Essay on Baptism Is A Ceremonial Rite, Or Sacrament
Baptism is a ceremonial rite, or sacrament, to entering the covenant community of the Church, which is extended to one upon joining the community. Therefore, it would be right and proper for a child, who is born to parents within the covenant community, to be baptized as an infant.
First, the Holy Scriptures affirm that children were admitted into the Abrahamic covenant community – being signified by the God-appointed ordinance of circumcision. In Genesis 17, God establishes circumcision as the ceremonial rite which attests to his covenant with Abraham saying, “This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised” (v. 10, NRSV). In the proceeding verses, God further clarifies his expectation of Abraham, namely that circumcision should be performed on all members of the covenant community including their new born children and all members of their household (v. 12-13).
Furthermore, the Holy Scriptures attest that the New covenant community of the New Testament era, which was brought on with the advent of the Christ and the introduction of the gospel, retains continuity with the Abrahamic covenant community of the Old Testament era. As such, in Galatians 3:1-17 Paul connects the dots of this continuity. Referencing Genesis 15:6, he declares faith as the true sign of the covenant membership, and then quoting Genesis 12:3 he shows that from the start of his covenant with Abraham,…