10 Baptism Questions
When God says in His word, "baptism now saves you", (1Peter 3:21) I don't question the truth of God's word. However, I ask how can that be? To me the logical statements below answer that question. And they do so in a way that does not contradict Scripture. Some seem to struggle with these verses but to me they make sense.
1. Can sin enter heaven? No Rev.21:27
2. Are all men sinners? Yes Romans 3:10, 23
3. Is death the penalty for sin? Yes Romans 5:12
4. Do babies die? Yes
5. Are babies sinners? Yes (or they would not die)
6. How does anyone have their sins forgiven so they can go to heaven? Faith in Christ.
Romans 3:22-24, 5:1, Galatians 2:16, Hebrews 11:6
7. Is there more than one way to have sins forgiven? No John 14:6
8. Sin can only be removed if one has faith in Jesus? Yes Hebrews 9:12, 1John 1:7
9. Can a baby have faith? Yes Matthew 18:6, 21:16, Psalm 22:9
The most clear and obvious example is John the Baptist who while still in the womb rejoiced at the news of Christ's coming birth (Luke 1:44) and was "filled with the Holy Spirit" as a baby in the womb. (Luke 1:15) Every believer knows that the only people to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit are those who believe in Jesus. Acts 2:38-39
Therefore, John had to have been a believer as an infant.
10. If a baby has faith in Jesus should it be baptized? Yes Mark 10:13-16
Jesus commanded us to "bring" the children to Him so He could bless them.
You may object by saying we don't "know" if a baby has faith. True. But we don't "know" if an adult has faith either. Just because they say they do doesn't mean they are speaking the truth.
- In the case of the adult, we take them at their word, trusting they have faith.
- In the case of a baby, we take the word of Jesus (Matt.18:6) and trust they have faith.
The Greek word for "little ones" is "mikros" and means the least or littlest of people.
Speaking of humans obviously the littlest ones are not 5-10 year olds, they are infants.
If anyone of my brothers in Christ can show me where the above verses do not mean what they clearly say, I would be happy to reconsider my view of baptizing infants. But until then I choose not to incur the indignation (displeasure) of Christ. Mark 10:14
More Biblical truths about Baptism
1. It’s a work of God not man. Colossians 2: 12
2. What does baptism do?
It saves— I Peter 3:21, Titus 3:5
It removes sin- Acts 22:16, Colossians 2:11, Romans 6:6
Gives new life- Romans 6:4
Brings us Holy Spirit- Acts 2:38
A. Baptism does this because God said it would. God can use anything He wants to have it do whatever He wants. Luke 3:8, 19:40
B. Remember our Faith, which is necessary for salvation, is a gift from God. God can give and does give that faith to children as well as adults. Romans 12:3 “faith God has given” Matt. 18:6 “little ones believe”. Greek for “little ones” means nursing infant.
3. Should children be baptized?
A. Acts 2:38-39 tells us baptism and the gift it brings is for both adults and their children!
B. Children are born sinful. Romans 3:10 - Remember no sin can enter heaven.
C. Baptism, by God’s grace will wash that sin away, if faith is present. Acts 22:16
D. Salvation is an act of God’s grace (Eph. 2:8) He can give that grace to children as well as adults.
4. Doesn’t a child need faith to be saved?
A. Yes! Scriptures tell us they do believe and trust in Jesus. Matt. 18:6, 21:16, Ps. 22:9
B. Since God can also give them the gift of faith, then they are prepared for baptism and should be baptized
5. Does baptism have to be done by immersion?
A. No. The words immerse/immersion are not even in the Bible.
B. Greek for baptize is “baptizo” — It means to wash. It can mean to wash the whole body “to bathe” or it can mean to wash in part (they washed their hands.) See Luke 11:38 and Mark 7:4
C. Even when one takes a bath they do not necessarily submerge or immerse themselves under water. Those who believe this way say we must immerse because Romans 6:4 tells us baptism is symbolic of burial. This may be so but it is also symbolic of, “pouring” (Titus 3:5-6), “washing” (Acts 22:16), and of “sprinkling” (Hebrews 10:22). So which should we choose? Lutherans believe all three ways are proper as long as the Word and the water are used according to God’s command. We choose sprinkling because that was used in many O.T. covenant ceremonies to finalize a covenant. See Exodus 24:8. Baptism is the “new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15) which replaces the old covenant of circumcision. See Colossians 2:11-12
6. Is baptism permanent?
A. Yes. It is a work God does and He does not make mistakes!
B. Just as parents brought their children to God in the O.T., Gen. 17:7-14, we do through baptism in the NT. Col. 2:11-12. However, like the Israelites our children may walk away from God. (1Cor.10:1-6) So we must be careful to teach them the way of the Lord
7. The power of conversion is of God and His word, not our ability in thought or deed. Romans 1:16 - the Word is the power. God can put that power into many different vehicles. A sermon, personal testimony, creation and even baptism. I Peter 3:21
8. Salvation is a work of God not man. Eph. 2:8
A. The Holy Spirit works conviction, desire for salvation, faith, even the ability to call upon Jesus for salvation.
B. There is nothing we can do, no work at all towards our salvation. Unfortunately, some people make faith into a good work. They think they develop faith to believe based on what they can understand and learn. If that were true, then the mentally retarded would have no hope of salvation. However, faith is not a good work based on our intellect, it is a gift from God. Whether we use or neglect to use that gift will determine our eternal destination.
9. Finally, the fact that God has provided a tool (baptism) to deal with sin in the life of an infant or adult who is unable to consciously evaluate sin in their life does not in any way exempt the normal adult from the need of coming to a conscious decision to accept Christ. This is the usual or normal order of salvation. This is why we teach that every person, baptized or not, must come to a point in their lives where they consciously, knowingly, receive Jesus Christ into their hearts and lives. Romans 10:13, John 1:12