09 June, 2009

Is Infant Baptism biblical?

The Church from the beginning has practiced the Baptism of children. The reasons are very clear in Scriptures.

(Joh 3:5 DRB) Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

To the first Christians that baptized their children it was understood by them that Baptism is the doorway to salvation. St. Peter said the following:

(1Pe 3:18 DRB) Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit,

(1Pe 3:19 DRB) In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison:

(1Pe 3:20 DRB) Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.

(1Pe 3:21 DRB) Whereunto baptism, being of the like form, now saveth you also: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but, the examination of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The effects of Baptism are the regeneration of the soul (born again), eradication of original sin and actual sin and its effects on the soul. A baby does not have actual sin but does have original sin. Through Baptism we become members of the Body of Christ, of which St. Paul says the following:

(2Co 5:17 DRB) If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new.

(1Co 3:16 DRB) Know you not that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Baptism is the sacramental doorway into the Church:

(Mat 28:19 DRB) Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

The Bible teaches that everyone should be Baptized:

(Act 2:38 DRB) But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

(Act 2:39 DRB) For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.

(Act 2:40 DRB) And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation.

(Act 2:41 DRB) They therefore that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls.

(Act 2:42 DRB) And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles and in the communication of the breaking of bread and in prayers.

St. Peter at Pentecost said to the adults to repent but did not exclude children from Baptism, instead saying that everyone should receive the Holy Spirit not just those of age to repent. He said it is “to you and to your children”. That is why people in the early Church brought even their smallest children to be baptized as do parents today.

There is no necessity to repent for children to be Baptized according to Scriptures. The command to repent is not binding on infants nor to mentally incapacitated people as the intent of repentance is not to exclude those incapable of such an act. They are not to be condemned because of their lack of ability to repent. Certainly the same understanding should apply as we understand St. Paul’s statement in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 where St. Paul says that someone who does not work does not eat. Are we to deny children or the mentally handicapped sustenance? Certainly they should not, nor should they be denied eternal life.

The Old Testament required circumcision at eight days old as a sign of the covenant of God. The child had no knowledge of why he was being circumcised yet the parents brought the son to the synagogue to have this done. God accepted the child into the covenant for what the parents had done just as He accepts the Baptism when the parents present their child to be baptized. The Scriptures tell us clearly that Baptism replaced circumcision:

(Col 2:11 DRB) In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand in despoiling of the body of the flesh: but in the circumcision of Christ.

(Col 2:12 DRB) Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God who hath raised him up from the dead.

We must remember what Christ said when there were those who attempted to forbid the children from coming to Him:

(Luk 18:15 DRB) And they brought unto him also infants, that he might touch them. Which when the disciples saw, they rebuked them.

Luk 18:16 DRB) But Jesus, calling them together, said: Suffer children to come to me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

(Luk 18:17 DRB) Amen, I say to you: Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a child shall not enter into it.

Can there be any doubt by a proper understanding of Scripture that children should be baptized? Certainly a complete understanding of the Scriptural verses shows clearly that children have the same need for Baptism as adults and that they should not be held away from this act by their parents or the Church lest they put the child in grave danger and the parents and/or Church are disobedient to the spirit of the teaching of Jesus and the apostles.

In Christ
Fr. Joseph


  1. Anonymous17 July, 2009

    Can you explain Luke 19:29-30? I don't understand it. Is Jesus saying that people who have the things listed cannot be saved?

  2. HOYT SPARKS Post #2:
    It outlines that immersion, pouring or sprinkling are correct in the name of the Trinity. The Catholic Church has baptized by all three methods but the preferred methods are immersion and pouring. I think that only the Methodists use sprinkling. Remember, the Bible does not even tell us how Jesus was baptized but it appears from early writings of the Church fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries that it was by pouring. (HOYT SPARKS writes: It is your assumption, and that of any man-made writings, that Jesus Christ was not immersed/dipped in Jordan. The Bible refutes your false contention.) All three methods represent the act of washing and cleansing of our souls from sin. (HOYT SPARKS writes: Water baptism does not wash or cleans the soul of sin; and does not in any way prepare, or help prepare, anyone for eternal peace and happiness in Heaven and immortal glory.) God bless!

    Fr. Joseph
    HOYT SPARKS writes:
    In the Bible (KJV) we find proof of the following on:

    The Word Baptist - John the Baptist (Baptizer). Not John the "Washer".

