Previous baptism-related sermons preached at Church of the Covenant have been conveniently collected here.

1. “God’s Church, When Did She Begin?” Date: 07/26/2020

I. The Church Began Before Time. If Considering the Decree of God
II. The Church Began after the Fall. If Considering the Promise to Adam
III. The Church Began with Abraham. If Considering the Covenant with Abraham
IV. Did the Church Begin at Pentecost? If Considering the Blessing of the Holy Spirit?

Since the visible Church began with Abraham, that has everything to do with who is included into that one Church of both Old and New Testaments. What we learn from the Old Testament is that from the very beginning of the Abrahamic Covenant infants of believers were included into the visible Church by God’s command. They were as infants given the sign and seal of God’s righteousness which is received by faith alone (Romans 4:11). The New Testament teaches that Christ’s Church are the children of Abraham. Nowhere does the New Testament teach us to remove the children of believers, so they must remain within the visible church, for God commanded that believers’ children be given the sign of the visible Church. Believers’ children who have always been citizens in Israel, continue in Israel, baptized into the visible church.


2. “Why Believers Baptize Their Children: A New Family” Date: 10/24/2010

I. The Dilemma: Unbelieving Gentiles Were Outside the Circle of Hope
II. The Answer: Believing Gentiles Were Brought Inside the Circle of Hope

Christ made unity between Old Testament believers and New Testament believing Gentiles, by merging Gentile believers into the same, continuing, Old Testament Church. So believers today are no longer strangers or aliens to the Abrahamic Covenant, but have become fellow members in the same church that believing Jews have always been a part of. Together we are God’s Israel (Galatians 6:16). If believers today have been merged into the continuing Israel of God and infants of believers have always been included, and if there is no command to exclude them from Abrahamic Covenant, they are to remain in the visible church from infancy. As infants, theirs is the kingdom of God (Luke 18:15, 16).


3. “Why We Believe in Household Baptism” Date: 02/11/2018

I. God’s Grace to the Old Testament Household
II. God’s Grace to the New Testament Household

When someone says “Where is the verse that explicitly says we are to baptize infants?” we agree; there is none. And there is also no verse that says that believers’ children are to grow up and wait to be baptized as young adults. There is no explicit verse either way, so we must compare Scripture with Scripture. The burden of proof rests with those who would remove infants from the church, children who have always been included in God’s people. It is very helpful for this question to see God’s pattern through all of Scripture is to deal in His grace with whole households. There are two types of baptisms in Acts: first generation adults and also, baptisms of whole households with a believing parent. Every time a household is mentioned in the New Testament, they are being baptized into the visible church. Further, the Church Father, Origen, born 80 years after the Apostle John recorded, “The Church has received a tradition from the Apostles to give baptism to little children.” Records show that household baptism was the universal practice of the early church. All the Protestant reformers, Calvin, Luther, and Knox without exception taught that household baptism was the biblical standard for the church. Church history records one unbroken line, in all parts of church, of the practice of household baptism of believers’ children.


4. “Baptism as God’s Sign and Seal of Faith” Date: 01/14/2018

I. The Sacraments Are God’s Signs
II. The Sacraments Are God’s Seals

The Bible teaches that the sacraments are God’s sign and seal to us (Romans 4:11). They do not do anything to the person; they don’t change us or save us. The sacraments as signs remind and illustrate His Word. As seals, they assure us that His Word is true. The sacraments are not primarily what we say to God, or our testimony, but the sacraments are God’s pledge to believers that His Word is true. “What the baptized is primarily confessing is not undying devotion to God, but God [is declaring his] unfailing devotion to redeeming, cleansing, sanctifying and ultimately glorifying weak sinful believers. The sacrament of baptism is intended by God to feed our faith, to comfort and assure us.” Ryken


5. “What Comes First, Faith or Baptism?” Date: 11/12/2017

I. The Necessity of Faith. Baptism Without Faith in Christ Does Not Save
II. The Sovereignty of Faith. God Alone Gives Faith in His Time
III. The Expectation of Faith. God Will Be God to Us and Our Children
IV. The Nurturing of Faith. Parents Watch For, Pray For, and Nurture the Growing of Child’s Faith
V. Therefore the Timing of Faith Will Differ. Household Baptism Will Be Before or after Faith

What is the relationship between baptism and the child’s faith? Which comes first, baptism or faith? The Scriptures teach that for adults, baptism is after their profession of faith. Abraham would be an example. Abraham’s circumcision was by God’s Command (Genesis 17:10–11) as a first generation believer. His profession of faith was first, then the sacrament of circumcision/baptism followed. God required the sign of the covenant for the adult to be after his profession of saving faith. The Scriptures also teach that baptism is to be administered to a child before a profession of faith. Isaac would be an example of the second generation. By God’s command, Isaac was circumcised as an infant. The sign of the covenant for the infant of the believer was to be applied before child’s profession of saving faith. Some ask the question, “Infants haven’t yet professed their faith, why would they be baptized?” That’s not a new question to the New Testament. Why would God command Abraham to give the sign of the covenant to Isaac before his profession of faith? The answer is, God’s command is to do so. Parents who believe in Christ alone for their salvation have their children baptized into the visible covenant people of God. Then they prayerfully keep God’s Word and promises before their children, urging them to believe the gospel. Parents plant and water the seed of God’s Word and in faith look to the Lord for the work of regeneration of the child’s heart in His time.


6. “Infant Baptism Is More than a Dedication” Date: 10/25/2015

I. What Is Infant Dedication?
II. Why We Do Not Practice Infant Dedication
III. How Is Infant Baptism Different than Infant Dedication?

Another believer in an evangelical church, might say, “Well in our church we have infant dedication. It must be very similar to infant baptism, just without water. Right?” How do we respond? Baptism is more than a parent’s prayer of dedication, but baptism is God dedicating Himself to us. Baptism is God’s sign and seal of His Word, that it is absolutely true. Sacraments are not primarily our promises to God, or our testimony to the world. Baptism is God’s notarized Word to us that He will save all who come to Him. Baptism is His promise that we can trust Him utterly.


7. “The Question of ‘Re-baptism’?” Date: 08/03/2014

I. What Makes a Valid Baptism?
II. How to Respond to an Invalid Baptism?

What makes a valid baptism? Or, when is a baptism not a baptism? Should a person be re-baptized? The Church has had to wrestle with that question through history. That question what makes a valid baptism—in modern form at times is asked when person who comes to saving faith as an adult and was baptized as an infant now wonders if he should be re-baptized? Especially if his baptism was not performed in a Bible believing church, and his parents did not have saving faith at that time. So now the believer’s question, as a new creature in Jesus Christ, can he now be ‘re-baptized’? That question can be a very emotional and difficult question for a young believer. How does the Scripture help answer the question?

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Additional sermons that address other aspects of baptism include:

The First African Baptism. Date: 09/14/2008
The Baptism of John. Date: 01/12/2020
Baptism Replaces Circumcision Date: 07/23/2017
What is the Place of Believers’ Children in the Covenant? Date: 01/26/2014