Last night, I taught children at Trace Crossing what Baptists believe about baptism. Using a catechism I have written specifically for children, I explained three important truths about baptism:
- Baptism is a command, not a choice
- Baptism is a picture, not a performance
- Baptism is a sign, not a saving act
The doctrine of baptism has been debated by Christians for centuries and will continue to be debated until we learn in the New Earth just how wrong all the Presbys were! But for now, I’m content to continue learning from those with whom I disagree and from those who are right. *wink wink*
In all seriousness, while my view of baptism is firmly planted in Baptist soil because I believe the Baptist position makes the most sense of the Bible’s teachings on baptism, I do not presume to have the upper hand on my Presbyterian brothers and sisters. I’ll admit that as Baptists, we could be wrong. However, for now I’ll stick with the view of baptism that teaches it as a command and picture of the gospel in which being immersed in water shows we belong to Christ and his Church.
I love recommending resources, so here are a few helpful books I used in preparation to teach baptism to kids. Consider grabbing both of these resources to increase your understanding of what Baptists believe about baptism.
Understanding Baptism (Bobby Jamieson)
Jamieson’s short book on the basics of a Baptist view of baptism is well worth your money and time. It’s perfect for those of you looking for a brief and concise description of the what, why, and how of baptism.
Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ (Tom Schreiner & Shawn Wright)
Schreiner and Wright pack a heavy punch in their book on baptism. I believe their exegesis is convincing as they deal extensively with each biblical text relating to baptism. They even have a chapter on infant baptism, which helps with perspective.
Mathew Gilbert is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God. Mathew and his wife, Erica, live in Tupelo with their two boys, Jude and Jack.