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BABY BAPTISM

Lets consider the question "What about infant baptism?" Its practiced b
se!era" denominations #$atho"ic% Presbterian% Lutheran% Methodist&% and
denied b others' Shou"d our chi"dren be "bapti(ed" as babies? If )e ne*"ect
it% and the die% )i"" the be "ost?
Is this practice the position of +od% or of men #Matt' ,-./% 01 2 Thess' 2.,-&?
What does the Word of +od teach re*ardin* them? Let us turn to 3im )ho
has "the )ords of eterna" "ife" #4n' 5.5/1 ,6.5&% and see )hether the Scriptures
)i"" support the supposition of infant baptism'
7irst. Most of those )ho practice 8infant baptism%9 actua"" do not bapti(e
their infants' :o% the usua"" sprin;"e% pour% or dab sma"" amounts of )ater
on the infant' Its important to understand )hat the )ord 8baptism9 means'
<ur )ord "baptism" comes from the +ree; )ords "BAPTI=<" A:> "BAPTISMA"
)hich mean immersion% not sprin;"in* or pourin* as some ha!e come to thin;
of it' :ote that the )ords "bapti(e" and "baptism" are not actua""
trans"ations of the +ree; )ords but are trans"iterations #)here +ree; "etters
in a )ord are simp" *i!en their ?n*"ish equi!a"ents&' When trans"ated into
?n*"ish% the can on" mean 8to immerse9 and immersion'9 In fact% the )ords
8sprin;"e9 and 8pour9 come from comp"ete" di@erent )ords in +ree;' The
bib"ica" eAamp"es of )ater baptism su**est the same as the )ent do)n into
the )ater and then came up out of it' #Ac' /.B/CB01 Mt' B.,5&' Wh did the
both need to *o do)n into the )ater if Phi"ip )as on" *oin* to sprin;"e or
pour? The !er mode #immersion& ma;es infant baptism i""o*ica" and
impractica"' To 8sprin;"e9 or 8pour9 renders the commandment of +od to be
immersed #bapti(ed& of no e@ectD
Second. The teachin* surroundin* baptism automatica"" prohibits it'
Accordin* to Eom BC- and $o" 2.,2 baptism is a 8buria"% a 8"i;eness of 3is
death%9 and the baptisma" candidate is to arise and 8)a"; in ne)ness of "ife'9
Pau"Fs use of such G*ures of speech )ou"d ma;e no sense if baptism )ere
either pourin* or sprin;"in*' Those buried and raised in baptism )ere
eApected to ")a"; in ne)ness of "ife" in contrast )ith their former manner of
"ife' 3o) does a babFs "ifest"e chan*e after his baptism? 3e "i!es and acts
the same as he did before he )as bapti(ed% but this is not true of those )ho
recei!ed :e) Testament baptism' The doctrine of infant baptism cannot be
found in the :e) Testament )ithout addin* to it'
Third. Bib"e baptism requires 7AIT3 C Ac /.B-CB/' :otice the eunuchFs
question% and Phi"ipFs response' "See% here is )ater' What hinders me from
bein* bapti(ed?" "If ou be"ie!e )ith a"" our heart% ou ma'" If one be"ie!es%
the ma be bapti(ed C cf' M; ,5.,5' Thus% be"ief must precede baptism' The
*ospe" is desi*ned to sa!e "e!erone that be"ie!eth" #Eo' ,.,5&' Infants%
ho)e!er% are incapab"e of be"iefD If infants cant be"ie!e% then the are not
amon* the number of those )ho )ere bapti(ed'
7orth. Bib"e baptism requires E?P?:TA:$? C Ac 2.B/' If one is a penitent
be"ie!er% the ma be bapti(ed% but infants are incapab"e of repentanceD
Thus% be"ief must precede baptism' The *ospe" is desi*ned to sa!e "e!erone
that be"ie!eth" #Eo' ,.,5&' Infants can neither be"ie!e nor repent% and the
Bib"e records no eAamp"es of infant baptism'
7ifth. In >a!id BernardFs boo; 8The :e) Birth9 he )rote% 8Some peop"e point
to househo"d con!ersions as e!idence for infant baptism' 7or eAamp"e% LdiaFs
househo"d and the Phi"ippian Hai"erFs househo"d )ere bapti(ed #Acts ,5.,-1
B,CBB&' 3o)e!er% $orne"iusF househo"d recei!ed the 3o" +host and spo;e in
ton*ues #Acts ,I.26% 66C651 ,,.,6C,J&% et it is e!ident that infants did not
spea; in ton*ues' The househo"d "itera"" inc"uded domestic anima"s% but no
one contends that anima"s )ere bapti(ed' The Bib"e eAp"icit" records that the
Hai"erFs )ho"e house be"ie!ed and that $rispusF )ho"e house be"ie!ed #Acts
,5.B61 ,/./&% but an infants present did not ha!e conscious faith' We must
understand househo"d baptism to inc"ude on" those scriptura"" qua"iGed for
baptism C those o"d enou*h to repent% ha!e faith% and be sa!ed'9
Ldia and her house% A"" that is said of Ldia is found in t)o !erses% Act ,5.,6C
,-% and the passa*e contains not one )ord about an infant% or a chi"d of an
sort' It is stated that "she )as bapti(ed and her househo"d'" But it is not
stated that she )as a married )oman% that she had an chi"dren% much "ess
that she had an infants1 and% therefore% there is nothin* here about an
infant baptism'
The Phi"ippian Hai"ers househo"d' Acts ,5.BB' "And the% Pau" and Si"as% spo;e
