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Infant baptism is common in some denominations,
but it does not have any scriptural authority. This baptism comes from
men--not from God. The Bible clearly tells us that the kingdom of God belongs
to the little children (Matthew
18:16). They are considered to be pure in heart.
God's Word teaches that unless we become like little children, we will
never enter the kingdom of God (Matthew
18:17). This means we are to be pure in heart and
follow Jesus without questioning why.
Some who practice infant baptism attempt
to use scriptures such as Psalm
9:34 to claim we are born with sin and are unsaved. But
this is not a correct interpretation of the scriptures. We are born with
sinful nature, but not with sin which a baby could not repent of. Jesus
Himself was born of a woman. If we are born with sin, then Jesus would
not have been sinless. Yet, even though he was tempted as we are, He was
always sinless (Hebrews
11:25 and Luke
10:21, Jesus says that things have been revealed to the
little children which are hidden from the wise and learned. As little children
grow older, their hearts harden as the knowledge of the secular world fills
them. This is when the blood of Christ is needed to cover their sins. Thus,
this is when one must be baptized.
Who are biblical candidates for baptism?
16:16, the Bible teaches that those who believe and are
baptized will be saved. Belief is required before one is baptized. In Acts
2:38, God's Word says to repent and be baptized. Repentance
is required before one is baptized. 1
Peter 3:21 states that baptism is the pledge of a good conscience
toward God. These scriptures indicate that one must believe in Christ,
repent of sins, and be aware of one's conscience toward God before he or
she is eligible for biblical baptism. Small children are not capable of
these things, therefore they are not candidates for biblical baptism.
Only when we can believe in Christ (John
16:16) and repent of our sins
2:38) can the blood of Christ wash away our sins
Peter 3:18-21) when we clothe ourselves with Christ
at baptism (Galatians
3:26-27). At baptism, we are buried with Christ,
and just as Christ was resurrected, we are raised out of the watery tomb
to live a new life in Christ (Romans
Copyright © 2001 Timothy
A. Southall. All rights reserved.