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Why do we baptize babies (in addition to adults) in our church?

This is a common question we receive, and we want to clarify that we don't only baptize children. We practice baptism by conversion as well as household baptisms (including child baptisms) on the basis of the faith of the parent(s). 

The short answer to the question is that we believe the Bible teaches that baptism is a sign of inclusion in the covenant community, which we call the church. And we believe the children of believers are members in the covenant community. Baptism does not guarantee salvation, but instead it points to the Savior, Christ Jesus, in whom there is cleansing of sin. Baptism is not a testimony of a person's faith, but a testimony of a faithful God.

Below are some helpful resources for those who wish to learn more about baptism:

  • Here is a sermon about Baptism that Julian Bacon preached at Hope in July 2023. 
    You can also read the transcript here

  • For a 1-hour video lecture, here is David Gibson (IPC pastor in Aberdeen, UK) speaking at an IPC Catalyst Conference in 2022.

Books we recommend for further study:

  • Christian Baptism, by John Murray

  • Covenantal Baptism, by Jason Helopoulos

  • The Case for Covenantal Baptism, ed. by Gregg Strawbridge

  • Children of the Promise, by Robert Booth

  • Word, Water, and Spirit: a Reformed Perspective on Baptism, by J.V. Fesko​


Mini-books on the topic:

  • What Is Baptism, by R.C. Sproul (Crucial Questions series)

  • Why Do We Baptize Infants?, by Bryan Chapel (Basics of the Faith series)

  • What Christian Parents Should Know About Infant Baptism, by John Sartelle

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