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The case for infant baptism
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Yannis
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Post: #16
RE: The case for infant baptism

COMankind Wrote:
point 1:
Luke 13:28: Abraham is to be in the Kingdom of God. Therefore, according to John 3, Abraham was born of water and spirit. However Abraham was never immersed.


Through God's covenant with Abraham, Abraham is promised a seed and a land, although he would not see its fruition within his own lifetime. The Book of Hebrews explains that he was looking to a better and heavenly land, a city with foundations, whose builder and architect is God (11:8-16).

Abraham is in the Kingdom of God through his covenant with God symbolized through circumcision.

We are under the New Covenant, symbolized through baptism.

Heb 10:

16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,"

17then he adds,

"I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more."

18Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

COMankind Wrote:
point 2:
Nicodemus has no clue about Christian baptism, he was a Jew and knew Jewish traditions. Jesus was likely using a reference to something the Jews could relate to. Otherwise, why would Jesus say in verse 10 "“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? "


If Nicodemus didnt understand what Jesus was referring to then, he most certainly would have very soon after for after leaving him the Lord went to Judea and baptized.

John 4:1, "Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John"

COMankind Wrote:
point 3:
Water baptism is an act of human will. Salvation is a gift.
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. " - John 1:12,13


Salvation is a gift THROUGH baptism. Water baptism is an act of God's Will, for He instituted it.

1 Pet 3:20-21, "because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"

COMankind Wrote:
point 4:
It is asserted that 'born of water' means water baptism. But the NT used water in a number of ways. The holy spirit is like water (John 4:14; 7:38, 39) so is the Word (Ephesians 5:26) - either of these could apply to John 3. For example, see a virtually identical statement to John's at 1 Peter 1:22, 23:

"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit… having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever"


I am afraid all you are doing here is scripture hopping. Let's stick to the context, for the context reveals to us what Jesus meant when He used the term 'born of water'.

John 3:22-26,

"After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-18-2011 06:00 PM
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Willa
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Post: #17
RE: The case for infant baptism

Yannis Wrote:
You can take the Witness out of the organization but you can't......., well, you know the rest.

I'm curious what I said that warranted that response? I know wt doesn't baptize infants, but I still feel they baptize the young at too young an age - before they have a grasp on what baptism should even mean... So, I wasn't arguing for any particular doctrine... especially not theirs!


:heartbeat: You are my friends! I don't think it just by chance, but by God's Grand Design, that He has guided both our steps... to let your paths cross mine. :heartbeat:
06-18-2011 07:54 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #18
RE: The case for infant baptism

Willa Wrote:

Yannis Wrote:
You can take the Witness out of the organization but you can't......., well, you know the rest.

I'm curious what I said that warranted that response? I know wt doesn't baptize infants, but I still feel they baptize the young at too young an age - before they have a grasp on what baptism should even mean... So, I wasn't arguing for any particular doctrine... especially not theirs!


It was directed toward your comment, "You want to argue your church's doctrines, Yannis, I get that. I used to do the same as a JW"

I just meant that I still have a tendancy to argue over doctrine that's all.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-18-2011 08:09 PM
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veritas re
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Post: #19
RE: The case for infant baptism

Yannis Wrote:
Can we not reasonably conclude that God still wants children in covenant with Him? And since the New Testament gave only baptism as the sign for entering in the New Covenant, why shouldn’t the babies of believers be baptized?

It's no wonder that the Early Church practiced infant baptism from the beginning.


The title of this thread is: “The case for infant baptism” – but where is the “case”? The above statements do not constitute a “case”, being only a lineup of fast moving assumptions such as “can we not reasonably conclude…” and “since the New Testament gave only baptism…” and “it's no wonder the Early Church practiced infant baptism…” - all this somehow makes a “case” that the first century Christians practiced infant baptism? "Early Church" for example, how early - and where is a New Testament reference or some indication this was practiced in apostolic times?

It’s easy to espouse whatever one wants to believe. If someone wants to believe that the moon is made of green cheese and the earth is flat and rides on the backs of giant turtles - that’s anyone’s prerogative to do that. But it’s another matter entirely to claim there is a “case” that can establish the veracity of the belief. A careful read of the “case” thus far presented is the typical skipping rock on water type of assumption set - that may appear or sound to be based on some sort of fact set – but between the skips there is much unexplained territory.

