What Did Jesus Teach About Little Children
Jesus loves little children
On several occasions, Jesus called little children to Him to bless them. In one instance, Christ even rebuked His disciples for keeping children away from Him, saying, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not .
Little children are pure and holy
Jesus taught that children are pure and innocent and that adults should try to be more like them, for of such is the kingdom of heaven . Jesus also said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven .
What Is The Spiritual Meaning Of Baptism
The sacramental view holds that baptism is a means God uses to convey grace. The person baptized is set free from the power of sin and given a new spiritual life ” rel=”nofollow”> John 3:5-7).
Thecovenantal view holds that baptism is not a means of spiritual rebirth, but a sign and seal of God’s covenant of salvation. Baptism depicts the freeing from sin that occurs with repentance ” rel=”nofollow”> Acts 2:38), and serves the same covenantal purpose for Christians that circumcision does for Jews.
The symbolical view holds that no spiritual benefit results from baptism, itself. Rather, it is a public symbol of a spiritual rebirth that has already occurred in the person being baptized.
Teachings Of Christian Denominations Practicing Paedobaptism
Different Christian denominations who practice infant baptism attach different meanings to the sacrament and explain its efficacy in different ways.
Roman Catholic Church
The Church has no dogmatic official teaching regarding the fate of infants who die without baptism, and theologians of the Church hold various views . “The Church entrusts these infants to the mercy of God.”
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued on 20 October 1980 an instruction on infant baptism, whose purpose was “to recall the principal points of doctrine in this field which justify the Church’s constant practice down the centuries and demonstrate its permanent value in spite of the difficulties raised today”. The document then indicated some general guidelines for pastoral action.
The document recalled that infant baptism has long been considered of apostolic origin and that the first direct evidence of its practice, dating from the 2nd century, does not present it as an innovation. It then responded to objections that baptism should follow faith, that the person baptised should consciously receive the grace of the sacrament, that the person should freely accept baptism, that infant baptism is unsuitable in a society marked by instability of values and conflicts of ideas, and that the practice is inimical to a missionary outlook on the part of the Church.
Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy and the Church of the East
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What Happens To An Infant Who Dies
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance . So what happens to those who never knew the Lord? What happens to infants and children who die before ever growing to maturityor before being baptized?
Through Gods plan of salvation and the resurrections He promised would occur , every individual will have the opportunity to know Gods will and accept Jesus Christ as his or her Savior. Everyone will be able to understand repentance and Gods forgiveness and eventually have the opportunity to seek baptism and receive His Holy Spirit.
Isaiah records a prophecy of a time yet to come: They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea .
After Christs return and on into eternity, Gods knowledge will cover the earth, and there will be peace. And the Bible shows that all who have never known God will have an opportunity to do so in a time of peace.
Why Does The Catholic Church Believe In Infant Baptism
The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives us the most important reasons why we must baptize infants: Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.
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Contrasts Between Infant And Adult Baptism
Christians disagree about infant baptism because they disagree about the nature of faith, the role of baptism, the means of salvation, the nature of grace, and the function of the sacraments. Pedobaptism and credobaptism are positions which bubble up from theological views at a more fundamental level of one’s theological system.
- If baptism is a sign that a person is a member of God’s covenant community, and if the children of believers are members of that community, it follows that the children of believers should receive the sign that they are members of God’s covenant community by being baptised, as an infant is entitled to a passport that indicates the child as a member of a particular country.
- Believers and the children of believers become members of God’s covenant community through baptism.
- It is believed by some Christians that in the heart of a baptised child, faith as a gift or grace from God, as distinct from an act by the person, is made present.
- It is believed by some Christians that baptism is not merely a symbol and that it has a real effect, conveying divine grace.
What Is The Difference Between Believers Baptism And Infant Baptism
Ultimately In infant baptism, God claims the child with divine grace. Clearly the child can do nothing to save himself or herself, but is totally dependent on Gods grace, as we all are whatever our age. In believers baptism, the person being baptized is publicly professing her or his own decision to accept Christ.
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What Happens If A Baby Dies Before Being Baptized
VATICAN CITY The Roman Catholic Church has effectively buried the concept of limbo, the place where centuries of tradition and teaching held that babies who die without baptism went. The Church teaches that baptism removes original sin which stains all souls since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.
