What is Baptism?
Baptism is one of the essential sacraments of the Christian faith that enables people to express their commitment to a life long relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Christians make this commitment to Jesus, as we believe he is the one who has worked to save us from our broken relationship with God (commonly called sin). Jesus lived his life fully trusting God and then freely entered into death, which is the consequence of sin. He did this in the confidence that God would accept his sacrifice and give him the gift of eternal life. On Easter day Christians celebrate that through his absolute trust in God, the power of death was broken and so Jesus was seen and experienced alive.
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So Baptism expresses the washing away of an old way of life and the beginning of a new way of life that is committed to living with faith in Jesus. Living the Christian life well does not just happen, like many things in life, it takes effort and constant practice. This is characterised by prayer, reading and studying the Bible, along with active involvement in worship with a local faith community.
Children are Baptised on the basis of their parents faith as they clearly are not able to make their own response to God. Because of this parents are asked if they will undertake to ensure their child is brought up with the teachings of the Christian faith and involvement in the life of the Church till a time when they can make their own response to God. Confirmation is the name given to the ritual when those who were baptised as children make their own response to God.