Guides / Baptism

Baptism Guide

Baptism
 

A Guide to Understanding

Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 
Regina, Saskatchewan

Glorify the Lord with me; Let us exalt His Name together. Psalm 34:3
Special Facilities Available: | Fellowship Hall

BAPTISM IS FOR EVERYONE OF ALL AGES

On the day of His Ascension 40 days after His Resurrection from the dead on the first Easter following the events of Good Friday the Gospel of Matthew records that Jesus came and said to [His disciples], “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20 ESV) And just 10 days later on the day of the feast of Pentecost St. Peter inspired by the Holy Spirit said to Jewish (non-Christian people) gathered for the feast, “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 and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” (Acts 2:38–39 ESV) If you are looking at this page today the Lord Jesus is calling you to Himself and the Holy Spirit is at work on your heart.

At Mount Olive we are happy to baptize you and/or your child or children. From the earliest times Christians have been baptized into Jesus Christ. Our goal is to help you understand the meaning of baptism and the procedures followed at our church for the planning and performance of a baptism. Hopefully, this page will start to answer any questions you may have at this time.

A CRITICAL FIRST STEP

Acknowledgment that the Lord Jesus is indeed calling you to Himself and the Holy Spirit is presently at work on your heart.  We believe at Mount Olive Lutheran Church that we cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, The Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called us by the Gospel, enlightened us with His gifts, and has sanctified (made holy) and kept us in the true faith. This is true for you as an individual and in the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On The Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.

In this way baptism is not something that we do for God rather it is something that God is doing for us and for our children. It is a gift. St. Paul says, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:3–11 ESV)

This is why we also read in St. Paul's letter to Titus how it is that God is the one at work in baptism when Paul writes, "For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:3–7 ESV)

So again God is the active one in baptism we are the recipient of this washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. At Mount Olive we set aside any idea that baptism is something we do to please God and instead rejoice in the great gift God has for us in baptism. 

A MEETING WITH A PASTOR

The pastors of the congregation would love to have an opportunity to meet with you before the baptism to answer any questions you might have and to get to know you better. This can happen at the church or in your home. Please contact the church office to make arrangements or better yet speak to one of the pastors at church following one of our Church Services.  

PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITIES

If it is a child who is being baptised you will want to consider your parental responsibilities. As parents you are entrusted by God to take care of your child's needs and along with their physical needs a child has spiritual needs. Instruction in the faith begins in the home and in the Christian church as a community where we collectively confess our faith in Christ Jesus. 

To assist you in your responsibility to care for the spiritual needs of your newly baptised child Mount Olive provides Sunday School, and when they reach the age of 11, we also provide an opportunity for them to take Confirmation of baptism classes where they will be prepared to make a public confession of their faith in Jesus and give thanks for the gifts that they have received in their baptism from God: we pray that this along with regular attendance at the Divine Service and additional opportunities to continue learning and growing in the Christian faith, for both you and your child and/or children, will be a blessing to you all as Christians no matter what life may throw at you and your family. 

SPONSORS/GODPARENTS

Again if it is a child who is being baptized, you will be asked to have baptismal Sponsors/Godparents present at the baptism of your child. They will promise and vow to assist you in the care of the spiritual needs of your child especially if you are unable to do so. They need to be baptized Christian people who are willing to keep the promises that they will make on the day of your child’s baptism. We will provide you with a copy of the baptism Service and ask that you give it to them so that they will know their responsibilities in this process. They need to be able to confess the Christian faith publicly as detailed in The Small Catechism

Do adults being baptized have baptismal Sponsors/Godparents? They do not have to but we whole heartedly recommend it and will help you find someone if you are having a hard time finding one yourself. Everyone needs encouragement in the faith. St. Paul talks about the benefits of being, "mutually encouraged by each other's faith." (Romans 1:12 ESV)

CONNECTED TO THE WORSHIP LIFE OF GOD’S PEOPLE - DIVINE SERVICE

Baptisms are normally performed in the church – as part of a Christian worship Service – before a group of gathered believers. Because Lutherans believe that the Sacrament of Holy Baptism also brings an individual into the family of God, the church (the family of God gathered in worship), will want to be part of this important event. God’s gathered people will promise, along with you and your Sponsors/Godparents, that they will pray for you and for your child. Except in the case of emergencies, private baptisms are discouraged at Mount Olive Lutheran Church because they tend to disconnect baptism from the wider life of the Church and its people.

THOSE WHO LIVE OUT OF TOWN

For those who do not live within the geographical ministry area of Mount Olive Lutheran Church, it is the policy of our congregation – once the baptism of a child or an infant has been performed, to send his or her membership within 30 days to the closest Lutheran Church–Canada congregation and ask the pastor of that congregation to offer the services of the church to that family. If you are being baptised as an adult we will help you find a Lutheran Church–Canada nearer to where you live. 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Baptisms normally take place in the church sanctuary. As you make plans for the date of the baptism, please be advised that because of the structure of our Church Services, the first and third Sundays of the month are preferable to the second or fourth and fifth Sundays.

There is no charge for a baptism at Mount Olive. This is part of our ongoing devotion to the command given by Jesus in Matthew chapter 28. In the Sacrament of Holy Baptism God the Father by His Holy Spirit will strengthen your own faith and your commitment to His Church and Christ Jesus. You will have all those things that God promises you in baptism: forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of Jesus declare in the Gospel of Mark, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16 ESV) May God bless the plans you are making at this time. Please don’t hesitate to contact one of our pastors if you have any further questions, or if you would like to set up an appointment.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Mount Olive Lutheran Church
2015 4th Avenue North
Regina, Saskatchewan. S4R 0T5
Pastor Ted Giese - 306-543-2868
Pastor Lucas Albrecht, 306-543-9716 
Church Office – 306-543-9744
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