Infant baptism-baptism saves

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Emily25069, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Emily25069

    Emily25069
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been a baptist for about 4 years now

    but I've been recently stuck on trying to understand the scriptures that seem to say that baptism saves vs. what we believe.. that baptism is just an outward act of obedience.

    Im actually having quite a struggle right now, as a good friend of mine recently converted to Lutheranism and just keeps pounding me with these scriptures. Mainly that my children need to be baptized or I am not obeying God.

    I've become quite terrified that I have been wrong, and that my children need to be baptized.

    I dont see infant baptism anywhere in scripture, and yet the things this friend is saying to me does make some sense. Especially the scriptures she is sending me that seem to state quite clearly that baptism plays a role in salvation.

    Im having quite the crisis of faith at the moment. I need prayer, and I need help to understand what we believe about baptism and why.

    I've emailed my Pastor, and he hasnt gotten back to me as of yet.
     
  2. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Emily,

    I'm sorry to hear of your crisis and will remember you in my prayers. I'm not sure what your pastor will say, but Baptists should believe that it is more than merely an outward act of obedience. Baptists in the past were even comfortable calling it baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Baptists believe that the sign of baptism and what it signifies, salvation, are linked so baptism is a physical experience of being buried and risen with Christ. It is also our profession of faith as our repentance and identification with Christ are sealed through baptism. This is why there are so many Scriptures that link baptism with salvation, but Baptists maintain that one can be saved without it.

    Baptists believe that infants do not need baptism as they are under Christ until they choose to sin (this is an old General Baptist position; the Particular Baptists were less sure that all infants are under Christ and speculated a little less on this point). Baptists have always practiced infant dedication where they believe that Christian parents should make and keep a vow before God and their church to raise their children properly and present to them the gospel. However, since baptism signifies repentance and faith, one must have those (or be given those by God) before being baptized. Even Lutherans and other paedobaptists recognize this, so they talk of baptism proleptically sealing faith or using the faith of parents or godparents to stand in for the faith of the infant.

    Baptism and salvation are linked many times in Scriptures, and Baptists have had to explain their theology in the face of these Scriptures for a few centuries. This is why when the debates over baptism were more current, Baptists had a more sacramental view of baptism (while still using gospel ordinance terminology). After the debates died down, it has been reduced to mere outward obedience and the like.

    I hope your pastor can be of much more help than me or anyone here.
    BJ
     
    #2 Brandon C. Jones, Feb 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2008
  3. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,687
    Likes Received:
    242
    What Scriptures are you being pounded with?
     
  4. Jkdbuck76

    Jkdbuck76
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,263
    Likes Received:
    64
    Emily,

    Of course they use Scripture.... but I wouldn't argue with them. You need to focus on YOUR understanding.

    1) Nowhere do we see children being baptized in NT.
    2) I guess that Jesus and the thief got off of the cross, Christ baptized him and they both got back on before they went to paradise.
    3) Philip only consented to baptize the Etheopian eunich only AFTER a profession of faith.
    4) Cornelius and his peeps recieved the Holy Spirit PRIOR to water baptism.

    I grew up Church of Christ who believe in baptismal regeneration..... so you can imagine I have a "thing" against the idea.

    Baptism is for believers....not for infants.
     
  5. twomontes

    twomontes
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have to post my personal opinion of infant baptism here :BangHead: How many people are there out there with a belief that "I am saved" because i was baptized as a child that are lost sheep?
     
  6. Emily25069

    Emily25069
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will post the scriptures she sent me in a few minutes. I deleted all the emails in a bit of a meltdown the other day.

    Anyhow..

    Essentially, she is telling me that my children need to be baptized for the forgiveness of original sin.. that that is the way that God made for children, who are born spiritually dead to go to heaven, otherwise, they are damned until they can get faith through hearing the word of God.

    She repeats over and over and over that my children need to be baptized into Christ. Its my responsibility to do this because they are not old enough to do this for themselves yet.

    In baptism, they will receive the Holy Spirit who will continually draw them throughout their lives.

    If they were to die tomorrow, they would go to hell.

    The idea of an age of accountability is a lie from the devil.. Many infants of good Christian parents are going to go to hell because those parents believed that lie.. that somehow God will look over the sin nature of that child and accept them, even though they are spiritually dead to God.

