Baptism questions

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Rachel, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. Rachel

    Rachel
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    Any help here would be appreciated. [​IMG]

    Today I was answering someone on what Baptism was because this woman said her mom told her she needed her babies baptized so they go to Heaven. ack!
    Anyway I told her it was for Believers only. Baptism by water doesn't save anyone.

    I mentioned this- "Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead."

    So someone that is Luthern just mentioned this-
    "As far as baptism goes, where in the bible does it say that infants should not be baptized? I do know that it says "from birth we are sinful" and that we all need God's grace. One form of God's grace is baptism. It is not the person, the pastor or the water that makes baptism special - it is the Word - the Holy Spirit. That is why our church does choose to baptize infants. Even Jesus told the disciples to let the little children come to him, and the bible speaks of the faith of a child. We cannot as humans (especially sinful humans) claim to know that an infant does not possess the capacity (given by the Holy Spirit) to believe in Jesus."

    So I replied- "Where in the Bible does it say infants understand the Gospel and should be baptized? Are there any in there?"


    Any thoughts about this? I thought that was so strange about how we can't know that an infant is able to believe or not??
     
  2. whatever

    whatever
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    We who practice baptism of professing believers only are in the minority, but thankfully that does not make us automatically wrong. Some Christians baptize babies because they believe that baptism regenerates, based on verses like 1 Peter 3:21. Some Christians baptize babies because they presume that babies born to Christian parents are believers (or will be), and so those children should be treated as if they are believers unless and until they show evidence of falling away. They would point to examples of households being baptized in Acts, and they presume that if the household was baptized then it would naturally include infants and young children. See chapter 16 for a couple of examples of this. Some also see a parallel between circumcision of babies in the OT and baptism of babies in the NT church.

    Of course, I think they are all wrong. Perhaps there is a parallel between circumcision and baptism, but if so then I think it works this way - as circumcision followed birth into Israel, baptism follows the new birth into the church. See Galatians 3, especially verses 7-9. Also, I think Romans 6 is clear that baptism is intended to be an outward expression of an inward reality, not just an inward possibility.

    HTH
     
  3. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001
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    I do not hold to this myself, but to better understand it...MOST that baptize their young use this like many Baptist Churches use baby dedication. Now I did do this dedication thing.

    I brought my girls before the church and told them I would raise my girls to the best of my will in the things of the Lord and teach them with ALL understanding that God has given me about His will and salvation. Yet I know that they too must trust in God on their own. I can not force salvation...it is in Gods hands. Yet we are told to witness and this starts in the home. At the baby dedication i was also asking the Church to help me raise them and to watch me to make sure I was doing what I should.

    However...as stated above..some do think this means they WILL be saved at some point. This i disagree with. My baby dedication to the Lord was in HOPES they will be saved, and as a dad I will not stand in the way or bring them into evil. I am happy to report that all 3 of my girls were saved. Two now are in full time service for Him. One is in school at BJU.

    To God be all glory.

    In Christ..James
     
  4. Rachel

    Rachel
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    Yeah, we dedicated our boys too and I mentioned the difference. Our Pastor used a little oil on their heads instead of water.

    It just boggles my mind what she said about babies understanding and accepting Jesus.

    She said after my last comment "It doesn't say in the bible that infants should or shouldn't be baptized, so we err on the side of caution. Again, no one here can speak for the power of the Holy Spirit. It's not anything that WE do - it's by his power and his word.

    I was baptized as an infant, as were both of my children. I reaffirmed that faith 13 years later when I was confirmed in the church. That's how Lutherans do it.

    I don't see anything wrong with waiting, I just don't see the sense in it."


    I just don't get that. I don't see the Bible teaching that at all. Then again she couldn't mention any verses for me, just that they err on the side of caution.
     
  5. Clean1

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    James 1:15,"Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." At the moment of conception a child is born into sin. When a child realizes the difference between right and wrong is when they need Jesus as their saviour. It is called the age of accountability.
    As for baptism the book of Acts is full of examples of it. Look at the Philipian jailer. He came and asked Paul and Silas in chap. 16:30, "...Sirs what must I do to be saved?" Paul and Silas explained in vs. 31 what the jailer was supposed to do THEN the jailer was baptized. In 1 Corinthians 1:17 Paul says, "For Christ sent me NOT to baptize, but to preach the gospel:..." If baptism had anything to do with salvation then Christ would have sent Paul to baptize and not to preach. In Matthew 3:16 it says, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway OUT of the water...." Jesus couldn't have been sprinkled if He came UP OUT of the water. If Jesus wasn't sprinkled then why should we be?
     
  6. Rachel

    Rachel
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    But looks like their WHOLE purpose or reason in baptizing babies is this. - "We cannot as humans (especially sinful humans) claim to know that an infant does not possess the capacity (given by the Holy Spirit) to believe in Jesus." That is what I would really like y'alls thoughts on.

    I'm not talking about the immersion/sprinkling debate. It's obvious we need to be immersed.
     
  7. whatever

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    That's a point that Scripture does not explicitly address. I think the tenor of Scripture is that baptism is for those who can express faith. It is a declaration that this one has been buried with Christ and raised with Him. It is not a declaration that maybe this one has been raised with Him, or maybe it will happen later, or maybe not.

    What's really interesting is to talk to one who believes that babies should be baptized in case they already believe, but that babies should not take communion because they cannot examine themselves.
     
  8. bapmom

    bapmom
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    Rachel,

    I think you need to address her statement that "another form of God's grace is baptism."

    Where does the Bible say that? That statement shows what she is actually believing about baptism....that it imparts some special grace or favor onto the person. The Bible doesn't say that.

    Also, I'd respond to her that IF it were true that babies can believe in Jesus, fine. But they cannot make a profession of belief until they can talk. So when they can talk, and profess belief, THEN they can be baptized. Either way, baptism doesn't have any bearing on salvation, so an unbaptized baby is no more "at risk" than a baptized one.
     
  9. PJ

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    I would've answered the same as you, Rachel.

    We sometimes have a dedication service, but the dedication is for the parents -- not the child. We don't baptize the child in the dedication, we anoint with oil (both parents and child).
     
  10. lgpruitt

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    From my beliefs, as a Christian, and a Baptist, baptism is an act of obedience. We are following Jesus's footsteps and he was a grown man when he was baptized. As Christians we reach a point when we are believers and that ranges in ages from young children (not babies) to adults. We need to understand the meaning and the representation of baptism....not sprinkle our babies out of thoughts this will enable them to be saved.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Rachel

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    Thanks everyone, your replies helped. [​IMG]
     

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