A Before Baptism One Must Hear And Understandthe Gospel
John 6:44,45 – No one can come to Jesus without being taughtfrom the Father. This does not just mean simply hearing sounds.One must “learn” he must understand the meaning ofwhat is being taught. Can babies do this ?
Acts 2:36,41 – This example shows what it means for people tolearn the gospel before they are baptized. The people were givenevidence that Jesus is God’s Son . They were told that,on the basis of this evidence, they must “know assuredly”that Jesus is Lord and Christ . Those who were baptized werethose who gladly received this message . Can babies hear andlearn in this way?
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What Does The Bible Say Aboutinfant Baptism
I have friends that are in religions, Catholic, Lutheran, etc., and they feel that if you donï¿½t baptize your baby, it will go to hell for you are the parent and responsible for that childï¿½s well being. Where in the bible does it say or if not, that babies have to be baptized? My belief is different. I believe you take the lord in your heart when you are old enough to realize what Jesus has done and if you have faith and believe. What kind of answer through any scripture can I tell them back?
Jesus Gave The Command To Baptize
Jesus gave the command to baptize: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you . All Christians teach their children to observe all that Jesus has commanded. Infant baptists believe that they should keep to the order that Jesus gave: baptize first, then teaching more about what life with Jesus means. In this view, faith is not so much a personal decision that baptism testifies to, but a conviction resulting from Gods grace that was promised in baptism and is being worked out in the life of Christian children.
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Repent Believe Be Baptized
Luther is not alone in leaving something to be desired in his vision of baptism. God has embedded his sacraments with more than meets the eye. For all of us, the visible words of the ordinances teem with depths of wonder and power into which we grow and mature. Christians of all stripes can anticipate shades and textures of meaning in Christian baptism we have yet to realize.
Before I lay out six of the most important New Testament texts to consider, let me acknowledge at the outset that godly evangelical pastors, scholars, churches, and seminaries stand on both sides of this question. The issues are many, and the arguments often complex, and I have great respect for many dear infant-baptist brothers and sisters.
Nevertheless, we credobaptists who baptize, typically by immersion, only those who give a credible profession of faith have a deeper case than only whats on the surface of the biblical text. However, because we believe the Bible, we also do not ignore the plain, stubborn reading of the texts. We indeed go deeper, and also do not overlook the obvious. Consider six straightforward biblical texts on baptism that any Christian view of baptism cannot ignore.
Arguments Against Infant Baptism
- Infants cannot repent or believe: Baptism in Scripture always has the prerequisite of repentance and faith, which are impossible for an infant.
- Baptism only for believers: The Lord’s Supper and Baptism are both sacraments or ordinances and are the same sign and seal, since the Lord’s Supper may not be given to unbelievers, neither should baptism.
- No scriptural instances: There are no explicit instances of infant baptism in the scripture
Denominations and religious groups opposed to paedobaptism
Trinitarian Christian denominations that oppose infant baptism include the International Christian Church.
Several nontrinitarian religious groups also oppose infant baptism, including Oneness Pentecostals, Christadelphians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, United Church of God, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
B.R. White describes the motivations behind persecution of the Anabaptists during the Reformation as follows:
Other Christians saw the baptism of each new-born baby into the secular parish community and close links between church and state as the divinely-ordained means of holding society together. Hence many other Christians saw the Anabaptists as subversive of all order. Consequently, from the earliest days, they were sharply persecuted and leaders were soon executed.
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The Biblical Basis For Infant Baptism
James W. Scott
Many evangelical, Bible-believing Christians believe that baptism should be reserved for those who make a profession of faith. They point to the clear teaching in the Bible that converts should be baptized . The baptism warranted in the Bible by precept and example, they say, is believers baptism.
But wait a minute! The ordinary practice in baptistic churches has no more direct biblical support than the practice in churches that baptize infants. In both groups of churches, those who are converted from outside the church are baptized as new believers. That kind of believers baptism is not at issue. What is at issue is what to do with those who are born and raised within the church. Should they be baptized as infants or should their baptism be withheld until they make their own profession of faith?
Neither practice has explicit biblical support. There is no example of anyone born to Christian parents being baptized in the New Testament at any age, and no precept addresses their specific situation. The time and circumstances that are appropriate for baptizing such children must be inferred from general biblical teaching concerning baptism.
Let us once and for all disabuse ourselves of the notion that what goes on in baptistic churches has direct biblical warrant. It is only inferred from Scripture, as is our practice.