Could we see some of the actual “case” material?


v r


"...and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free."
06-18-2011 09:55 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #20
RE: The case for infant baptism

veritas re Wrote:
The title of this thread is: “The case for infant baptism” – but where is the “case”? The above statements do not constitute a “case”, being only a lineup of fast moving assumptions such as “can we not reasonably conclude…” and “since the New Testament gave only baptism…” and “it's no wonder the Early Church practiced infant baptism…” All this somehow makes a “case” that first century Christians practiced infant baptism?


Dictionary.com definition on case, "an instance of the occurrence, existence, etc., of something." I used the word appropriately.

veritas re Wrote:
"Early Church" for example, how early - and where is a New Testament reference or some indication this was practiced in apostolic times?


I am not going to rehash what i already wrote in this thread. It is all there. Read it before saying that i havent gave any references.

As far how early in the Early Church, writings of the 2nd and early 3rd century indicate that Christians baptized infants too. Irenaeus (c. 130–202) speaks not only of children but even of infants being "born again to God" and three passages of Origen (185–c. 254) mention infant baptism as traditional and customary. Tertullian (c. 155–230) too, while advising postponement of baptism until after marriage, mentions that it was customary to baptise infants, with sponsors speaking on their behalf. The Apostolic Tradition, attributed to Hippolytus of Rome (died 235), describes how to perform the ceremony of baptism; it states that children were baptised first, and if any of them could not answer for themselves, their parents or someone else from their family was to answer for them.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-18-2011 10:08 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #21
RE: The case for infant baptism

Yannis Wrote:
[quote=veritas re]
The title of this thread is: “The case for infant baptism” – but where is the “case”? The above statements do not constitute a “case”, being only a lineup of fast moving assumptions such as “can we not reasonably conclude…” and “since the New Testament gave only baptism…” and “it's no wonder the Early Church practiced infant baptism…” All this somehow makes a “case” that first century Christians practiced infant baptism?


Please disregard what i wrote previously on the definition. I think i presented my case.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-18-2011 10:34 PM
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veritas re
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Post: #22
RE: The case for infant baptism

The case for infants not being baptized - besides being very basic and logical with respect to what a “disciple” is - is based on Jesus own recorded words:

Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded YOU. And, look! I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”
Matthew 28:19, 20.


The reason why the apostles were being commanded to “go therefore and make disciples” was because Jesus was instituting a new covenant that persons would have to understand and accept and is completely different from the covenant with Israel – and thus it's obvious to any reasonable mind that infants cannot qualify for new covenant discipleship since they are not yet persons able to be “taught” and “observe” - “all the things I have commanded you”. Can you imagine Jesus holding an infant responsible for their everlasting life based on something they had no idea they were doing?

The logical conclusion that can be made is that infant baptism was the result of latter day tradition – that along with the big box church system and religious icons and hoopla - were never a part of the apostolic system of teaching. So latter century quotes by “church fathers” would be reflective not of apostolic practice and commands of Jesus but of insertions and traditions that came into practice in post apostolic times. A person has to be old enough to qualify to be a “disciple” – as Jesus commanded the apostles to baptize – and Step 1 for being a disciple was “teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.” Key words here are: teaching and doing.

Outline of Biblical Usage (Strong’s Concordance)

1) to be a disciple of one
a) to follow his precepts and instructions

2) to make a disciple
a) to teach, instruct

Based on New Testament scripture - and Jesus own words and apostolic practice - the claim that infants should be baptized is based on specious reasoning.




v r


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06-18-2011 11:25 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #23
RE: The case for infant baptism

veritas re Wrote:
The case for infants not being baptized - besides being very basic and logical with respect to what a “disciple” is - is based on Jesus own recorded words:

Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded YOU. And, look! I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”
Matthew 28:19, 20.


The reason why the apostles were being commanded to “go therefore and make disciples” was because Jesus was instituting a new covenant that persons would have to understand and accept and is completely different from the covenant with Israel – and thus it's obvious to any reasonable mind that infants cannot qualify for new covenant discipleship since they are not yet persons able to be “taught” and “observe” - “all the things I have commanded you”.


First, Christianity was just beginning—there were no "cradle Christians," people brought up from childhood in Christian homes so naturally the focus was on those that could be taught and made disciples.

As i brought out before, the scriptural support cited for infant baptism are the following verses:

In the New Testament we read that Lydia was converted by Paul’s preaching and that "She was baptized, with her household" (Acts 16:15).

