The First Vow
The service reads: You have come here to acknowledge that your child belongs to God, to dedicate him to God in Holy Baptism, and to receive him again as from the hands of God to be trained as a disciple of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I ask you therefore: Will you therefore trust God for strength in your personal lives so that you will be fully equipped to provide a Christian home for him. Will you bring him up in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, and surround him only with such things as are pure and true, lovely and of good report? To this you respond: I will, God being my helper. Jesus replied: “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” John 14:23-24 (NIV)
This vow means: That your home will be a home where Christ is in control. Nothing will be in your home and nothing will be said or done there that is out of harmony with the nature, holiness and character of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ will at all times be at home in your house, even while watching TV. The Bible is the final authority and guide in your home. The final arbiter, in all matters of faith and behaviour, is not the human sciences, the media or accredited specialists. BUT THE HOLY BIBLE. Consequently, the children are steeped in the knowledge of God and His Word. In your home the HUSBAND is the strong spiritual leader. The family never sees him out of control and without inner strength and dignity. The wife and children see honesty, truthfulness, integrity, stability and behaviour that make them respect him. His word is his honour. His strength and masculinity do not come from alcohol, shouting, swearing, sexual exploits, dirty jokes, aggression or material success. His manliness comes from the invincible authority and power God implants in him. This belongs to all those whose lives are pure, incorruptible and undefiled. Next to God your family respects the husband and father above all else. He is responsible and answerable to God for the spiritual well being of his wife and children.
The Second Vow
The service reads: Will you live to fulfil God’s purposes for your life and family? Will you desire above all else to know God and to be known of Him? Will you study His word so that you may, by His power, live such a Godly life that you will not cause your child to turn away from God or fall into sinful practices? To this you respond: I will, God being my helper. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:8 (KJV)
This vow means: That your love for God, His Word, private prayer, daily family prayers and your own love for the Church will be an example to your child. This will ensure that your child grows up to love God, His Word, His Church. Those who treat these things lightly are not Christians. There is no point in them adding to their sin by baptising their children. They make sacred promises to God just to forget them the following week. They choose pleasure, recreation, relaxation and other things above worshipping God on Sundays. Children growing up in such a home will have even less regard for God. It is blasphemous when such people still cling to the notion that they are Christians. Their children will also accept that this blatant paganism is Christianity. They will in reality have no regard for God at all. They are stumbling blocks in the way of their children. Jesus warns that if by what we do or fail to do, we cause a little one to stumble it would be better for us to be cast into the sea with millstones tied to our necks. In baptising your child you solemnly undertake to live a kind of life that will make your child love God as dearly as you do.
The Third Vow
The service reads: Will you teach your child the Word of God, ensure that he receive proper instruction in the teaching of the Church and that he worship God as his bounden duty. Will you continue to uphold him in prayer, praying that he will come to know Christ as his personal Saviour and Lord and serve Him faithfully to the end? To this you respond: I will, God being my helper.
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” Prov 22:15 (KJV)
“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Prov 22:6 (KJV)
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut 11:18-19 (KJV)
This vow means: That you will rear your child in such a manner that he will reverence and love God above all else. The vow also means that you accpt that there is no such thing as a solitary Christian. You cannot separate yourself and your family from the Church and claim to be a Christian. To believe that you can be a Christain and not worship God on The Lord’s Day is an evil and false idea. It entices a “Christian” to live without the necessary discipline of the Church. He subtly elevates himself (the most serious sin in God’s Word) above other Christians. Such persons actually believe that they are superior to obedient Christians. They wallow in self-righteousness. They consider those who worship God in fellowship with other believers as hypocrites. According to God’s Word such people are a contradiction to the word Christian. They have deceived themselves. They are unwilling to submit to God and His Word. They are living in blatant defiance of God’s instructions. They isolate themselves from those who can teach them the Scriptures and the error of their ways. They even bluff themselves that they are right with God while actually living in rebellion to Him and His instructions.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb 10:23-25
Even a human and corrupt Judge will charge a person for CONTEMPT of court if he fails to appear in court when summoned to do so. This may be as a witness or to answer for a petty traffic offence. One does not ignore a human court of justice with impunity. How much more severe will the punishment of God be when we treat His summonses with contempt? The word Church is derived from the Greek word εκκλεοια. This word means an assembly summoned by the chief authority of a town or city. The Church which assembles every Lord’s Day is God summoning His people to meet. It is there that He speaks to His faithful. When parents have their Children baptised they are claiming to be God’s faithful people. People who obey His commands and who are not destined for His refuse heap but for Eternal life with Him in Glory. Church for them is not an option but the most important and integral part of their lives.
This solemn undertaking and vow to God also means the following: You will never take your child away from Sunday School or worship on a Sunday simply because it suits you. The fading glories and honours of this world, its trophies, its sport, secular education, etc. will never take preference over the claims of God. (What will it profit your child if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?) You will seek to know God and Jesus Christ as your Saviour.
You will not teach your child the values of this passing age but the eternal word of the living God. You will protect your child from the false teaching of and motivation for SUCCESS. This leads to bondage but rather motivate your Child according to God’s plan. “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” Matt 13:22 (NIV). You will teach your child to be faithful to God and His Holy Word, to be USEFUL to God and His purposes and to be helpful in all things that bring others to love and to serve God.