CON Contact Us DON Donate
Our History General Assembly Worldwide Outreach Ministries Standards Resources

Question and Answer

How do we teach children about their baptism?

Question:

How do we tell our children about their baptism, and what it means? "Union with Christ," "regeneration," "the purification of sins" and "initiation into the visible church" are far too complicated for children, but I am lost as to how to simplify the doctrine!

Answer:

To help you instruct your children, I would suggest two articles in New Horizons on baptism: Baptism in Our Confessional Standards and Baptism as a Seal.

I would tell children that baptism means that they do not belong to the world but to Christ and his church. This means that they are called particularly to believe and repent. So that when you read the Bible at home and when you hear the minister preach it at church, all its warnings and promises are for you. What happened outwardly, in the action of washing, is what must happen inwardly to us to fit us for heaven: we need to be washed in Jesus' blood and robed in his righteousness. The only way that we can know and enjoy this is by trusting in Christ. And when, and as, we trust, we also obey, desiring and endeavoring to walk in his way, not perfectly (only Christ did this and all our trust is to be in him), but earnestly.

Baptism is a sign and seal of our belonging to him and our children can understand this better than we think. It's a challenge for us; baptismal regeneration, in which we do not believe, is easier to explain because in it the baptism regenerates—period. More could be said but perhaps this suffices for now.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

OPC
© 2014 The Orthodox Presbyterian Church
o

Search OPC.org

MINISTRIES

Chaplains and Military Personnel

Diaconal Ministries

Historian

Inter-Church Relations

Pensions

Planned Giving

Short-Term Missions

RESOURCES

Church Directory

Daily Devotional

Audio Sermons

Trinity Hymnal

Camps & Conferences

Gospel Tracts

Book Reviews

Publications

Newsletter

Presbyterian Guardian