The Philippian jailer whom Paul and Silas had converted to the faith was baptized that night along with his household. We are told that "the same hour of the night . . . he was baptized, with all his family" (Acts 16:33).

And in his greetings to the Corinthians, Paul recalled that, "I did baptize also the household of Stephanas" (1 Cor. 1:16).

In all these cases, whole households or families were baptized. This means more than just the spouse; the children too were included.

If the text of Acts referred simply to the Philippian jailer and his wife, then we would read that "he and his wife were baptized," but we do not. Thus his children must have been baptized as well. The same applies to the other cases of household baptism in Scripture.

Granted, we do not know the exact age of the children; they may have been past the age of reason, rather than infants. Then again, they could have been babes in arms.

More probably, there were both younger and older children. Certainly there were children younger than the age of reason in some of the households that were baptized, especially if one considers that society at this time had no reliable form of birth control.

Furthermore, given the New Testament pattern of household baptism, if there were to be exceptions to this rule (such as infants), they would be explicit.

veritas re Wrote:
Can you imagine Jesus holding an infant responsible for their everlasting life based on something they had no idea they were doing?


Can you imagine God commanding an 8 day old boy be circumcised and placed under the Old Covenant with all it's responsibilities?


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-18-2011 11:43 PM
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wolfie
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Post: #24
RE: The case for infant baptism

Hi John...

I gave this some thought since it was on the board but honestly can't make it make sense to me even tho I respect it does to you.
Even the word 'household' is so generic I can't accept it Has to include infants. Household means different things to different people. Back then a household even included slaves--my household is different from my mother's--household is not even the same as family. It is too much of a leap for me to say it means or even includes infants and if it did why isn't there one place or one example where an infant baptism took place--especially as it is made a life or death situation.

Plus, there is a distinct purpose for Baptism --you need to qualify according to scripture--infants would not be able to participate in this--they can't understand what is happening nor can they demonstrate faith--and I can't think what they would be showing repentance from...

Peter replied, ''Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.'' Acts 2:38

''Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.'' (30) ..infants cannot accept the message--they just can't. I have a very logical mind and this to me is not logical.

I notice also you use the example of circumsion for the infant in the old covenant--that doesn't speak to me either John as the Old Covenant was under Law--they had a ton of things they had to do for a variety of reasons. We are under grace and not under the law== unless we can't let go of the law--it has often been said Peter preached as tho under law and Paul preached a message of grace and Paul was most misunderstood...

One of the cruelest things I have even seen was regarding this doctrine. My nephew was killed a few years ago in an auto accident. He was just a child and his parents were so grief-stricken. At the funeral my sister-in-law's mother --who is an ordained minister--stood up to speak and preached this child into hell because the parents had not had him baptized. It was very horrifying and watching the child's mother who had cried for days to the point layers of skin had been removed from her face listen to her own mother condemn her own grandchild was too much. It is hard for me right now to even recall it without tears. I don't think a case can be made through scripture and I don't think these actions such as the grandmother did at my nephew's funeral serve any purpose either except it is so much better and loving to be under the grace of Jesus Christ --who died for all--
allow the grace of Jesus Christ to work on people from the inside out and step into the safety and warmth of his love. That to me is what it is all about--not proving our love for God and Christ through external ritual but coming to understand theirs for us.

1 John 4:10

''This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.'' ....had my sister-in-law's mother understood this she would have not been condemning at my nephew's funeral she would have been consoling --vastly different dynamics and outcomes....


''In the midst of winter I finally learned that in me there was an invincible summer.'' Albert Camus

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06-19-2011 09:54 AM
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Willa
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Post: #25
RE: The case for infant baptism

Yannis Wrote:

Willa Wrote:

Yannis Wrote:
You can take the Witness out of the organization but you can't......., well, you know the rest.

I'm curious what I said that warranted that response? I know wt doesn't baptize infants, but I still feel they baptize the young at too young an age - before they have a grasp on what baptism should even mean... So, I wasn't arguing for any particular doctrine... especially not theirs!


It was directed toward your comment, "You want to argue your church's doctrines, Yannis, I get that. I used to do the same as a JW"

I just meant that I still have a tendancy to argue over doctrine that's all.


Oh, I see - we're cool. I was trying to think of what I'd said that was misunderstood by you as arguing for wt doctrine - wanted to fix that fast!

Doctrines divide Christians into sects - Christ's love is what binds us together... so we're either together or apart --- would rather be together, at least in that one most important thing. And I think we are. :love:

Peace!


