Q101. Are the infants of such as are professing believers to be baptized?
A101. The infants of such as are professing believers are not to be baptized; because there is neither command nor example in the Holy Scriptures, or certain consequence from them, to baptize such.
The Scriptures reveal that baptism is a sign of fellowship or union with Christ. Therefore, we must conclude that the proper recipients of baptism are only “those who actually profess repentance towards God, faith in and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ, and to none other.” The pattern in the Book of the Acts that we observed last week testifies to this truth. Each passage shares a common theme. The Word is preached, the Word is received, and all who receive the Word receive baptism (Acts 2:37-42, Acts 8:4-40, Acts 10: 34-48, Acts 16:14-21, Acts 16:31-34, Acts 18:1-11).
The natural outworking of this truth refutes the claim that the infants of professing believers should receive baptism. The reasoning is very clear and simple: “…there is neither command nor example in the Holy Scriptures, or certain consequence from the Scriptures to baptize infants.”
Every New Testament author, without exception, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, remains silent in regard to infant baptism and records no such command.
A 19th century German theologian said, “All traces of infant baptism, which are asserted to be found in the New Testament, must first be inserted there.”
A present day Presbyterian theologian said, “The practice of baptizing children of any age is a doctrinal deduction from scriptural examples, rather than the explicit teaching of Scripture.”
So, those who are for infant baptism and those who are against infant baptism agree that there is no explicit scriptural evidence commanding its practice and there is no explicit scriptural evidence validating its practice.
Our brothers and sisters who believe in and practice infant baptism seek to validate their claim based on a perceived continuity between the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant. They claim that the church in the Abrahamic Covenant was made up of professing believers and their children. They claim that that membership pattern remains the same on into the New Covenant. Some of the key differences, they say, are that the covenant sign has changed from circumcision to baptism and that the covenant sign (baptism) should be given to every infant with at least one believing parent.
At this point, I say that we must commend our brothers and sisters for desiring to be biblical. However, at the same time, we must respectfully disagree with our brothers and sisters because we are not “convinced by Scripture or by plain reason” that God commands or validates this pattern and practice in the New Covenant.
As Christians, we know that the only way to worship God is to worship Him in the ways that He has actually commanded and required in His holy Word. Holding to such a principle prohibits us from administering baptism to infants.
May our consciences, families, and churches be held captive to the revealed will of God as it is seen in His Word. Amen.