Baptismal Homily (Henry Moog Stout)

Baptismal Homily

Infant Baptism

It says in Proverb 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

This newborn child is what the Bible calls a son of the covenant, or a son of promise (Gal. 4:28). Because Henry was born to believing parents, according to 1 Corinthians 7:14, Henry is holy. What this means is that Henry is set apart by God as a rightful recipient of salvation, and on the condition that Henry repents of his sins and trusts in Christ, he will indeed receive salvation. While baptism is no guarantee that any person will be saved, it is the place where God begins to treat us as His adopted children. From this day forward, God promises to be Henry’s God. And that means God is going to teach Henry. God is going to discipline Henry. God is going to train this child up in the way he should go. The way that God does this is primarily through Henry’s parents, through many loving spankings, through attending church every Sunday, and hearing the Word of God preached to Him. If Henry receives this training, and embraces God as His Father, then when he is old, he will not depart from Him.

In baptism, God imprints His everlasting love upon our soul, and He gives us a new disposition to receive His grace. Just as a sleeping man is capable of running, but may not be running at the moment, so also this child is made capable of loving God, even while his faculties to do so are still developing. It is the faith of the church that speaks and confesses on behalf of this child, and so even infant baptisms are by profession of faith. For we believe what the Apostle Peter says in Acts 2:39, that “the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”