:heartbeat: You are my friends! I don't think it just by chance, but by God's Grand Design, that He has guided both our steps... to let your paths cross mine. :heartbeat:
06-19-2011 12:15 PM
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COMankind
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Post: #26
RE: The case for infant baptism

Yannis,

Quote:
We are under the New Covenant, symbolized through baptism.


When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, this Covenant was not in place. What you are implying is that Jesus actually said something like this:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit AFTER I DIE ON THE CROSS, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. BUT UP UNTIL THAT POINT, FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU, CIRCUMCISION WILL WORK JUST FINE. "SOON, THIS WILL BE TRUE: That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

There are many reasons why this could not have happened. One being that even his disciples would not have known about the New Covenant. Another being that we are inserting words that are not there and applying to our time. We are assuming that Jewish and Christian traditions are what God demands for life.

Quote:
Actually there is something holding back a Christian from repeated baptism

So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. - acts 19:3-7

Curious your/the Orthodox view on this - those that were baptized in water by John, were they baptized in water by Paul as well? Or were they baptized only in Holy Spirit after 'hearing'

Acts 10: 44-48 - the account of Peter meeting with Cornelius:
"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days."



Acts 11:15-17 - Peter's recap:
“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?”

1) This household was baptized with Holy Spirit before being baptized with water, but after hearing and believing something.
2) Baptism of Holy Spirit is considered the "spiritual counterpart" to being baptized with water. They are not described as being in tandem, but instead as mutually exclusive.
3) In Acts 10, the eyewitness version, Peter basically said 'what's preventing water baptism now that they have HS?' - but in his retrospect in Acts 11, water baptism had little to no importance.
4) The household was baptized with HS. Did that include any assumed infants there? Or just those that consciously humbled themselves before God and believed in Jesus?


in kindness...


philia, COMankind

"The tent of God is with mankind" - Rev 21:3

06-19-2011 02:46 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #27
RE: The case for infant baptism

wolfie Wrote:
Hi John...

I gave this some thought since it was on the board but honestly can't make it make sense to me even tho I respect it does to you.
Even the word 'household' is so generic I can't accept it Has to include infants. Household means different things to different people. Back then a household even included slaves--my household is different from my mother's--household is not even the same as family. It is too much of a leap for me to say it means or even includes infants and if it did why isn't there one place or one example where an infant baptism took place--especially as it is made a life or death situation.


So it is not possible in your mind that households included infants, or small children? I mean, NOT possible? My household includes two small children.

wolfie Wrote:
Plus, there is a distinct purpose for Baptism --you need to qualify according to scripture--infants would not be able to participate in this--they can't understand what is happening nor can they demonstrate faith--and I can't think what they would be showing repentance from...

Peter replied, ''Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.'' Acts 2:38


Rom 3:23, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", since we inherited sin and death from Adam, even infants are under sin and death.

wolfie Wrote:
''Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.'' (30) ..infants cannot accept the message--they just can't. I have a very logical mind and this to me is not logical.


As i said, Christianity was just beginning—there were no "cradle Christians," people brought up from childhood in Christian homes so naturally the focus was on making disciples from those who understood.

wolfie Wrote:
I notice also you use the example of circumsion for the infant in the old covenant--that doesn't speak to me either John as the Old Covenant was under Law--they had a ton of things they had to do for a variety of reasons. We are under grace and not under the law== unless we can't let go of the law--it has often been said Peter preached as tho under law and Paul preached a message of grace and Paul was most misunderstood...


But, if it was acceptable to God to have infants fall under the Old Covenant why would you say He wouldnt want them under the New?

The Lord gave us His thoughts on this. Consider, Matt 19:14, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

wolfie Wrote:
One of the cruelest things I have even seen was regarding this doctrine. My nephew was killed a few years ago in an auto accident. He was just a child and his parents were so grief-stricken. At the funeral my sister-in-law's mother --who is an ordained minister--stood up to speak and preached this child into hell because the parents had not had him baptized. It was very horrifying and watching the child's mother who had cried for days to the point layers of skin had been removed from her face listen to her own mother condemn her own grandchild was too much. It is hard for me right now to even recall it without tears. I don't think a case can be made through scripture and I don't think these actions such as the grandmother did at my nephew's funeral serve any purpose either except it is so much better and loving to be under the grace of Jesus Christ --who died for all--
allow the grace of Jesus Christ to work on people from the inside out and step into the safety and warmth of his love. That to me is what it is all about--not proving our love for God and Christ through external ritual but coming to understand theirs for us.

