THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
Last week, we discussed all the basic things we need to know about the Sacrament of Baptism. From today, we shall begin to look at some arguments that have arisen, especially with regard to the Catholic conception of the sacrament.
Is Infant Baptism Biblical?
One of the reasons that Catholics get criticized is because Catholics baptize infants. Some think that baptism should be given to only those who have a chance to believe. The Bible says Believe and be baptized (Mk. 16:16, Acts 2:38). There is not one text in the Bible that says that infants should be baptized!.” True, there is not one text that explicitly says that infants should be baptized. On the other hand, there is not one text that says explicitly not to baptize infants.
The practice of infant baptism is clearly consistent with the Bible. There are reasons from the Bible, which point toward the necessity of infant baptism. Some of these reasons individually are enough to point towards infant baptism. When one looks at these reasons in total, the case for infant baptism is overwhelming.
Why do babies need to be baptized? The Bible teaches quite clearly that with Adam’s sin, all the human race was infected with sin. Sin is on the soul. Through Adam’s sin, sin touches even the soul of the infant.
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5)
Paul develops the concept of original sin further in Romans 5:12-19. Let us look at some of these verses:
“Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
Because of one man’s sin, all sin?
What in the world is that?
What causes all men to sin? One man’s sin?
That is Adam’s sin. If it was just that all men, happen to coincidentally ‘choose’ to sin, why does Paul mention Adam as foundational to that choice? It is that Adam’s sin causes men to be bent towards sin. Otherwise there would be no reason to mention Adam.
What is that? ORIGINAL SIN!
Romans 5 speaks of the sin of Adam affecting all of those who are born, as being unrighteous. It also shows that all are affected by Adam’s sin, and that would obviously start at birth. And we notice that right after that he says that we are made righteous in Roman 5:19 through Christ. In Romans 6, following upon this, he gives us the further solution in how we are made righteous. Since he is speaking about all, and all would include babies, his solution would also include all, including babies.
What is his solution to get people into Christ? Those who are baptized into Christ. The solution to original sin is thus baptism, and since those in original sin are babies and are in Adam’s sin, to get out of Adam and into Christ’s death, and thus get justified, is BAPTISM!
1 Cor. 7 shows children are born unclean.
To those against infant baptism, if children are born in a state of sin as evidenced by David and Paul, original sin though it may be, why leave them that way and not put them in God’s grace? Even if babies have not sinned personally, this sin of Adam affects their soul. The baby did not choose to be unclean. Why do they absolutely have to be the ones who have to choose to be clean, when they can not reason for themselves?
Do we wait for our children to grow up to choose whether to bath or not before bathing them, or to choose education before sending them to kindergarten? Is baptism not even more important a choice to make for them than bathing, education etc?
To be continued…
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