unto him the )ord of the Lord% and to a"" that )ere in his house' And he too;
them the same hour of the ni*ht% and )ashed their stripes% and )as bapti(ed%
he and a"" his strai*ht)a' And )hen the had brou*ht them into his house%
he set meat before them% and reHoiced% be"ie!in* in +od% )ith a"" his house'"
3ere are t)o thin*s stated of these that can not be said of infants' The
spo;e unto himCCthe Hai"orCCthe )ord of the Lord% and to a"" that )ere in his
house' The Hai"or reHoiced% be"ie!in* in +od )ith a"" his house' 3ere it is
asserted of the househo"d that the reHoiced% be"ie!in* in +od' The )ord of
the Lord )as spo;en to them% the reHoiced and be"ie!ed in +od' This cannot
be said of infants'
$orne"ius and his househo"d' Acts ,,.6' 3ere% ho)e!er% is conc"usi!e
e!idence that there )ere no infants% for the an*e" said% "Send men to 4oppa%
and ca"" for Simon% )hose surname is Peter1 )ho sha"" te"" the )ords )hereb
thou and a"" the house sha"" be sa!ed'" Infants are not to"d )ords )hereb
the are sa!ed'9 Those )ho practice infant baptism do not te"" them )ords
)hereb the ma be sa!ed% and to not be"ie!e the are sa!ed in or b
baptism'
The househo"d of Stephanas' There is but one other househo"d mentioned in
the :e) Testament% in connection )ith baptism' That is "the househo"d of
Stephanas'" ,$or ,.,5' In the same "etter )e Gnd one thin* aKrmed of this
same househo"d that cannot be aKrmed of infants' "The ha!e addicted
themse"!es to the ministr of the saints'",$or ,5.,-' This is a thin* infants
cannot do'
SiAth. In 8The :e) Birth9 >a!id Bernard a"so stated% 8Some persons teach
infant baptism on the *rounds that infants )ere circumcised in the <"d
Testament' 3o)e!er% baptism is a spiritua" and not phsica" circumcision and
it in!o"!es a spiritua" and not phsica" c"eansin*' Past sins and the o"d
"ifest"e are cut a)a% )hich necessitates conscious faith and repentance'
$o"ossians 2.,,C,2% the passa*e that describes baptism as a spiritua"
circumcision% teaches that this spiritua" )or; ta;es p"ace throu*h our faith in
the )or;in* of +od' 7urthermore% circumcision tpiGes both )ater and Spirit
baptism1 the candidate for )ater baptism shou"d be read to recei!e the
Spirit'
In the <"d Testament +od dea"t in a specia" )a )ith a nation that )as
phsica"" identiGed and separated from the )or"d' Toda +od dea"s on an
indi!idua" basis rather than on a nationa" basis1 3is chosen peop"e are those
)ho ha!e been born a*ain and spiritua"" separated from the )or"d' 8
Se!enth. Authorities.
That the Grst recipients of baptism )ere adu"ts' Infant baptism )as a "ater
de!e"opment that "ed to sprin;"in*' C $hambers ?ncc"opedia% Lo" 2% P*',,2'
ThereFs no direct e!idence in :e) Testament for infant baptism' C Interpreters
Bib"e >ict' Lo" ,% P*' B-2'
The ear"iest $hristian "iterature ma;es no reference to baptism of infants' C
?ncc"opedia Britannica% Lo" B% P* ,B/'
The Grst mention of infant baptism )as about ,/- A'>' :ot uni!ersa" unti" 5th
$entur' C 3istor of $hurch% b WALM?E% P*s /J%//'
"Infant baptism )as estab"ished neither b $hrist nor the apost"es' In a""
p"aces )here )e Gnd the necessit of baptism notiGed% either in a do*matic
or historica" point of !ie)% it is e!ident that it )as on" meant for those )ho
)ere capab"e of comprehendin* the )ord preached% and of bein* con!erted
to $hrist b an act of their o)n )i""'" C 4A$<BI% Artic"e on Baptism in MittoFs
$c"opedia of Bib"ica" Literature% Lo"' I% p' 2/J'
?i*ht. $onc"usion. Shou"d infants be bapti(ed? The ans)er is ":o" The
Bib"ica" facts are #,& There is not one eAamp"e of 8infant baptism9 in the :'T'D
#2& Infants do not meet the prerequisites of faith and repentance required of
a"" those bapti(ed in the :'T' #B& Babies cannot ;no) the Lord someho)
before the enter into the re"ationship baptism p"aces them% and so do not
need to be tau*ht to ;no) the Lord'
What if ou )ere "bapti(ed" as an infant? Most "i;e" ou )ere not actua""
bapti(ed #immersed&% simp" "sprin;"ed'" ?!en if immersed% it )as not "Bib"e
baptism"% )hich requires faith and repentance CC Thus ou are sti"" in need of
obein* the Word of the LordD Thou*h sincere% one is not necessari" ri*ht1 )e
are ri*ht on" )hen )e do the 7atherFs )i""D #Mt J.2,C2B&' 4esus said% 8If e
"o!e me% ;eep m commandments9 #4n ,6.,-1 ,-.,I%,6&'
Infant baptism )as not instituted b $hrist% nor practiced b 3is apost"es% nor
;no)n in the :e) Testament churches% and has neither sanction nor
reco*nition in the )ord of +od' >onFt p"ace our faith in the traditions of
men% or in the doctrines of some church1 p"ace our faith in +odFs Word% and
obe it accordin*"D