Grace, mercy and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are gathered together in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, to worship our triune God with acts of praise and prayer, and acts of faith and fellowship.
This special service will center on one of the foundational ordinances of the Church: Christian Baptism, which was instituted by our Lord.
The goal and climax of all worship is Communion with God, and this is made possible by faith in Christ’s sacrificial atonement on our behalf. With this faith, we are joined with the body of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The ordinances we will observe this evening symbolizes this reality for Christians. Baptism pictures being immersed into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit when we put our faith in Christ. It is a celebration of God’s grace, not of human achievement. It is not an end in itself, but it always points beyond itself to celebrate God’s covenant faithfulness and the abundant grace of God offered in Christ.
And so, To the end that the blessing of God Almighty-Father, Son and Holy Spirit-rest upon us all and upon this service which we offer for His sake, for His glory, and for His pleasure, I pray:
THE LORD BE WITH YOU.
Cong: And also with you.
AMEN. Now let us give attention to the reading of God’s Word.
Matthew 28:18–20 (ESV)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Ephesians 4:4–6 (ESV)
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
READERS: The Word of the Lord.
Cong: Thanks be to God.
Hymn: Christ is Made the Sure Foundation
Christ is made the sure foundation, Christ the head and cornerstone,
Chosen of the Lord and precious, Binding all the Church in one,
Holy Zion’s help forever, And her confidence alone.
To this temple where we call You, Come, O Lord of hosts today
With Your blessed lovingkindness, Hear Your people as they pray,
And Your fullest benediction Shed within its walls always.
Here vouchsafe to all Your servants What they ask of You to gain;
What they gain from You forever With the bless-ed to retain,
And hereafter in Your glory Evermore with You to reign.
Laud and honor to the Father, Laud and honor to the Son,
Laud and honor to the Spirit, Ever Three and ever One,
One in might and One in glory, While unending ages run.
Prayer of Praise
THE SERVICE OF BAPTISM
After Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended back to the Father, the apostles proclaimed the mandate Jesus had given them with its accompanying promise:
“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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)
In obedience to this command, Church of Christ the King this evening will baptize _____.
Baptism has no saving power in itself, but it is a public profession, a picturesque symbol of spiritual realities accomplished by the death of Christ and applied to a person the moment he or she believes. It is at once:
a sign of the washing away of sin,
a sign of our union with Jesus’ death and resurrection,
a sign of the promise of new birth in Christ,
a sign of incorporation into the Christ’s body the church,
and a sign of the promise of the Holy Spirit.
The water of baptism signifies the washing away of our sin by the blood of Christ and the renewal of our lives by the Holy Spirit. Being covered over by the water signifies that we are buried with Christ. From this we learn that our sin has been condemned by God, that we are to hate it and to consider ourselves as having died to it.
Moreover, the act of baptism signifies that we are raised with Christ. From this we learn that we are to walk with Christ in newness of life.
Most beautifully, the immersion into water symbolizes the fact that at the moment of our conversion, the Holy Spirit of God immersed us into the spiritual body of our Lord Jesus Christ. And thus just as Spirit baptism joins us to Christ’s spiritual body, so these who are being physically baptized today will also be immersed into us, a visible representation of that body.
And so, this night, obeying the mandate of our Lord Jesus, and confident of his promises, we baptize these believers whom God has called.
The Rite of Christian Baptism
*Hymn: The Church’s One Foundation
The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation By water and the Word:
From heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died.
Elect from ev’ry nation, Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation: One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses, With ev’ry grace endued.
‘Mid toil and tribulation And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore;
Till with the vision glorious Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest.
Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy! Lord give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee.
Welcome of New Members
Pastor: Believing you have been led by the Spirit of God, do you hereby seek membership in this church, and in so doing, covenant with this congregation to walk together in Christian love, sustaining its worship, promoting its spiritual life, striving for its growth in knowledge of the truth and in Christian character, contributing cheerfully and regularly to the support of its ministries here and around the world? If so, answer: “I do.”
[New Members: “I do.”]
Do you promise to maintain a life of daily devotion, to walk circumspectly in the world, to be just in your dealings, faithful to your commitments, and exemplary in your manner of life, seeking the salvation of others, and avoiding practices that could bring harm to yourself or jeopardize your own or another’s faith? If so, answer: “I do.”
[New Members: “I do.”]
Furthermore, do you covenant to exercise mutual care for the members of this body in brotherly love, to remember one another in prayer, to aid and comfort one another in sickness and distress, intending always to be agents of reconciliation, desiring to live in harmony with the ideals and principles of the Covenant of _____, and seeking to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ, to the Glory of God? If so, answer: “I do.”
[New Members: “I do.”]
Pastor (addressing the congregation):
And do you, the members of this congregation, covenant this day to welcome these new members into your full fellowship, to surround them with your love, to support them in your prayers, to minister to their needs, to affirm them in their service and to walk with them in their journey as together, we seek to live to the praise of God’s glory? If so, answer, “We do.”
[Congregation: “We do.”]
Pastor: Invite families to join for prayer:
We thank you that you delight to seek and find and restore lost sheep unto your fold. And so today we thank you for your grace in drawing ______ unto yourself, and for moving their hearts to respond to your grace with obedience in Baptism. We thank you for their testimony to follow you with new lives, and we ask only that by your Spirit, you would sanctify them and stir them to live lives worthy of the high calling they have been given in Christ. And now, May the blessing of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—be upon each of you. Amen.
*Hymn 809: Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow
*Pastoral Charge and Benediction