It is my understanding that Scripture teaches us that both adults and children should be baptized. Children are to be baptized if they’re brought to us for baptism by either their parents or by parental guardians. The scripture commonly used to support this exists in Mark 10: 13-16. This scripture is centered around Jesus explain marriage to the followers. At this point people were bringing their children to Jesus to be touched by him. The disciples rebuked them, in which case Jesus answered that we must receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. Well, it obviously can be said this isn’t talking about baptism. This is true, but with much of Jesus’ teachings they just don’t stop there. Baptism is also referenced in Colossians 2:11-12, but it doesn’t refer to children.
What Scripture then do we have for infant baptism?
1. Infants are flesh born of flesh and as such are lost in sin. (Psalms 51:5), (John 3:5-6).
2. It is God’s will that also infants should be regenerated (Mark 10:13-16), by their being brought to Christ (Luke 18:15-17).
3. The means by which infants are brought to Christ is Baptism (Titus 3:5-6), (1 Peter 3:21), (Colossians 2:11-12)
Scripture expressly records that in the primitive Christian Church believers were baptize “with their whole house,” (1 Corinthians 1:16), (Acts 11:14, 16:15,33).
There is the objection that infant baptism is not mentioned in the Bible directly and as such it wasn’t practiced in apostolic times. I hold true to the theory of though that it wasn’t mentioned simply because it was self-evident that baptism of infants and children happen. From Colossians 2:11-12 we know thatBaptism in the New Testament took the place of Circumcision. It doesn’t stop there in early times in the Old Testament there was a similar form of ceremony of washing of babies.
Not to be forgotten the Great Commission to his apostles to baptize, and thus make disciples of, all nations, an expression which ordinary includes children.
Scripture declares expressly that little children can believe, Matt 18:2-6. Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15-17, I John 2:13. Their faith is not considered potential faith, but actual faith or directly faith which truly apprehends the promises offered in Baptism.
It is impossible for us to conceive of direct faith in infants. That is truly a question we all ponder at one point or time. It matters little if we can comprehend the mysteries of faith by reason, but whether they are actually taught in Scripture.
It is clear infants can believe from Jesus’ own words; Matthew 18:6, Luke 18:15-, and 2 Timothy 3:15.
Luther has this reasoning for infant baptism:
“The baptism of infants, and the comfort we derive from it, rest upon the word: ‘Suffer little children to come unto Me and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.’ He has spoken this, and He does not lie. Hence it must be right and a Christian act to bring little children unto Him, which can be done in no other way than through Baptism. For this reason it must also be certain that He blesses them and that He gives the kingdom of heaven to all who come to Him in this way; for He adds: ‘Oh such is the kingdom of God.’”
Further more we can be more certain in the faith of infants than that of adults because adults more likely will resist, while resistance is not found in little children.
One common thought I’d like to add is when we use the argument that we must do something to make the baptism possible. While in Acts it says “repent”, is it our repentence that we give or is it the repentence that God gives us. I would suggest folks to continue reading in Acts. We refer to baptism as something that is man made, but in reality is something given to us by God. It is Divine, not man made. As such through God all things are possibly and the remissions of sins in infants is also possible. In God, all things are possible. As I continue my research on this topic I will also revisit this blog and make changes accordingly.