Baptism is God’s work and not ours. He is the one doing the saving, forgiving, and is the one giving His Holy Spirit. Baptism is not dependent upon our age, social status, mental capacity, or any other factor that would limit someone from receiving a baptism. Jesus says in Mark 10:14b-15: “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Jesus welcomes the little children and does not want anything to hinder them. Since baptism brings people into Christ’s Kingdom, infants and children are ideal candidates for baptism!
Here are seven biblical reasons to baptize children and infants:
1. God is the Primary Actor in Baptism Titus 3:5
a. God’s power makes a baptism valid, and not the recipient. God alone can save.
b. Whether we are an adult or child, we are passive recipients in baptism.
2. Children are Included in “All Nations” Acts 2:38-39, Acts 16:31-33
a. The Bible nowhere forbids children to be baptized. On the contrary, children are included in this promise.
b. Whole households were often baptized in biblical days, which included servants and children.
3. Children are Born Spiritually Dead Ephesians 2:1; Psalm 51:5
a. Children are born with original sin.
b. Children need the forgiveness God offers in baptism.
4. Children Must Be Born Again John 3:3-8; Ephesians 2:8-9
a. To be born again, a Christian is to be baptized by water and the Spirit.
b. Just as we had no decision to be born physically, God teaches that we had no decision to be born spiritually.
5. Infants Can Have Faith! Matthew 18:6, 19:13-14, 21:14-16; Luke 1:15
a. The definition of faith is “trust in the heart.” Infants can have that faith!
b. Although infants cannot verbalize or rationalize this trust yet, they can still have faith!
6. Baptism is the Beginning of Disciple-Making Matthew 28:18-20
a. Christ’s plan for making disciples begins with baptism
b. Those who are baptized are instructed in the Christan faith throughout their lives
c. This is the exact way that children become disciples: baptism then instruction
7. Baptism is a New Testament Corollary to Circumcision Leviticus 12:3; Colossians 2:11-12
a. Circumcision used to mark a child as being a child of the covenant with God. This was done at eight days old.
b. Baptism is the mark which designates Christians as children of God. Baptism is greater than circumcision, however, because it is more than just a symbol. In baptism, God is at work to gift faith, grant forgiveness, and deposit His Holy Spirit.