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Page 451


Baptized members of the church, upon reaching adult age, should make personal, public confession of faith and become confessing church members. A baptized member does not become a member of church when he makes confession of faith; he became a member when he was born of covenant parents, and his membership was confirmed when he was baptized. Public confession of faith, however, produces a change in church membership -a change from being a baptized member to being a confessing (or confirmed) member. (When a person is baptized as an adult, his public confession of faith and baptism take place together.)

The change from baptized to confessing membership brings with it increased responsibilities and privileges (as described later). Its importance, as that of initial membership by baptism, requires public confession before the church. When making confession of faith, a person publicly confesses that he personally desires to:

    1. Take over the responsibility of his baptism and church membership from his parents when baptized as an infant.

    2. Confess and join the truth as proclaimed from God's Word

    3. Live according to God's truth

    4. Live with the church, submitting to its discipline procedures.

What is meant by the following statement: "Baptism confirms one's entrance into a church and covenant relationship with God -by birth as infants or by faith as adults"?

When making public confession .of faith, why is one's promise actually a vow? What other vows do most people make before God and His church? Why are vows very serious matters?

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