1 John 4:10

''This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.'' ....had my sister-in-law's mother understood this she would have not been condemning at my nephew's funeral she would have been consoling --vastly different dynamics and outcomes....


Matt 19:14, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-19-2011 02:54 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #28
RE: The case for infant baptism

John 1:32 - when Jesus was baptized, He was baptized in the water and the Spirit, which descended upon Him in the form of a dove. The Holy Spirit and water are required for baptism.

John 3:3,5 - Jesus says, "Truly, truly, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." When Jesus said "water and the Spirit," He was referring to baptism (which requires the use of water, and the work of the Spirit).

John 3:22 - after teaching on baptism, John says Jesus and the disciples did what? They went into Judea where the disciples baptized. Jesus' teaching about being reborn by water and the Spirit is in the context of baptism.

John 4:1 - here is another reference to baptism which naturally flows from Jesus' baptismal teaching in John 3:3-5.

Acts 8:36 – the eunuch recognizes the necessity of water for his baptism. Water and baptism are never separated in the Scriptures.

Acts 10:47 - Peter says "can anyone forbid water for baptizing these people..?" The Bible always links water and baptism.

Acts 22:16 – Ananias tells Saul, “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins.” The “washing away” refers to water baptism.

Titus 3:5-6 – Paul writes about the “washing of regeneration,” which is “poured out on us” in reference to water baptism.

Heb. 10:22 – the author is also writing about water baptism in this verse. “Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Our bodies are washed with pure water in water baptism.

Matt. 28:19-20 - Jesus commands the apostles to baptize all people "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Many Protestant churches are now teaching that baptism is only a symbolic ritual, and not what actually cleanses us from original sin. This belief contradicts Scripture and the 2,000 year-old teaching of the Church.

Acts 2:38 - Peter commands them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ in order to be actually forgiven of sin, not just to partake of a symbolic ritual.

Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38 - there is nothing in these passages or elsewhere in the Bible about baptism being symbolic. There is also nothing about just accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior in order to be saved.

Mark 16:16 - Jesus said "He who believes AND is baptized will be saved." Jesus says believing is not enough. Baptism is also required. This is because baptism is salvific, not just symbolic. The Greek text also does not mandate any specific order for belief and baptism, so the verse proves nothing about a “believer’s baptism.”

John 3:3,5 - unless we are "born again" of water and Spirit in baptism, we cannot enter into the kingdom of God. The Greek word for the phrase "born again" is "anothen" which literally means “begotten from above.” See, for example, John 3:31 where "anothen" is so used. Baptism brings about salvation, not just a symbolism of our salvation.

Acts 8:12-13; 36; 10:47 - if belief is all one needs to be saved, why is everyone instantly baptized after learning of Jesus?

Acts 16:15; 31-33; 18:8; 19:2,5 - these texts present more examples of people learning of Jesus, and then immediately being baptized. If accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior is all one needs to do to be saved, then why does everyone in the early Church immediately seek baptism?

Acts 9:18 - Paul, even though he was directly chosen by Christ and immediately converted to Christianity, still had to be baptized to be forgiven his sin. This is a powerful text which demonstrates the salvific efficacy of water baptism, even for those who decide to give their lives to Christ.

Acts 22:16 - Ananias tells Paul, "arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins," even though Paul was converted directly by Jesus Christ. This proves that Paul's acceptance of Jesus as personal Lord and Savior was not enough to be forgiven of his sin and saved. The sacrament of baptism is required.

Acts 22:16 - further, Ananias' phrase "wash away" comes from the Greek word "apolouo." "Apolouo" means an actual cleansing which removes sin. It is not a symbolic covering up of sin. Even though Jesus chose Paul directly in a heavenly revelation, Paul had to be baptized to have his sins washed away.

Rom. 6:4 - in baptism, we actually die with Christ so that we, like Him, might be raised to newness of life. This means that, by virtue of our baptism, our sufferings are not in vain. They are joined to Christ and become efficacious for our salvation.

1 Cor. 6:11 - Paul says they were washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, in reference to baptism. The “washing” of baptism gives birth to sanctification and justification, which proves baptism is not just symbolic.