The Baptized Are Counted As If Circumcised
Principle 5 is that baptism is the New Testament counterpart to circumcision, and the baptized Gentile is counted as if circumcised . In this section we will be demonstrating that Baptism is the NewTestament counterpart to circumcision. In the last paragraph we havealready seen that believers are members of the covenant ofcircumcision . Thus it is natural forScripture to describe us as the circumcision and todescribe those outside the covenant as being both uncircumcised inspirit as well as uncircumcised in flesh: you being dead in yoursins and the uncircumcision of your flesh 10
The question often arises, How can we be called the circumcision ifthere is not a literal circumcision of the flesh? The simple answer is,The same way Old Testament women could be called the circumcision.Though some nations practiced female circumcision,11 God only had the male circumcised. The female was countedas if she were circumcised because she took part in the ceremonialbaptism that accompanied circumcision .12
For further evidence of the identity between baptism and circumcision, Ioffer the following chart.20
The Sabbath Is An Everlasting Sign Of The Everlasting Covenant
The Sabbath is also stated to be an everlasting sign of the everlasting covenant and as such to be an abiding statute . Therefore, though the New Covenant makes a change in theday, it does not abolish what is perpetual or everlasting about that sign. Thereremains therefore a Sabbath rest forthe people of God. . The Greek of Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-2 Luke 24:1 and John 20:1 shows that while there was a passing away of theJewish form of the Sabbath there was an ushering in ofa first day Sabbath . Observance of this first day Sabbath is nowcommanded in the New Testament. For example, Paul says, as I havegiven orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On thefirst day Sabbath let each one of you lay somethingaside .
Thus, while themultitude of Jewish days have been abolished , there is one day whichis the Lords day even in New Testament times.
Infant Baptism Started With Moses
Hebrews 5:11-6:3 tells us that before we can go on to understand moreChristian doctrine, and certainly before we can be teachers, we need tounderstand the fundamentals. Included in these fundamentals are theresurrection, judgment day, repentance, faith, and the doctrine ofbaptisms. Since there is only one baptism in the New Testament it is clear that the author of Hebrews is talking about Old Testament baptisms. Thereis some way in which the doctrine of baptisms in the Old Testament isfoundational to the church. He expected the church to understand it, andconnected Old Testament baptisms with Christian baptism. Paul and Peter also expected their hearers to understandOld Testament baptism in such passages as 1 Corinthians 10:2, 1Corinthians 15:29 and 1 Peter 3:21. New Testament Baptism is rooted inthe Old Testament and anticipated by Old Testament saints as is obviousfrom such passages as John 1:25 Acts 8:28-39 26:22 Is. 52:15 Ezek.36:25-27 Acts 17:11.
And a clean person shall take hyssop, and shall dip it in the water,and shall sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, andupon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched the bone,or the slain, or the dead, or the grave. Numb. 19:18
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Infants Are Not Able To Comprehend The Spiritual Things Of God
Children ask a lot of questions. They want to know the answers to things all around them. They have curious minds and want to learn, but they do not yet have the comprehension, especially as infants, to fully understand repentance from sins and the commitment one makes at baptism.
The apostle Paul states: When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child but when I became a man, I put away childish things . Most people reach a point in life when they move beyond a childish perspective and take on a mature view of the world around them. They begin to question themselves and their purpose for living. Their thinking and decision making is different as an adult.
Why We Do Not Baptize Infants:
We do not baptize infants because baptism is a public confession of faith in obedience to Christ.
The clear teaching of Scripture is that all who believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord should be baptized in obedience to Him. The New Testament order is always: The preaching of the gospel faith in the gospel then, baptism. Never once is there an example of baptism preceding faith as the norm to be followed. And there are no examples or commands concerning the baptism of the infants or yet unbelieving children of believing parents. Consider the following verses from Acts, noting the order of belief first, then baptism:
2:41: … those who had received his word were baptized …
8:12: But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.
8:36-38: And as they went along the road they came to some water and the eunuch said, Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized? And he ordered the chariot to stop and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch and he baptized him.
While verse 37 lacks strong textual support in the earliest Greek manuscripts, its insertion in later manuscripts shows what the church held to be the necessary qualification for baptism.
If any children were baptized that night, the text is clear that they had believed. There is not a shred of support for infant baptism here.