    That infants and children are included in the "whole households" scriptures.

    ***

    SHe believes that either baptism or faith, whatever comes first is what saves you. She doesnt believe in eternal security though, so infant baptism wouldnt keep an unbelieving adult out of hell, just because they were baptized as an infant.

    She is throwing scriptures at me.. but Im getting so thoroughly confused and overwhelmed.

    What she keeps driving home though, are the scriptures that say that baptism saves.. and she says that just like infant circumcision, its the parents who are responsible.

    My problem is that now I am so thoroughly confused. If there is truth to it, than I dont want to just dismiss it.. but I cant come up with anything for the age of accountability other than my human sentiment.. that God certainly wouldnt send a helpless infant to Hell, would He? I have nothing scripture wise.. and that is making me feel very weak, and wondering if she is right, since historically, most christians seemed to have baptized their infants.

    I really need some help, scriptures, and encouragement.
     
  7. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Emily,

    You usually bring up some good issues. And I admire your courage.

    1. Regarding infant baptism, such baptism is nullified by the prerequisites for water-baptism as seen in Scripture. Only adults who professed faith were immersed in water (Acts 8:12; 18:8).

    2. To include infants in households is circumstantial at best. The Bible never tells us how old the children were. But the Bible does tell us who are proper candidates for baptism--those capable of repenting and believing.

    3. Now regarding baptism as the instrument of salvation, Paul's arguments from Romans 3-5 should settle that issue for you. Let me give you several texts to ponder:

    "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished" (Rom 3:25, TNIV, emphasis mine).

    Paul is saying that we appropriate the benefits of the cross by faith.

    4. Now look at Romans 4:9-12:

    Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. (TNIV, emphasis mine).

    Abraham is the model of all who will ever be saved. Abraham only had to put his faith in God and that was credited as righteousness.

    5. Notice that the ritual to seal and be a sign of his faith was circumcision. Our sign of the faith we already have is baptism. Consider Col 2:12:

    "having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead" (ESV, emphasis mine).
     
  8. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello again Emily,

    Now things are a little more clear. Some Christians believe what your friend says about infant baptism, original sin, circumcision, and eternal security.

    Baptists have been aware of these things since their inception. Some study of the Scriptures though can help. You're right that the age of accountability is not in the Bible, however, the key passage on original sin is Romans 5. In that passage, there is a contrast between the first and second Adam. That is a difficult passage, but you will see no talk of baptism or infants in it. Yes, infants are guilty of original sin because they are subject to death and have inherited a sin nature from Adam. However, God judges people according to their works, and infants have no works to speak of. Hence, the insertion of the accountability. Christ's death can cover original sin for infants without them hearing and having faith in the gospel and being baptized. There is more than sentiment behind this in my opinion.

    As for circumcision, Baptists have argued that the covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17 is a covenant of circumcision (cf. Acts 7:8) and is not related to the covenant of grace. Paul speaks of this covenant in Romans 4 where it seals Abraham's prior faith and righteousness. Paul says the purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but who also follow the example of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised (vv. 11-12). Paedobaptists think that circumcision sealed one's faith like Abraham, but Christians in the past (even the those as early as Chrysostom) have said that for Abraham's physical seed, circumcision does not seal their faith but instead identifies them as members of Israel and subject to the Mosaic covenant (many passages in Galatians give this interpretation of circumcision).

    No where does Scripture have commands of people to baptize their infants. Those arguments are usually from silence and have little merit.

    I hope this helps you a little,
    BJ
     
  9. Emily25069

    Emily25069
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    side question

    Wouldnt hebrew children be cut off from the people though if they werent circumsized?
     
  10. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, but the economy of Israel has so much dissimilarites with the new covenant.
     
  11. Emily25069

    Emily25069
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    WHy is it so different?

    I have to tell you, like I've never told any other group of strangers..

    this issue totally is killing me right now.


    She gave me a scripture that somehow connected Baptism to being like circumcision

    and I cant get past that.
     
  12. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,198
    Likes Received:
    376
  13. Beth

    Beth
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    0
    She is looking for an outward sign of the covenant

    Your friend is trying to find an outward sign of the New Covenant. This is a very common argument, to equate circumcision with water baptism. Common but very wrong.

