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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 56 : The Administration of Baptism
(The Baptism of Infants and Children)

Paragraph 5 :

56-5. The minister shall then read the covenant promises:
For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house. (Acts 2:39; Gen. 17:7; Acts 16:31)
The minister shall then propose the following questions:
1. Do you acknowledge your child’s need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
2. Do you claim God’s covenant promises in (his) behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for (his) salvation, as you do for your own?
3. Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before (him) a godly example, that you will pray with and for (him), that you will teach (him) the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God’s appointment, to bring (him) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
To the congregation (optional):

Do you as a congregation undertake the responsibility of assisting the parents in the Christian nurture of this child?

[DIGEST: .]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS:
PCA 1975, adopted text for Directory for Worship, 57-5, Minutes of General Assembly, 3-70, p. 84-85
The minister shall then propose the following questions after reading the coveannt promises:
(1) "For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him." "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee." "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shall be saved, thou and thy house." (Acts 2:39; Gen. 17:7; Acts 16:31)
The minister shall then propose the following questions:
(2) Do you acknowledge your child's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
(3) Do you claim God's covenant promises in (his) behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for (his) salvation, as you do for your own?
(4) Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before (him) a godly example, that you will pray with and for (him), that you will teach (him) the doctrines of the Christian faith, and that you will strive, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring (him) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
(5) To the congregation (optional): Do you as a congregation undertake the responsibility of assisting the parents in the Christian nurture of this child?

PCA 1973, text for 10-6, as printed in the Appendix of the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 158
The minister may then propose the following, or like questions:
(1) Do you claim God's covenant promise in your child's behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for (his) salvation, as you do for your own?
(2) Do you acknowledge your child's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
(3) Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before (him) a godly example, that you will pray with and for (him), that you will teach (him) the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring (him) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
(4) Option question to the congregation (covenant family). "Do you as a congregation of Christ's Church receive this child of the Covenant, promising with God's help to be his sponsor to the end that he may confess Christ as his Lord and Saviour and come at last to His eternal Kingdom? Jesus said, "Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth Me."

Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, Proposed text, Directory for Worship, 10-6
The minister may then propose the following, or like questions:
(1) Do you claim God's covenant promise in (his) behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for (his) salvation, as you do for your own?
(2) Do you acknowledge your child's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
(3) Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before (him) a godly example, that you will pray with and for (him), that you will teach (him) the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring (him) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
(4) Option question to the congregation (covenant family). "Do you as a congregation of Christ's Church receive this child of the Covenant, promising with God's help to be (his) sponsor to the end that (he) may confess Christ as (his) Lord and Saviour and come at last to His eternal Kingdom? Jesus said, "Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth Me."

PCUS, DfW, X-6 (§348), p. 172.
The minister may then propose the following, or like questions:
(1), Do you acknowledge your child's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
(2), Do you claim God's covenant promises in (his) behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for (his) salvation, as you do for your own?
(3), Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before (him) a godly example, that you will pray with and for (him), that you will teach (him) the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring (him) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

PCUS 1925,


PCUS 1894, IX-5, p. 113-114.
The minister may then propose the following, or like questions:
(1), Do you acknowledge your child's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
(2), Do you claim God's covenant promises in [his] behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for [his] salvation, as you do for your own?
(3), Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before [him] a godly example, that you will pray with and for [him], that you will teach [him] the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring [him] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

PCUS 1885, Third Revision of the Directory of Worship, III-4-2
2. The parents presenting the child shall be addressed in some, such words as these : You present your child, that it may, by God’s appointment, receive the sign and seal of membership in his visible Church, and of its covenant relation to him; and you profess your sense of its dependence for salvation upon the atoning blood of Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Ghost. The parents shall answer, We do. Do you, then, in humble reliance upon the grace of God promise to teach this child to read the word of God ; to instruct it in the principles of our holy religion, as contained therein, and as set forth in the Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms; to pray with and for it; to set before it an ex- ample of piety and godliness; and thus to endeavor by all the means of God’s appointment to bring it up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord ?


PCUSA 1789, Directory for Worship, VII
and
PCUSA, 1786 draft, p. 78.
[no comparable text]



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Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]