Here are five vital questions you might have:
What is a baby dedication?
The celebration of baby and child dedication are intended to be a public statement by the parents. They promise to do their best to train their children in the Christian faith and seek to instill a relationship with Christ into their children. The dedication also means that by word and example, you as the parent or guardian promise to teach your child to live a holy life and to value the good gifts God has given them. The parents promise to give their child every opportunity and encouragement to develop into the well-rounded Christian individual that God intends them to be So that they may live up to their God given potential.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” -Deuteronomy 6:4-7
Do you baptize children at a dedication service? No
Some Christian Churches baptize infants by sprinkling them with water. In those churches, baptism is seen as a “covenant of baptism.” Which is similar to the Old Testament covenant of circumcision. Abundant Life Church does not baptize infants. Instead, we dedicate babies and children to God. There are several reasons for this. First, there are no clear incidents of infant baptism in scripture. Baptism seems instead to be an evidence of Christian faith. Additionally, while some groups suggest that baptism imparts a special grace to children, there is no real support for this. Finally, in our society, often adults that were baptized as children often desire to be baptized again as an expression of their decision to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord. For these reasons, we do not baptize infants. Christian parents are encouraged to dedicate their children to God during a public worship service. During this Christian dedication service, a beautiful and solemn promise is made to God and the Church to care for the child as a gift from God.
Is a baby dedication the same as my child being saved? No
Child and baby dedications are not the same as a child being saved. Salvation is a personal decision to ask Christ to be the Lord and Savior of your life. Children are not able to understand or comprehend salvation and sin as infants and young children. Therefore, salvation in Christ should be taught to children starting at the earliest of ages so that at the appropriate age a child will make an individual decision to follow Christ, be born again, and experience salvation. Nothing will ever replace a personal decision of an individual to choose Christ for themselves.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith, which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” -Romans 10:8-13
Is baby dedication an ordinance of the Church? No
Child and baby dedication are not one of the two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, required of Christians in the New Testament. As Christians, we are baptized and participate in the Lord’s Supper as outward and public signs of what Christ has done within us. While baby dedication is not an officially instituted ordinance of the church, there does not seem to be any conflict with Scripture as long as parents do not view it as assuring the salvation of their child.
Is baby dedication biblical? Absolutely
The idea of dedicating a child back to the Lord is a practice that has taken place for thousands of years. The bible supports it and here are some great examples of child and baby dedication.
Hannah, who was a barren wife, promised that if the Lord gave her a son that she would dedicate her son back to God.
Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” -Samuel 1:11
The book of Luke gives an account of Mary and Joseph bringing baby Jesus to the temple to be dedicated forty days after he was born.
“Now when the days of her purification according to the law Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him the Lord.” -Luke 2:22
Dedication of a child before God and the Church means that you realize that the church should have a large part in the spiritual growth of your family and your child. The church is a great place of spiritual and emotional strength and help. As the church, we pray that you and your family will always remember these important facts.
- Your child is a gift from God
- You should pray for and with your child
- You should lead in instructing your child in the things of God
- You should teach your child to read God’s word
- You should do everything in your power to bring your child to a knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
It is a great privilege to offer a child back to the Creator. If you wish to stand before God and the Church to dedicate your child to God, then the leadership at Abundant Life Church would love to assist you in doing so. We count it as an honor to dedicate your child to the Lord.