Should Infants Be Baptized Study Notes
Rev Gary L Evensen
@2005 NJUPC INC
Infant baptism is a common practice in some religious faiths yet we cannot find scriptural support for this and is not a Biblical practice.
The Bible does not record a single infant being baptized in either the New or Old Testaments
It is impossible for infants to believe or to trust Christ for there salvation and belief is one of the prerequisites in being baptized
We cannot save our children, they must come to there own salvation experience
The best way to see your child saved is not to have them baptized, but rather set a godly example of serving the Lord at home.
FACT: Your children will watch you and will often become what you are.
The scripture declares in the book of proverbs that we should train a child up in the way they should go and they will not depart when they grow older.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
This involves taking an active part in serving the Lord with them and letting your life be a light of example to your children.
Some parents do not want to live a righteous life before God, but wanting there children to be saved the mistakenly believe they can have that child baptized and that makes everything ok.
Baptizing an infant will make no difference salvation wise in the childs life because that child must ultimately take the faith journey on there own.
Parents need to live a Godly life and raise there child in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
The question is presented however that according to Acts 2:39 the promise of baptism and salvation was to you and your children and not only adults should be baptized.
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Acts 2:38-39 (NKJV)
Children can be baptized after they reach an age of understanding and being able to have faith.
NOTE: The practice of baptizing infants was not a practice in the early church and did not even appear in church history as an argument until the 3rd century
Origen in the year 244, wrote in the third century that "according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants" (Holilies on Leviticus, 8:3:11 [A.D. 244]).
The Council of Carthage, in the year 253, condemned the opinion that baptism should be withheld from infants until the eighth day after birth.
Augustine taught in the year 408, "The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned . . . nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic" (Literal Interpretation of Genesis 10:23:39 [A.D. 408]).
It is important to note that none of these arguments were from the time of the Apostles but were all added later as their own interpretation of the scriptures.
NOTE: You will find if you become a student of church history that in the 3 rd and 4 th centuries many new doctrines came into the Christian faith that were not part on the original apostolic teachings.
Paul wrote to the early church and warned them that false doctrines would come into the church after he died, and the Apostle Peter saw what was coming down the road we call time.
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 Peter 2:1(NKJV)
Why would infant baptism be considered destructive? Because it can cause an adult to put a false hope of salvation baptism as the only act required for salvation.
Watre Baptism is a beginning of a new life with God and your dedication in serving the Lord is what ultimately is required from the Lord. The act of baptism without a living a dedicated life to the Lord is ineffective in the long term. Baptism requires us to leave sin and to trust in the act of baptism without making that dedication to leave a sinful life behind is pointless.
The apostolic church, or the church the apostles established, never gave us any indication we should baptize any one who does not believe.
An infant has not yet developed the capacity to believe.
The answer is question is no we should not baptize infants, but raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
If you were baptized as an infant you should sincerely consider the scriptures concerning faith and believing, repent of your sins and be re-baptized for the remission of your sins in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.