At Talbot Street Church we understand that baptism marks our participation in Jesus' life, death and resurrection. It is a symbol of belonging to God's covenant community. We baptize children (often called infant baptism) and we baptize adults (often called believer's baptism). We celebrate both as a sacrament-a tangible symbol of a spiritual reality.
Baptism is a sign and seal of entering the community of Christ, the community bought with Jesus' blood and given life by his Holy Spirit. What's the status of babies born to Christian families? Do they belong to that covenant community? Do they have a place in God's family? Are they citizens of God's kingdom?
God's covenant community is made up of not only believers but their children as well. Long before Jesus, God told Abraham, "I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you" (Genesis 17:7). God's covenant included not only Abraham but his household and his descendants. The Bible uses the word covenant more than 270 times and the sign of the covenant given to Abraham was circumcision. (Genesis 17:11-12) Generation after generation in Abraham's line were circumcised as infants and marked as members of the community of faith, even before they could consciously exercise faith of their own. That was the pattern God established for his people.
Learn more about infant baptism here.
When people come to faith in Jesus later in life we invite them to make a public profession of their faith and be baptized. A process of joining the church, learning about its mission and vision, writing a testimony and meeting with leaders are prerequisites to being baptized.
Learn more about adult baptism here.