Baptism is the seal of God’s grace and covenant in Christ. Baptism enacts and seals what the Word proclaims: God’s redeeming grace offered to all people. Baptism is God’s gift of grace and also God’s summons to respond to that grace. Baptism calls to repentance, to faithfulness, and to discipleship. Baptism gives the Church its identity and commissions the Church for ministry to the world.
Baptism is received only once in a person’s lifetime. There are many times in worship, however, when believers acknowledge the grace of God continually at work. As they participate in the celebration of another’s baptism, as they experience the sustaining nurture of the Lord’s Supper, and as they reaffirm the commitments made at baptism, they confess their ongoing need of God’s grace and pledge anew their obedience to God’s covenant in Christ.
As there is one body, there is one baptism (Ephesians 4:4-6). The ECO recognizes all baptisms with water in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, administered by other Christian churches.
The Bible declares that God claimed humanity as His own “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). Both believers and their children are included in God’s covenant love. Baptism, whether administered to those who profess their faith or to those presented for baptism as children, are one and the same Sacrament. The baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God’s love claims people before they are able to respond in faith.
Parents bring their baby to church, where they publicly profess their own faith in Jesus Christ and their desire that their child will one day profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. When an infant or child is baptized, the church commits itself to nurture the child in the faith. When adults are baptized, they make a public profession of their own faith in Jesus Christ.
More on Baptism from the ECO