The [name of family] asked if I would be willing to baptize [name of baby girl this morning, and of course, I am delighted to do so. Rather than reading one Scripture, I'm going to read several as I list out a few of the promises that God has connected with baptism. Only believers may have their children baptized, and it is the parent's faith that begins the process of receiving blessings into their children's lives. As I go through these promises, may all of us have our faith encouraged.
The first promise is 1 Corinthians 7:14. It says, "otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy." In connection with the cleansing rite of baptism, children are said to be holy or set apart. And what a marvelous promise it is to have our whole family set apart for the Holy Spirit's ministry. It is because she is already holy or set apart that she has the privilege of moving from an ceremonially unclean to a clean status.
After dealing with baptized believers being heirs of the Abrahamic covenant, Galatians 4:1 talks about the children of those believers. It says that they are heirs too. It says, "Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child..." The word for child is νήπιος and is defined by the dictionary as, "a very young child, infant." So Sophia is an heir of the covenant. That means there are spiritual things she can inherit based upon the covenant.
In Luke 18 people brought infants to Jesus, and He said about those infants, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God." Christ's kingdom does not exclude the family; it embraces the family. Is that a cool promise, or what?
In fact, so closely does Christ keep a watchful eye over our covenant children that Isaiah 40 says he bears the little ones in His arms, says in Matthew 18:5, "whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me," and says in Luke 17:2, "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." That's a lot of watchcare that Jesus is bringing.
Well, if they are in the kingdom, and if He is watching over them with that kind of care, you would expect that they would begin getting increasing kingdom benefits. And they do. One of those benefits is that Sophia has an angel assigned to her. Whether she already has that angel or whether it is assgined at baptism, I do not know, but Matthew 18:10 indicates that each covenant child has at least one angel assigned.
And it doesn't stop there. Isaiah 44:3 promises to flood Sophia with blessings of the covenant. It says, "For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring..." To pour blessings on the offspring of believers means that God is promising to pour blessings on Sophia.
Baptism is the sign and seal of such promises. The poured out water symbolizes the poured out Spirit. And verses 1-5 of that passage unfolds the gradual increase of covenant blessings as our children grow up. So though Sophia has already received some blessings long before she was born, and though she will likely receive more blessings this morning, that passage indicates that she can anticipate an increase of blessings as she grows up and begins to claim them by faith. Our God is such a generous God.
So I am going to ask the Caves to come forward and present Sophia to the Lord in Holy Baptism.