Gal. 3:27 - whoever is baptized in Christ puts on Christ. Putting on Christ is not just symbolic. Christ actually dwells within our soul.

Col. 2:12 - in baptism, we literally die with Christ and are raised with Christ. It is a supernatural reality, not just a symbolic ritual. The Scriptures never refer to baptism as symbolic.

Titus 3:5-7 – “He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ, so that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs of eternal life.” This is a powerful text which proves that baptism regenerates our souls and is thus salvific. The “washing of regeneration” “saves us.” Regeneration is never symbolic, and the phrase “saved us” refers to salvation. By baptism, we become justified by His grace (interior change) and heirs of eternal life (filial adoption). Because this refers to baptism, the verse is about the beginning of the life in Christ. No righteous deeds done before baptism could save us. Righteous deeds after baptism are necessary for our salvation.

There is also a definite parallel between John 3:5 and Titus 3:5: (1) John 3:5 – enter the kingdom of God / Titus 3:5 – He saved us. (2) John 3:5 – born of water / Titus 3:5 – washing. (3) John 3:5 – born of the Spirit / Titus 3:5 – renewal in the Spirit.

Heb. 10:22 - in baptism, our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience (again, dealing with the interior of the person) as our bodies are washed with pure water (the waters of baptism). Baptism regenerates us because it removes original sin, sanctifies our souls, and effects our adoption as sons and daughters in Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 3:21 - Peter expressly writes that “baptism, corresponding to Noah's ark, now saves you; not as a removal of dirt from the body, but for a clear conscience. “ Hence, the verse demonstrates that baptism is salvific (it saves us), and deals with the interior life of the person (purifying the conscience, like Heb. 10:22), and not the external life (removing dirt from the body). Many scholars believe the phrase "not as a removal of dirt from the body" is in reference to the Jewish ceremony of circumcision (but, at a minimum, shows that baptism is not about the exterior, but interior life). Baptism is now the “circumcision” of the new Covenant (Col. 2:11-12), but it, unlike the old circumcision, actually saves us, as Noah and his family were saved by water.

Again, notice the parallel between Heb. 10:22 and 1 Peter 3:21: (1) Heb. 10:22 – draw near to the sanctuary (heaven) / 1 Peter 3:21 – now saves us. (2) Heb. 10:22 – sprinkled clean, washed with pure water / 1 Peter 3:20-21 – saved through water, baptism. (3) Heb. 10:22 – from an evil conscience (interior) / 1 Peter 3:21 – for a clear conscience (interior). Titus 3:6 and 1 Peter 3:21 also specifically say the grace and power of baptism comes “through Jesus Christ” (who transforms our inner nature).

Mark 16:16 - Jesus says that he who believes and is baptized will be saved. However, the Church has always taught that baptism is a normative, not an absolute necessity. There are some exceptions to the rule because God is not bound by His sacraments.

Luke 23:43 - the good thief, although not baptized, shows that there is also a baptism by desire, as Jesus says to him that he will be in paradise. It should also be noted that when Jesus uses the word "paradise," He did not mean heaven. Paradise, from the Hebrew "sheol" meant the realm of the righteous dead. This was the place of the dead who were destined for heaven, but who were captive until the Lord's resurrection. Hence, the good thief was destined for heaven because of his desire to be with Jesus.

Matt. 20:22-23; Mark 10:38-39; Luke 12:50 - there is also a baptism by blood. Lord says, "I have a baptism to be baptized with" referring to His death. Hence, the Church has always taught that those martyred for the faith may be saved without water baptism (e.g., the Holy Innocents).

Mark 10:38 - Jesus says "are you able...to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?," referring to His death.

1 John 5:6 - Jesus came by water and blood. He was baptized by both water and blood. Martyrs are baptized by blood.

Gen. 17:12, Lev. 12:3 - these texts show the circumcision of eight-day old babies as the way of entering into the Old Covenant - Col 2:11-12 - however, baptism is the new "circumcision" for all people of the New Covenant. Therefore, baptism is for babies as well as adults. God did not make His new Covenant narrower than the old Covenant. To the contrary, He made it wider, for both Jews and Gentiles, infants and adults.

Job 14:1-4 - man that is born of woman is full of trouble and unclean. Baptism is required for all human beings because of our sinful human nature.

Psalm 51:5 - we are conceived in the iniquity of sin. This shows the necessity of baptism from conception.

Matt. 18:2-5 - Jesus says unless we become like children, we cannot enter into heaven. So why would children be excluded from baptism?

