Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Getting Jesus when you dont think you need Him

"Its was an awesome thing to see Hadleigh baptized on Sunday" said one who I grew up with at our former non-covenantal Baptist church. Hadleigh is Steph and I's first and only daughter. She is precious to us and we believe deeply that Christ loves her too. We believe that if she died today we could and would have absolute confidence that she will escape the Wrath she deserves and enter into the eternal expression of Grace. This, not on the basis of some extra-biblical notion that a child is not accountable for Adam's sin till they reach a certain level of maturity, but rather the biblical teaching that children of believers are 'holy' on the basis of their parent(s) faith.

Now, I'm not writing to defend the merits of infant baptism. Rather, to express some thoughts that began to surface when I received the aforementioned comment. She also graciously mentioned a sermon that I preached a couple weeks ago . I began to think... It's silly how I used to think I had preaching figured out back in the day. Now I'm just amazed at good preaching and wonder whether Ill ever get close. Similarly, I began to consider Hadleigh's baptism. It was truly one of the sweetest and most meaningful moments of my entire life. Yet, to enjoy and experience it with those who share my same non-covenantal upbringing is a ( somewhat gentle) reminder of my former disposition towards infant baptism. Its crazy. And its pure grace for God to take someone who had such an arrogant bent in regard to these things and order circumstances so I would receive what is so precious to me now.

Incidentally, those 'ordered circumstances' were some of the most painful and difficult times of my life. And that's what it took. The Gospel must be true. Because I would go through all that again and worse, just in order to watch Hadleigh be baptized into the Church and actually believe in tears that it means something.


Redeemer Youth said...

Response by John Knorr:

As I baptized Isaac Sunday I prayed, knowing that there were many family members listening, asking God to give him faith now if he so willed, for he is able. I dont know that John the Baptist had faith as he leaped in the womb of his mother when she met Mary, but as I peer into the teaching of election in the Bible my heart is warmed with the same comfort as your blog. God has covenanted with my children, and he is able to save them, so I will beg for their souls now.

Today we changed our tradition of Christmas. I was influenced by many things, not the least was two services on Christmas eve, and a short conversation with Adrien Potts, in which he expressed his bewilderment that we Americans do not go to church on Christmas. We treated the day's celebration more sacrementally than we have ever. We read, as usual, the Christmas story after eating together, but then we continued to read scripture intermittently as we opened gifts, praying at each interval, and sometimes breaking out into a hymn. I found myself reading the end of the story in revelation just before we opened up another batch of gifts, and it became extremely apperant that the gifts we were so excited to give and receive were very small compared to what is going on in redemptive history. I read of the Lamb being exalted for who he is, and the bride being swept up by him so that she would have no more tears of sorrow, no more pain do to sin, no more death because of covenant breaking. I read of how he will reach to the deepest desire of my soul and answer, it is true! It is all true. What you have hoped for and beyond is going to come true. Then I looked down at the gift in my hand and it just seemed small, not enough, I guess, to equal what we were celebrating.



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Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Haldeighs baptism. Shari and I wish we would've been there to share in that moment with you.

One of our favorite moments at Redeemer occured during the baptism of Emily Potts. Shari and I both began to cry as we watched Ricky pour the water over Emily's head. What a beautiful sight!

We look forward to seeing more and more of our youth move from an engagment with Jesus to marriage.