Baptize AND Teach

Acts 3:38-39, Matthew 28:19-20, John 3:16

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I’ve met many non churchgoing parents that have approached me to baptize their children. What a good thing to want for your child for them to be baptized because we know of the incredible gifts that God gives in baptism. In Acts chapter 2 St. Peter tells us

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children” (Acts 3:38-39)

He tells us that the promise of baptism and the blessings that it gives is for even children. The blessing of the forgiveness of sins. The blessing of the gift of the Holy Spirit who creates faith in that child’s heart. It’s good for parents to desire this for their children.

However, I am a little bit surprised though, but maybe I shouldn’t be, that those same parents don’t seem to be all that interested in bringing their child to church or to Sunday school on a regular basis. They maybe overlook that important part. They think as long as I baptized the child then he’s set. Everything’s good. I’ve done my part. But it’s good for us to remember what Jesus himself said in Matthew 28.

Therefore go and gather disciples from all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and by teaching them to keep all the instructions I have given you. (Matthew 28:19-20)

See, the way that you make a disciple, a follower of Christ, is not simply by baptizing them, but also teaching them everything that God has told us in His Word. We think about how vitally important it is not just to baptize our children, but to also teach them God’s Word. To bring them to church so they can hear His Word, to bring them to Sunday school, to read those devotions at our homes and the Bible stories from God’s Word because it’s that which keeps that faith strong.

You know there’s many examples in the Bible of people that had strong faith at one time or another, but lost it. So we know that even a child, while faith can be given to that child through baptism, through God’s incredible gift, if that faith isn’t fed, that faith will eventually die.

So I encourage parents, not just want their child to be baptized, which is certainly a good thing, but to also have the same motivation to teach them everything in God’s Word. So that faith might grow strong, their faith in their Savior, Jesus Christ. The same one who spoke those very famous words:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

He tells us whoever believes in Christ has eternal life. It’s certainly something that we want for ourselves and for our kids. Amen.