Back to 2020 Church Weekly List

Vol. XVII No. 50
13 September 2020

INFANT BAPTISM

The baptism of our children whom God has graciously given to us is long overdue due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Now that homes are open for visitation, I am pleased to visit your homes to conduct the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.

Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Our God is a familial God who desires the salvation of those in our household (Acts 16:15), especially our children. Jesus said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:14).

At infant baptism, it is the parents who will confess faith in Jesus Christ and promise to bring up their children in the fear and nurture of the Lord and pray for their salvation.

On 11 July 2020, Richmond and Kezia’s toddler Hezekiah was baptised:

On 15 July, Ethan, son of Sam and Leanne, was baptised in the presence of grandparents from both sides and great-grandfather from Leanne’s side:

On 16 July, Eliezer (son of Santosh and Ling Ting) and Lisa (daughter of Jianwei and Katharine) were baptised:

On 18 July, there were three: Hannah (daughter of Byron and Joanna), Mattheo (son of Reynold and Jiexin) and John (son of Kuek Foo and Joyce):

By the way, Kuek Foo and Joyce are expecting another child due in November.

On 25 July, Leah, daughter of Lek Chiang and Cheryl, was baptised:

HOLY COMMUNION

Besides infant baptism, the Lord’s Supper was also observed after the baptism, a double blessing. Parents renewed their commitment to live for the Lord Jesus Christ, remembering (1) the past—what He had done for them on the cross, (2) the present—their need of Him in such a time as this, and (3) the future—His imminent return which can happen at any time.

Holy Communion was also conducted in the homes of Gorlden, Edwin, York Chiu, Chun Hian, Kien Ann, Christopher, Uncle Devan, Ming Kuang, Peng Hwa, Kay Heem, Sze Anne, Choo Lian, Bernard, and others. Church and family members were invited to the homes to participate in the communion since every household is allowed five visitors each time. It was good to be found in one another’s company again, sharing testimonies and thanking the Lord for His good hand upon His people, and praying for one another.

Pastor is pleased to conduct Holy Communion in the homes of members since the church cannot gather together at RELC yet. The current restrictions do not make our corporate worship and fellowship together at RELC meaningful, eg, no singing and no fellowshipping, no mingling, quickly come, quickly go.

However, it is good to know that when we conduct communion in homes, we are in fact returning to the days of the first century church, “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers….breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,” (Acts 2:42, 46). JK

QUESTION ABOUT BAPTISM

Question: Does baptism depend upon the merit or spirituality of him who administers it? The answer is no.

John Calvin wrote in his Institutes (IV.16): “Moreover, if we have rightly determined that a sacrament is not to be estimated by the hand of him by whom it is administered, but is to be received as from the hand of God himself, from whom it undoubtedly proceeded, we may hence infer that its dignity neither gains nor loses by the administrator. And, just as among men, when a letter has been sent, if the hand and seal is recognised, it is not of the least consequence who or what the messenger was; so it ought to be sufficient for us to recognise the hand and seal of our Lord in his sacraments, let the administrator be who he may. This confutes the error of the Donatists [4th century heretics], who measured the efficacy and worth of the sacrament by the dignity of the minister. Such in the present day are our Catabaptists [immersionists who oppose baptism by sprinkling], who deny that we are duly baptised, because we were baptised in the Papacy by wicked men and idolaters; hence they furiously insist on Anabaptism [Rebaptism]. Against these absurdities we shall be sufficiently fortified if we reflect that by baptism we were initiated not into the name of any man, but into the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and, therefore, that baptism is not of man, but of God, by whomsoever it may have been administered. Be it that those who baptised us were most ignorant of God and all piety, or were despisers, still they did not baptise us into a fellowship with their ignorance or sacrilege, but into the faith of Jesus Christ, because the name which they invoked was not their own but God’s, nor did they baptise into any other name. But if baptism was of God, it certainly included in it the promise of forgiveness of sin, mortification of the flesh, quickening of the Spirit, and communion with Christ.”

On the nature of the sacraments, the Westminster Confession (XXVII.3) states, “The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it: but upon the work of the Spirit, and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers” (Rom 2:28–29, 1 Pet 3:21, Matt 3:11, 1 Cor 12:13, Matt 26:27–28).

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