    You need to distance yourself from your friendship right now, and dig into your Bible. (Please do not think I am being harsh. I have been there and done that with other issues. You need to go to the Word of God FIRST and pray that the Lord give you understanding. Your friend should not be swaying you in your conversations.)

    Your friend is lutheran, which believes in baptismal regeneration. You are an ex-Catholic, so this is really hitting you hard. Here is a statement from a Lutheran site....

    Baptism - Although Luther retained that Baptism was necessary for spiritual regeneration, no specific form was stipulated. Today Lutherans practice both infant baptism and baptism of believing adults.

    I would encourage you to study TCGreek's post (I really only read his post, I am sure the other brethren have been helpful, don't want to be a respector of persons here, LOL). TC hit it right on the head...he is right on.

    I would also encourage you to study Ezekiel 31-33...the explanation of the New Covenant. Circumcision is of the heart, representing the indwelling of our new nature through the Holy Spirit.

    I also am an ex-Catholic, Emily, and it is really difficult when we are reminded of doctrine which we have left behind... I would encourage you to seek also a male headship on this...are you married to a converted mate, or, if not, I would advise you to seek the counsel of a trusted elder in your church. You are under a spiritual headcovering, don't allow another female to lead you astray.

    I only say this in love, as your older sis, so please don't take what I say the wrong way. :1_grouphug:

    Your sister in Christ,
    Beth
     
  14. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    TC Greek,
    I can understand Emily's saying there is only vague references to the theory of age of accountability in Scripture. Have you ever considered that Romans 7: 7-12 could be a picture of the age of accountability?
     
  15. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,687
    Likes Received:
    242
    The Gospel is the same for adults and infants. There is only one way, and that is grace through faith. If baptism cannot save an adult, neither can it save your child. If your fear is that your infants aren't saved, that's a different issue altogether, and not in any way connected to baptism.

    You can't save your children. Salvation is not imparted by works, it is imparted by grace through faith.

    Is there a Scripture for this? If there is no Scripture, let not your heart be troubled.

    Maybe. . . maybe not. That's not something you have any control over. Let not your heart be troubled.

    It may be, but salvation is not imparted through baptism. Let not your heart be troubled.

    Does she have Scriptures for this? If not, let not your heart be troubled.

    1)Be obedient to the Scriptures you can understand. Do you have a husband? If so, ask him what he thinks should be done, and submit accordingly—and STOP discussing this with strangers over the Internet.

    2)Pray about it and cast your care upon Christ, for He careth for you. Let not your heart be troubled.

    3)If you could provide Scriptures, it would be easier to help you, but see item # 1.

    Now circumcision and baptism. Yes, baptism has replaced circumcision as the sign of the Covenant. But just like baptism does not justify a man, neither did circumcision. What do the Scriptures say? They don't say, "Abraham was circumcised and it was accounted to him for righteousness," they say, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

    Salvation is imparted today just as it was imparted in the OT, by grace through faith. The thing that has changed is the outward sign.
     
  16. AAA

    AAA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    0
    Baptism is for those that have "believed and repented of thier sins"..Has your children done this through the Leading of the Holy Ghost?

    Many people say that baptism is essential for salvation, but as for the verse that says that "baptism saves" I see it as a faith response...In Matt. 28:19 we see a command to be baptized...This is the way I see it: If a person does NOT have enough faith to obey the command to be baptized, then they do NOT have enough faith to be saved...Baptism is NOT essential for salvation, but a faith that obeys is essential...

    Salvation is by GRACE...(Eph. 2:8-9, Titus 3:5)...
     
  17. Beth

    Beth
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aaron and AAA

    Excellent post, Aaron, good points as well AAA!
     
  18. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good point, Saturneptune.

    But Paul doesn't give us an age. :thumbs:
     
  19. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    12,723
    Likes Received:
    0
    If only the ones who are baptizing infants were that innocent before God.

    BBob,
     
  20. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. For example, you were physically born into the Judaism and then 8 days later a male child was circumcised as a sign of the covenant into which he was born.

    2. We do not see this in Christianity.

    3. Paul does connect water-baptism with circumcision at one level:

    "In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead" (Col 2:11-12, NIV, emphasis mine).

    4. Notice that v.12 begins with a participial phrase, "having been buried," which is one word in Greek, describing the means of this circumcision at a symbolic level in the waters of baptism.
     

Share This Page

Loading...