The form's expression of biblical faith in God's covenant mercy is a wonderful encouragement to parents when presenting their children for baptism. Their children are born in sin as they are; both are totally depraved sinners. This is how the baptism form begins: "That we with our children are conceived and born in sin, and therefore are children of wrath." But the form then turns to God, to the gracious covenant-making and -keeping God! While there is no hope or expectation to be found in parents or children, there is hope in the covenant God. The form directs parents to look forward in a pleading, expecting faith to a God whose infinite grace transcends the sinfulness of themselves and their children. Infant baptism, as an expression of faith in the gracious, covenant promise of God, provides an encouraging source of hope and comfort for parents and a rich pleading ground for their children.
Is not a resting ground -It does not teach that our children
are regenerated by baptism
Is not a sandy ground -It does not teach that we may presume that our children are regenerated by baptism
Is a pleading ground -It does teach that we may plead with
God, as a covenant God, to graciously fulfill His covenant
promise in the lives of our children
The third and final portion of the baptism form applies to the baptism of adult persons. This form is also written from the savedchurch perspective. Again stress is clearly laid upon the necessity of membership in the Church Invisible. This is done for the same reasons explained previously, i.e., that the Church Invisible is the essence of the church and that all must be members of the Church Invisible to be saved.
Scripture teaches that adults may only be baptized after knowing and confessing the truth. The form stresses that this should be a confession of saving faith. If not, the person joining the church misses the essence of the church and his baptism. The five questions asked regarding adult baptism confirm the stress placed upon a saving, rather than only a historical confession of faith. The last four refer to misery, deliverance, and thankfulness, the scriptural marks of true conversion. The five questions for adult baptism are printed in the following chart.
What rich, encouraging promise is missed by those not baptizing infants? What command of God are they breaking?
Infant baptism reflects a walking by faith, but only adult believers' baptism is a walking by faith. Why?