Whether with an aged believer or a child, baptism enacts the enveloping love of God — the God who comes to us in Jesus Christ, who comes to us in the power of the Holy Spirit, a love that will not let us go. That is the story of Scripture, and that is the story of baptism, whether an infant in arms or a saint who is finally at rest.
Baptism is all about grace. God’s grace extended to us in Jesus Christ calls forth our own response of faith. Our relationship with God depends primarily on what God has done and only secondarily on what we may or may not do. Baptism is a powerful sacramental enactment of this truth. And because God’s gracious call precedes and evokes the human response of faith, it follows that Christian parents who are active church members may choose to present their children for baptism as infants or very young children.
When we speak of baptism as a covenant, we emphasize the multiple commitments involved –
God’s commitment to us
The commitments the community of faith makes to us
The commitments we make to God, to our children, and to the church.
Little one, for you Jesus Christ came into the world:
for you he lived and showed God’s love;
for you he suffered the darkness of Calvary
and cried at the last, “It is accomplished”;
for you he triumphed over death and rose in newness of life;
for you he ascended to reign at God’s right hand.
All this he did for you, little one,
though you do not know it yet.
And so the word of Scripture is fulfilled:
“We love because God loved us first.”
(Book of Common Order, Church of Scotland; French Reformed Church baptismal liturgy)