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                       What About Infant Baptism?


1. In the previous studies we have seen that baptism...
   a. Is essential to:
      1) SALVATION - Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
      2) BECOMING DISCIPLES OF CHRIST - Mt 28:19-20; Ga 3:27
   b. Is immersion, for:
      1) The Greek words can only mean immersion
      2) Pouring and sprinkling do not fit with figures used to 
         describe baptism in the N.T.
      3) Scholars are unanimous in pointing out that immersion was the
         practice in the Bible and early church

2. Two more questions remain which are often in the minds of people:
   a. Should infants be baptized?
   b. Is there ever a need to be "re-baptized?"

[This study shall consider the question "What about infant baptism?"  
My first point is to suggest that...]


      1. We have seen that pouring or sprinkling is not baptism
      2. Therefore "infant baptism" as commonly practiced is really a
         a. "Infant pouring" or "infant sprinkling" would be a more
            accurate description
         b. Only if the infant is immersed could it be called "infant 
      -- Of course, immersion is not the only thing which constitutes
         Bible baptism...

      1. Bible baptism requires FAITH - Ac 8:35-38
         a. Notice the eunuch's question, and Philip's response
            1) "See, here is water.  What hinders me from being
            2) "If you believe with all your heart, you may."
            -- If one believes, they may be baptized - cf. Mk 16:16
         b. Infants, however, are incapable of belief!
      2. Bible baptism requires REPENTANCE - Ac 2:38
         a. If one is a penitent believer, they may be baptized
         b. But infants are incapable of repentance!

[The first thing to realize about "infant baptism" is that it is not 
baptism in the strict sense of the word; nor is it the baptism spoken
of in the N.T., which was only for those who possessed faith and a 
penitent heart.

Another point to consider is...]


      1. Even those who later approved of infant baptism admit that one
         could not prove it from the Scriptures...
         a. "It cannot be proved by the sacred Scriptures that infant
            baptism was instituted by Christ, or begun by the first
            Christians after the apostles." (MARTIN LUTHER, On
         b. "Infant baptism was established neither by Christ nor the
            apostles. In all places where we find the necessity of
            baptism notified, either in a dogmatic or historical point
            of view, it is evident that it was only meant for those who
            were capable of comprehending the word preached, and of
            being converted to Christ by an act of their own will."
            (JACOBI, Article on Baptism in Kitto's Cyclopedia of
            Biblical Literature, Vol. I, p. 287)
      2. If this is true, when did the practice of "infant baptism"
         a. The earliest mention of infant baptism is around 200 A.D.
         b. The practice began only after the doctrine of "original 
            sin" had been developed
            1) "The early theological development of the doctrine of 
               original sin contributed to the importance of infant
               baptism." (Christianity Through The Centuries, p. 160)
            2) The whole basis of "infant baptism", therefore, lies in
               the assumption that infants are born in sin

      1. Of course, the doctrine of "original sin" means different 
         things to different people
         a. Some understand it to refer only to inheriting the "fallen
            nature" of Adam, and not any personal guilt of his
         b. But the common conception includes the idea of inheriting
            the guilt of Adam's sin as well, meaning that babies are
            born in sin and guilty of sin
         c. It is this latter understanding that led to the practice of
            infant baptism
      2. People are not held accountable for the guilt of their
         a. God has clearly said that He does not hold the child guilty
            for the sins of the father - Ezek 18:20
         b. Paul described a time in his life when we was alive before
            he became a sinner - Ro 7:7-11
            1) According to the common idea of original sin, this would
               have been impossible!
            2) But not if children are born free from the guilt of sin
               and remain so until they reach an age of accountability
      3. Consider also the nature of the NEW COVENANT - He 8:6-13
         a. One of the notable features about the new covenant is:
            1) "None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his
               brother, saying 'Know the Lord'..."
            2) "For all shall know Me, from the least of them to the
               greatest of them."
         -- In other words, no one enters into this new covenant 
            without already knowing the Lord!
         b. Unlike the OLD COVENANT...
            1) Where people entered the covenant by virtue of birth
               into the family (Israel)
            2) Where males entered the covenant by virtue of
               circumcision when eight days old
            3) Where as they grew older they had to be taught to know
               the Lord!
         c. When "infant baptism" is practiced, this distinctive 
            feature of the new covenant is no longer present!
            1) Children, who have supposedly entered a covenant 
               relationship with the Lord, still need to be taught as
               they get older
            2) They have to be taught to know the Lord!
         d. This distinctive feature of the new covenant is true only
            1) Baptism (the means by which we enter a covenant 
               relationship with the Lord today) is administered to
               penitent believers
            2) Those who enter the covenant have already been taught
               about the Lord (via the gospel of Christ)


1. Should infants be baptized?  The answer is "yes" if we can show...
   a. One example in the N.T. where infants were baptized
   b. That they meet the prerequisites of faith and repentance required
      of all those baptized in the N.T.
   c. That they can know the Lord somehow before they enter into the
      relationship baptism places them, and so do not need to be taught
      to know the Lord

2. But the Biblical facts are...
   a. There is not one case of "infant baptism" in the N.T.!
   b. Only those who believe and have repented may be baptized!
   c. To baptize infants would make the point of He 8:11 without

3. The logical conclusion from the Biblical evidence is that babies...
   a. Are born into this world without the personal guilt of their
   b. Are not lost and in need of salvation
   c. Are "safe" (not "saved," for they were never "lost")
   d. Remain safe until they reach an accountable age where they become
      guilty of their sins, and in need of salvation

4. What if you were "baptized" as an infant?
   a. Most likely you were not actually baptized (immersed), simply
   b. Even if immersed, it was not "Bible baptism", which requires 
      faith and repentance
   -- Thus you are still in need of obeying the Word of the Lord!

Don't place your faith in the traditions of men, or in the doctrines of
some church; place your faith in God's Word, and obey it accordingly!
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