Matt 19:14 - Jesus clearly says the kingdom of heaven also belongs to children. There is no age limit on entering the kingdom, and no age limit for being eligible for baptism.

Mark 10:14 - Jesus says to let the children come to Him for the kingdom of God also belongs to them. Jesus says nothing about being too young to come into the kingdom of God.

Mark 16:16 - Jesus says to the crowd, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." But in reference to the same people, Jesus immediately follows with "He who does not believe will be condemned." This demonstrates that one can be baptized and still not be a believer. This disproves the Protestant argument that one must be a believer to be baptized. There is nothing in the Bible about a "believer's baptism."

Luke 18:15 – Jesus says, “Let the children come to me.” The people brought infants to Jesus that he might touch them. This demonstrates that the receipt of grace is not dependent upon the age of reason.

Acts 2:38 - Peter says to the multitude, "Repent and be baptized.." Protestants use this verse to prove one must be a believer (not an infant) to be baptized. But the Greek translation literally says, "If you repent, then each one who is a part of you and yours must each be baptized” (“Metanoesate kai bapistheto hekastos hymon.”) This, contrary to what Protestants argue, actually proves that babies are baptized based on their parents’ faith. This is confirmed in the next verse.

Acts 2:39 - Peter then says baptism is specifically given to children as well as adults. “Those far off” refers to those who were at their “homes” (primarily infants and children). God's covenant family includes children. The word "children" that Peter used comes from the Greek word "teknon" which also includes infants.

Luke 1:59 - this proves that "teknon" includes infants. Here, John as a "teknon" (infant) was circumcised. See also Acts 21:21 which uses “teknon” for eight-day old babies. So baptism is for infants as well as adults.

Acts 10:47-48 - Peter baptized the entire house of Cornelius, which generally included infants and young children. There is not one word in Scripture about baptism being limited to adults.

Acts 16:15 - Paul baptized Lydia and her entire household. The word "household" comes from the Greek word "oikos" which is a household that includes infants and children.

Acts 16:15 - further, Paul baptizes the household based on Lydia's faith, not the faith of the members of the household. This demonstrates that parents can present their children for baptism based on the parents' faith, not the children's faith.

Acts 16:30-33 - it was only the adults who were candidates for baptism that had to profess a belief in Jesus. This is consistent with the Church's practice of instructing catechumens before baptism. But this verse does not support a "believer's baptism" requirement for everyone. See Acts 16:15,33. The earlier one comes to baptism, the better. For those who come to baptism as adults, the Church has always required them to profess their belief in Christ. For babies who come to baptism, the Church has always required the parents to profess the belief in Christ on behalf of the baby. But there is nothing in the Scriptures about a requirement for ALL baptism candidates to profess their own belief in Christ (because the Church has baptized babies for 2,000 years).

Acts 16:33 - Paul baptized the jailer (an adult) and his entire household (which had to include children). Baptism is never limited to adults and those of the age of reason. See also Luke 19:9; John 4:53; Acts 11:14; 1 Cor. 1:16; and 1 Tim. 3:12; Gen. 31:41; 36:6; 41:51; Joshua 24:15; 2 Sam. 7:11, 1 Chron. 10:6 which shows “oikos” generally includes children.

Rom. 5:12 - sin came through Adam and death through sin. Babies' souls are affected by Adam's sin and need baptism just like adult souls.

Rom. 5:15 - the grace of Jesus Christ surpasses that of the Old Covenant. So children can also enter the new Covenant in baptism. From a Jewish perspective, it would have been unthinkable to exclude infants and children from God's Covenant kingdom.

1 Cor. 1:16 - Paul baptized the household ("oikos") of Stephanus. Baptism is not limited to adults.

Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:2 - Paul addresses the "saints" of the Church, and these include the children he addresses in Eph. 6:1 and Col. 3:20. Children become saints of the Church only through baptism.

Eph. 2:3 - we are all by nature children of wrath, in sin, like all mankind. Infants are no exception. See also Psalm 51:5 and Job 14:1-4 which teach us we are conceived in sin and born unclean.

2 Thess. 3:10 - if anyone does not work let him not eat. But this implies that those who are unable to work should still be able to eat. Babies should not starve because they are unable to work, and should also not be denied baptism because they are unable to make a declaration of faith.

