Wednesday, October 20, 2010

FW: Does the Bible Teach Infants Should be Baptized?

Yes. Here's more from Chemnitz…


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Posted on: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 4:19 AM
Author: Paul T. McCain
Subject: Does the Bible Teach Infants Should be Baptized?



From Martin Chemnitz' Enchiridion.

Does Infant Baptism Have Basis in the Word of God?

Yes. For Christ declares regarding little children, Mt 19:14; Mk 10:14: Of such is the kingdom of heaven, or the kingdom of God. And no one who is born of flesh can enter the kingdom of God unless he is reborn, Jn 3:3. And this regeneration and rebirth takes place by water and the Spirit, Jn 3:5. For Baptism is the washing of regeneration of the Holy Spirit, Tts 3:5. Since, then, Christ wants little children to become partakers of the kingdom of heaven, and that must take place through Baptism, it is surely Christ's meaning, will, and command, that little children be baptized. For the promise of the kingdom of God must be applied through a certain means or instrument instituted by God Himself. For the promise without application profits no one. Therefore also the promise of the kingdom of heaven, which is given to infants (Mk 10:14) must be applied to them through a certain means. Now, Scripture declares that this means is Baptism. Jn 3:5; Tts 3:5.

Second, Christ also wants infants to be saved, for He says: It is not the will of the heavenly Father that one of these little ones should perish, Mt 18:14. But the heavenly Father saved [us] by the washing of regeneration, Tts 3:5. It is therefore the will of God that infants be baptized and that they do not perish, but be saved.

Third, infants are conceived and born in sins, so that by nature they are children of wrath, Ps 51:5; Eph 2:3. Therefore they must obtain forgiveness of sins, so that they do not perish but be saved, Lk 1:77; Ro 4:7. But Baptism is the divine means by which sins are forgiven and washed away, Acts 2:38; 22:16.

Fourth, Christ wants and commands little children to be brought to Him, that He might bless them, Mk 10:14, 16. Now, one asks: How is this done? And Scripture declares that they who are baptized put on Christ in Baptism, Gl 3:27. For they are baptized into His death and resurrection, Ro 6:3; 1 Ptr 3:21. Christ cleanses and sanctifies the church, for which He gave Himself, through the washing of water by the Word, Eph 5:26. And this very thing is true blessing, Gl 4:14; Eph 1:3. It follows, therefore, that Christ's command is that infants be baptized.

Fifth, Baptism of the New Testament succeeded circumcision of the Old Testament, Cl 2:11–12. Therefore, just as in the Old Testament the covenant of divine grace was applied and sealed through circumcision not only to adults but also to infants, Gn 17:10, 12, so also now in the New Testament that grace should rightly be applied and confirmed as by a seal both to infants as well as adults through Baptism, since the grace of God was made not less but rather more abundant and richer in the New Testament.

Sixth, Is 49:22 prophesies that in the New Testament not only adults would be implanted in the church, but behold, he says, they shall bring your sons in [their] arms and your daughters shall they carry on [their] shoulders. And Peter says Acts 2:39 after he had baptized adults: This promise was made to you and to your children. In this way also the apostles baptized entire households, Acts 16:33; 1 Co 1:16. But where a household or family is mentioned infants are surely not excluded.It is therefore clear and manifest from this that the doctrine of infant baptism is not only orthodox but also altogether useful and necessary and gives very sweet comfort to parents and children.

Martin Chemnitz and Luther Poellot, Ministry, Word, and Sacraments : An Enchiridion, electronic ed., 116-17 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999).

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