itself should be greatly stressed. Children need to know that there are other things important as well as baptism. When they have been sufficiently taught and thereby become proper subjects of baptism, then it should be left up to the child as to when he should be baptized.
Mike Willis, Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 14, pp. 418, When a child is born into the world, he is born sinlessly pure. He has not inherited either the guilt of the sins or a morally depraved nature from his ancestors (Ezek. 18:20; Matt. 18:3). The doctrine of inherited depravity, which led to infant sprinkling, is not taught in the Bible. Solomon wrote long ago, "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions" (Eccl. 7:29). When a child reaches the "age of accountability," he chooses to transgress God's commandments of his own will and volition (Rom. 3:23; 2 Cor. 5:14). Through this act of his own will, he rebels against God and enters the kingdom of Satan by sin. Becoming guilty of sin, the young person is separated from God, dead in his sins, and lost (Isa. 59:1-2; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1).
Robert F. Turner, Guardian of Truth XXXI: 5, p. 135 I recall trying to talk to a very young girl who had requested baptism, and being repeatedly interrupted by the girl's mother who had accompanied her to the front. When I asked the young child if she felt she had sins that needed to be forgiven, the mother was outraged. "Sins?" she blurted. "Why, she is much too young to have sins, and you should know that." I suspected it, hence the questions. But neither of us believed in inherited sin, so, why should she be baptized? But there are times when one can not help but wonder if we practice infant baptism. Those "brought up in the church" may learn by rote and example certain conducts, including baptism, which they do not understand and therefore can not "obey from the heart." And many of us have seen peer pressure bring to the baptistry young children, who later will acknowledge they "did it because Jane, or Bob, did it."
Shane Scott, Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 24, p. 748 I am afraid we have lost sight of the basic link between conversion and discipleship. We have focused on baptizing people, converting them, saving them, etc. and rightly so (Acts 2:38). But if we fail to emphasize to prospects that they must become disciples, i.e. dedicated followers who will be students of Christ, we have told them only half of the story. I know that personally I have not emphasized the equivalence of conversion and discipleship, and as a result two of the three people I have baptized this year have fallen away, and a third is at best in a very weak condition. If we do not ask prospects to "count the cost" before baptism, we are unfair to them and unfaithful to the gospel Christ wants us to preach. I think the matter of discipleship also directly bears on what we call the "age of accountability." I was first baptized in water at the age of 11, but five years later I was baptized into Christ. I do not know how many people in the church have had a similar experience, but I have a sneaking suspicion there are many. When I was 11, I could read well enough to understand what passages like Acts 2:38 meant, but I was not mature enough to really comprehend the meaning of discipleship. If discipleship is an integral part of becoming a Christian, then those who are not mature enough to understand discipleship are not mature enough to become Christians and are not accountable. When we emphasize to young people that they need to be baptized and neglect to discuss what it means to be a disciple, we end up producing "converts" who have no idea what it means to abide in the word of Christ, love brethren, and bear fruit, all of which are marks of true disciples - true converts (John 8:31; 13:35; 15:8). Certainly, individual children radically differ in stages of development, and for some the age at which they become mature enough to realize the commitment necessary to be a disciple will be much earlier than it will be for others. But we are making a mistake to baptize young people without being sure they understand what Christ will expect of them as disciples.
What if my child was not really ready when he was baptized? Danger of getting discouraged and losing hope Danger of stagnant faith and lack of growth Danger of falling away Future fear that the baptism may not have counted Baptizing a child who is not ready sets a bad example for other children! How to prevent this problem: Do not pressure children to be baptized Do train them and monitor their maturity Verify that the child understands what he is requesting
God’s Commands for Kids Eph 6:1-3 – Obey and honor your parents Col 3:20 – Obey parents Example: Jesus (Luke 2:51) The kingdom of heaven belongs to children (Matt. 19:14) Innocent children will be saved Children are accountable to their parents A person is lost when he sins against God Every lost person needs Jesus for salvation Baptism is for sinners, for the lost Baptism is not for those who are innocent Not for small children or babies Not for the mentally disadvantaged
The WRONG reasons to be baptized Parent or relative wants me to To join the “church club” Because my friend did it To get attention Because I think I’m old enough To be treated like an adult To eat the bread and grape juice Because that’s all I have to do to go to heaven
The RIGHT reasons to be baptized I know I have sinned against God and I want to be forgiven I believe Jesus is God’s Son, that Jesus died to pay the price for my sins, and that Jesus can save me from sin I know that baptism puts me into Christ (Gal. 3:27), washes away my sins (Acts 22:16), and saves me (1 Pet. 3:21) I am prepared and willing to accept the responsibilities of being a Christian A lifelong commitment to discipleship: Continuous Bible study, prayer, pursuit of spiritual growth Obedience to God’s will in all things Christian living, holiness, self-sacrifice Church participation and sharing the Gospel with others
Who can be baptized? A person who: Has heard the Gospel (Acts 18:8; Rom 10:14, 17) Knows he has sinned against God and wants forgiveness (Acts 2:37) Believes Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12) Confesses faith in Jesus (Matt. 10:32; Acts 8:36-37) Repents of his sins (Luke 13:3,5; 24:47; Acts 3:19) Can make a commitment to faithfulness (Rev. 2:10; Heb. 5:9) Who should not be baptized? o A person who has not heard the Gospel o A person who is not sure if he or she is ready o A person who is incapable of understanding sin o A person who is incapable or unwilling to believe in God o A person who is unwilling to confess, repent, or commit o A person who lacks free will in the decision
How much knowledge is needed? Maturity, accountability, and understanding Only you and God know if you are ready Parents should advise you…listen to them! Preacher will ask you questions Perfect knowledge of the Bible is not necessary But enough to believe and obey the Gospel (Mark 16:16) Enough to be a disciple (Matt. 28:19; Acts 19:1-7) Understanding of words that save (Acts 11:14; 2 Tim. 3:14-15) Perfect knowledge of all laws and sins is not necessary But enough to generally discern good from evil Enough to know to repent when you do sin (Acts 8:22)
Are you ready? If you are, why do you delay? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His Name!