Infant Baptism Jn 3:5 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
A preacher friend of mine has said many times, “You can prove anything by the Bible.” But just because you can “prove” a thing doesn’t mean that it is sound doctrine. Most false doctrines are “proved” by the Bible. The Roman Catholic Church and other churches that practice infant baptism actually look to scripture for “proof” that infant baptism is commanded by God. However, we will examine carefully what they have done with the Bible to “prove” their point.
First, they “prove” that water baptism is essential for salvation. In the following verses we have the “proof” they use and then we have the “truth” of the Bible, showing how they wrested the scripture to “prove” their point.
- Matt. 3:13-17 – Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus’ baptism didn’t save but rather it manifested him to John and Israel [Jn 1:31-33].
- Jn. 3:5, 22 – Jesus said you must be born of water. Water birth is your physical birth in the flesh [Jn 3:6].
- Matt. 28:19 – Jesus commanded baptism. But he never said baptism “saves” them.
- 1 Pet. 3:18-22 – Peter said that baptism saves you. He said that baptism is a “figure” of salvation [1 Pet 3:21].
- Tit. 3:5 – Paul said that regeneration is by washing. But not by washing in water [Jn 15:3, Eph 5:26].
- Gal. 3:27 – Paul said that in baptism you put on Christ. In Spirit baptism you do, but not in water baptism [1 Cor 12:13].
- Lk. 3:3 – John baptized for the remission of sins. But John’s baptism can’t save [Acts 19:2-5].
- Mk. 16:16 – A person who believes and is baptized is saved. But if he believes not he is damned [Mk. 16:16]. Thus belief saves, Acts 16:31, not baptism.
- Acts 22:16 – Paul washed away his sins in baptism. He washed away his sins, “calling on the name of the Lord,” [Rom. 10:9-10].
- Acts 2:28-29 – The believing Jews were baptized for the remission of sins. But not to get remission, because they were already forgiven [Lk 23:34].
- Rom. 6:3-5 – Baptism is the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Rom 6 is Spirit Baptism, not water baptism. Water baptism pictures this.
- Lk. 7:30 – People who reject God refuse to be baptized. But this does not show that people who get baptized are thereby saved.
Second, after “proving” that water baptism is essential for salvation, they “prove” that babies must be baptized. However, there is not one verse that says infants were or must be baptized. Here’s how they make their case for infant baptism:
- Infant baptism is typified in the Bible by circumcision. And since males were circumcised at 8 days old, babies must be baptized when they are infants. [Gen. 17:9-14; Col. 2:11-12; Lk. 2:21-32]
- Infant baptism is the way that children “come unto me.” [Matt. 19:14]
- Infant baptism fulfills the ordained choice of God to “bring forth fruit.” [Jn. 15:16]
- Infant baptism fulfills the promise to “your children.” Therefore, the households who were baptized “obviously” included children. [Acts 2:38-39; Acts 16:15; Acts 16:33; Lk. 3:21-22; 1 Cor. 1:16]
- Baptism precedes a later giving of the Holy Ghost. So, infants must be baptized so they will receive the Holy Spirit when they are older. [Acts 8:14-17; Acts 19:1-6]
- Infants are too young to take the “initiative” for salvation themselves, so Jesus responds to the “faith” of their parents and bestows an unmerited spiritual benefit on the child, like he did in the following cases. [Mk. 5:22-23, 35-43; Mk. 9:14-27; Mk. 2:1-12]
Now you see how it’s done. None of the verses used to “prove” the false doctrine of infant baptism have anything whatsoever to do with “infants” being baptized. If you were to read each of these verses in their contexts as you were reading through the Bible, you would never conclude that water baptism saves or that the church is supposed to baptize babies to wash away original sin. You would have to come up with that doctrine from another source and then go through the Bible looking for a way to “prove” that you had the right doctrine.
The truth is that babies are safe without baptism according to Rom. 4:15, Rom. 5:13, and Deut. 1:39, because they have no knowledge of the law. Furthermore, we have Jesus’ own words that they are in the kingdom of God, Mk. 10:14 and Lk. 18:16. However, when they are old enough to know about sin against God and its consequences of an eternity in Hell, they need to receive Jesus Christ by faith to be saved, Jn. 1:12-13, Rom. 10:9-10, Eph. 2:8-9, Acts 16:31, etc. After that, they should be baptized by immersion in water.