What does the bible say about Infant Baptism?
Countless evils occupy the hearts of adults: pride, doubt, stubbornness and fraud etc. These may hinder them from receiving God’s salvation. Therefore, adults must have true repentance before they can be baptised into Christ.
It is different with infants. Infants have a humble, clean and obedient heart, proper for receiving God’s grace. They are by far better than the adults. Jesus prayed, “I praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (Lk 10:21) .
Should Infant Baptism Be Conducted?
He said to his disciples, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
So it is more proper for infants than for adults to be baptised. This is one of the spiritual things that God reveals to little children – Infant Baptism.
What is the biblical evidence that Infant Baptism is necessary?
1. Infants are born with sins. The rest have the original sin too. All sinners need the salvation of the Lord (1 Tim 1:15)
2. Infants must be born again. Jesus said, “No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” Infants are included because Christ made no other exception.
3. Ancient Israelites must be circumcised on the eighth day after their birth to enter the covenant with God. Circumcision was the prefiguration of baptism (Col 2:11-12). God established the new covenant with the blood of Christ which we enter upon baptism, regardless of whether we are young or old. The Lord instructed his disciples to baptise people of all nations including infants.
4. There is the promise that it is easier for infants to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said, “…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mk 10:14-15)
5. The crossing of the Red Sea by Israelites prefigures baptism (1 Cor 10:1-2). During that time, infants too made the crossing (Ex 10:9; 12:37). This is evidence that infants must be baptised.
6. During the apostolic times, there were whole families baptised (Acts 16:15,32) – infants included.
If infants do not know how to believe in the Lord and they receive baptism without understanding, is Infant Baptism effective?
Infants of parents who believe in the Lord may be baptised. The child of the royal official in Capernaum (Jn 4:49-50) and the daughter of the Canaanite woman (Mt 15:28) were both healed because of their parents’ faith. Although infants do not know the Lord, they are baptised on account of their parents’ faith.
As long as what infants receive is infallible, it does not matter much if they do not understand yet. When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, they did not understand what he was doing. But they let Him do it. Jesus said, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (Jn 13:6-7) It is the same with infant baptism. If the child is to receive the unalterable, reliable salvation of the Lord, it is good to do it soon, for now is the time of God’s favour and the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2). Why should we wait for the children to be accepted and saved by God?
Infants do not know that they are sinners; nor do they know how to repent. Why must we conduct Infant Baptism for them?
“It is not the healthy who needs a doctor, but the sick.” (Lk 5:31) When infants fall ill, they do not know what illness means nor do they know how to ask for a doctor. But their parents will promptly seek diagnosis and treatment for them. Parents may even force them to take medicine or the necessary injection. Therefore, despite their ignorance, infants must be baptised into Christ.
After Infant Baptism is conducted, what are the parents’ responsibilities?
After their infants are baptised into Christ, parents should nourish their children with faith. The “sincere faith” Timothy had was first in his grandmother and then in his mother Eunice, who taught it to Timothy (2 Tim 1:5). Paul served God with a clear conscience as his forefathers had done (2 Tim 1:3). So, parents should bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4). “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Prov 22:6).
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