What does the Bible say about infant baptism / paedobaptism?

What does the Bible say about infant baptism/paedobaptism?

When it comes to the topic of infant baptism, also known as paedobaptism, there is much debate among Christians. Some believe that infants should be baptized as a sign of their inclusion in the covenant community, while others believe that only believers should be baptized by immersion. So, what does the Bible say about infant baptism?

Many Christians point to certain passages in the New Testament to support the idea of infant baptism. For example, in Acts 2:38-39, Peter tells his audience to “repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off.” This passage seems to suggest that baptism is not just for believers, but also for their children.

Another passage often cited in support of infant baptism is Colossians 2:11-12, which speaks of believers being “buried with [Christ] in baptism.” The argument for infant baptism is that if baptism is a sign of spiritual rebirth and new life in Christ, then it should be extended to infants who cannot yet make a conscious decision to follow Him.

On the other hand, some Christians argue that the Bible does not support the practice of infant baptism. They point out that there are no specific examples of infants being baptized in the New Testament. They also argue that baptism is meant to be a public declaration of faith in Christ, which infants are not capable of making.

FAQs

1. Is infant baptism necessary for salvation?

No, baptism itself is not necessary for salvation. The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). Baptism is a symbol of our salvation and a public declaration of our faith, but it does not save us.

2. Why do some Christians baptize infants?

Some Christians believe that infants are included in the covenant community and should therefore receive the sign of the covenant, which is baptism. They see it as a way of welcoming children into the church and committing to raise them in the faith.

3. Do all denominations practice infant baptism?

No, not all Christian denominations practice infant baptism. Some, like Baptists and Pentecostals, believe that only believers should be baptized by immersion.

4. What is the significance of baptism?

Baptism is a symbol of our spiritual rebirth and new life in Christ. It is a public declaration of our faith and a way of demonstrating our commitment to following Jesus.

5. Can someone be baptized more than once?

Yes, although some Christians believe that baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime event, others see it as a symbol that can be repeated as a sign of recommitment to the faith.

6. Does infant baptism guarantee salvation?

No, infant baptism does not guarantee salvation. Salvation is only achieved through faith in Jesus Christ.

7. Can infants make a conscious decision to follow Jesus?

No, infants cannot make a conscious decision to follow Jesus. The decision to follow Him must be a personal one.

8. What is the age limit for infant baptism?

There is no specific age limit for infant baptism, but it is typically done within the first few months of life.

9. Is baptism necessary for membership in a church?

No, baptism is not always necessary for membership in a church. Some churches require it as a way of demonstrating one’s faith, but others only require a profession of faith.

10. What is the difference between baptism and christening?

Baptism and christening are often used interchangeably to refer to the same thing, which is the act of giving a child a name and welcoming them into the church. However, some denominations make a distinction between the two, with christening being seen as a naming ceremony and baptism as a formal initiation into the church.

11. What is the significance of water in baptism?

Water is a symbol of purification and renewal in many religious traditions, including Christianity. It represents the washing away of sin and the beginning of a new life in Christ.

12. Can baptism be performed at home?

Yes, baptism can be performed at home, but it is typically done in a church or other religious setting. It is important to have a minister or other authorized person perform the ceremony and to use the proper liturgy.

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About Emma Miller

Emma Miller has enjoyed working as a writer for over 18 years and holds a Master’s Degree in Linguistics and Education, but has also studied Ancient History and Engish Literature. She is fascinated by the science of dreams and is a long-time member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams

She has a wide range of hobbies and interests, ranging from mythology and ancient cultures to the works of J.R.R. Tolkein and taking care of her extensive garden.

Emma works as one of the staff writers of Rockridge Institute – The Spirit Magazine but also enjoys writing about other topics that interest her for various publications and websites.

She lives with her husband, Tom, and their two cats, Mitzy and Frodo, in San Diego, California.

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