Matt. 9:2; Mark 2:3-5 - the faith of those who brought in the paralytic cured the paralytic's sins. This is an example of the forgiveness of sins based on another's faith, just like infant baptism. The infant child is forgiven of sin based on the parents' faith.

Matt. 8:5-13 - the servant is healed based upon the centurion's faith. This is another example of healing based on another's faith. If Jesus can heal us based on someone else’s faith, then He can baptize us based on someone else’s faith as well.

Mark 9:22-25 - Jesus exercises the child's unclean spirit based on the father's faith. This healing is again based on another's faith.

1 Cor. 7:14 – Paul says that children are sanctified by God through the belief of only one of their parents.

Exodus 12:24-28 - the Passover was based on the parent's faith. If they did not kill and eat the lamb, their first-born child died.

Joshua 5:2-7 - God punished Israel because the people had not circumcised their children. This was based on the parent's faith. The parents play a critical role in their child's salvation.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-19-2011 03:11 PM
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veritas re
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Post: #29
RE: The case for infant baptism

Yannis Wrote:
But, if it was acceptable to God to have infants fall under the Old Covenant why would you say He wouldn’t want them under the New?


The Law covenant with Israel was about establishing a flesh based nation and was only a stage in God’s plan to redeem mankind - and was never a covenant that offered persons everlasting life. Had that been the case then there would not have been a need for the Jesus ransom sacrifice thing and the nation of Israel from babies on would have been good to go based only on birth. Of course there would be the problem of the girl infants since they were not under the circumcision command.

The promise was that if Israel could perfectly and completely adhere to the Law – then they would become a nation of kings and priests. Given the nation could not perfectly and completely adhere to the Law since it was divine and perfect and they were not – and God knew ahead of time they would not be able to - this made the point that more was needed than just a fleshly nation association to some set of standards and that the core barrier to everlasting life went deeper than national association and into the realm of core fallen nature of mankind - that any external set of commands such as a Law covenant would never be able to fulfill. The Law in being a tutor as Paul the apostle points out proved that there is no way that any kind of external regulations or actions such as fleshly circumcision will solve the issue of mankind’s fallen nature, and the need for Phase 2.

Enter Jesus as ransomer of mankind – that had the authority and physical stature to nullify via propitiatory sacrifice the rebellion of Adam – and was not connected to fleshly birth but to conscious acceptance by persons capable of doing the hard math involved – and infants do not have that capacity. I did a little poking around for some historical based background into the practices of the early church and there is a *book by historian Augustus Neander (1864 CE timeframe) that delves into the practice of infant baptism as not being seen as far as recorded first century church history at least not until 140 CE. According to Neander in a quote from the book states that “The practice of infant baptism was unknown at this period…that not till so late a period as Irenaeus (c 140-203 CE), a trace of infant baptism appears, and that it first became recognized as an apostolic tradition in the course of the third century, is evidence rather against than for the admission of it apostolic origin.”

While I agree that a lack of comprehensive proof that early Christians did perform infant baptism does not of itself prove that early Christians didn’t practice it, so far no one has found evidence that they did past the hazy phrase “household” - as if that had to include the babies too. And so we are left to consider the issue in terms of first why baptism was done in the first place, and then examine the practicalness of baptism upon infant persons that cannot fulfill the requirements that Jesus laid out to the apostles. One thing we can prove is that Jesus and the apostles warned of the traditions of men that would one day supplant the real faith that Jesus and the apostles established, so it behooves persons to beware that what they believe may not be the real deal. While traditions don’t have to be a bad thing, neither do traditions have be a good thing.




v r



* History of the Planting and Training of the Christian Church by the Apostles
Augustus Neander


"...and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free."
06-19-2011 04:04 PM
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wolfie
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Post: #30
RE: The case for infant baptism

hey john,

obviously we aren't going to agree on this or at least get somewhere on the same page. I could quote a page full of scriptures showing that it is faith through which men were declared righteous going back to Abraham and that it is through faith that we are saved.. But I won't as those scriptures would be countered with more scriptures and on and on it goes. This topic seems to mean a great deal to you so I will leave you to it but for me the case for infant baptism has not and cannot be made thorugh scripture but is a doctrine created by men and has no solid foundation scripturally...you, however, are free to argue your point as long as you need to--

blessings and peace, john...


''In the midst of winter I finally learned that in me there was an invincible summer.'' Albert Camus

''live simply, speak kindly, love unconditionally''
06-19-2011 04:14 PM
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