    The Words Baptize, Baptized and Baptism.
    Note: There are 15 verses in the NT with the word "Baptist" - According to Strong's Concordance: In 14 of them "Baptist" has been translated from the Greek word Baptisthv Strong's # 910 - which means a baptizer, as an epithet of Christ's forerunner:-Baptist.
    The exact wording for Strong's concordance for # 910 is: Baptisthv Baptistes bap-tis-tace'; from #907; a baptizer, as an epithet of Christ's forerunner:-Baptist.
    Therefore, using Strong's to arrive at a logical meaning of a Baptizer we find that the word "baptizo - bap-tid'-zo"; - Strong's # 907 - means to immerse, submerge; to make overwhelmed (i.e., fully wet); used only (in the N.T.) of ceremonial ablution, especially of the ordinance of Christian baptism:-Baptist, baptize, wash.
    Word # 907 is a derivative of # 911. The exact wording of Strong's Concordance for # 907 is: "baptizw baptizo bap-tid'-zo; from a derivative of #911; to immerse, submerge; to make overwhelmed (i.e., fully wet); used only (in the N.T.) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism:-Baptist, baptize, wash."

    ONLINE BIBLE GREEK LEXICON: (Which is just as valid as Strong's).
    The Online Bible Greek Lexicon tells us that # 907 "baptizo bap-tid'-zo" is from a derivative of #911. "Baptizo" has been translated into the English words - baptize (76 times), wash (2 times), Baptist (1 time), and baptized (1 time) for a total of 80 times the word "Baptizo" was translated into the English in the KJV. We are

  3. HOYT SPARKS Post #3:
    told the word means:
    1) to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
    2) to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with
    water, to wash one's self, bathe
    3) to overwhelm

    Question: How could one read Strong's and then ask WHERE do we get the word "immersion, or submersion, or whelmed (overwhelmed) as a meaning for the word "Baptizo" or those who are "Baptized" by a Baptizer ?
    Note: To say that "water baptism" is a washing that does not require "immersion, submersion, dipped, or to be completely covered with water" is contrary to sound doctrine and practice, and contrary to what millions and millions of professing Christians have believed for over 2000 years. Today, Water Baptism by immersion is the doctrine and practice of the Old School Primitive Baptists, but they are not the only ones to still insist in correctly following the precepts set forth by Jesus Christ on this subject.

    According to Strong's Concordance the Greek word "baptisma bap'-tis-mah;" (Strong's number 908) is derived from "baptizo" # 907; and means immersion, baptism (technically or figuratively):-baptism. NOTE: that Strong's says IMMERSION.
    According to the Online Bible Greek Lexicon # 908 "baptisma bap'-tis-mah " is from 907 and has been translated "baptism" 22 times - and has NOT been translated into any other English word - such as "washing". Baptisma or Baptism means:
    1) immersion, submersion
    1a) of calamities and afflictions with which one is quite overwhelmed
    1b) of John's baptism, that rite by which individuals on confessing
    their sins were bound to spiritual reformation, and acknowledged
    their past sins. This was valid Christian baptism, as this was the
    only baptism the apostles received and it is not recorded anywhere
    that they were ever rebaptised.
    1c) of Christian baptism; a rite of immersion in water as commanded
    by Christ by which one after confessing his sins and professing
    his faith in Christ, having been born again by the Holy Spirit unto
    a new life, identifies publicly with the fellowship of Christ and the

    Question: How could one read Strong's and then ask WHERE do we get the word "immersion, or submersion, or whelmed (overwhelmed) as a meaning for the word "Baptisma" or "Baptism" referring to those who are "Baptized" by a Baptizer?
    ROMANS 6:3-7 speaks of BOTH our "spiritual baptism" INTO Christ AND water baptism as a "likeness" and testimony of that which God has performed in our hearts. By no means does it teach that one is "baptized INTO Christ" by water

  4. HOYT SPARKS Post #4:
    baptism. Such a doctrine would be the false doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration.
    MARK 16:15-16 verse 16 is a continuation of verse 15. To teach that the Gospel must be preached and that the hearers MUST believe and be baptized, is the same as teaching "Gospel Regeneration", and fails to take into account the Doctrines of Election, Predestination, Calling and Justification - which is done by God alone. IF one MUST do something in order to have eternal life - then it is by works and not by Grace.
    According to Strong's Concordance the Greek word "baptismos bap-tis-mos';" #909 is derived from #907; and means ablution (ceremonial or Christian):-baptism, washing. Notice that the meaning can be Ceremonial Washing OR Christian Baptism.
    According to the Online Bible Greek Lexicon the Greek word "baptismos bap-tis-mos" is from # 907 and has been translated - washing 3 times and baptism 1 time - and means:
    1) a washing, purification effected by means of water
    1a) of washing prescribed by the Mosaic law (Heb 9:10) which means
    an exposition of the difference between the washings prescribed
    by the Mosaic law and Christian baptism.

    NOTE: In Mark 7:3-4 we have THREE (3) different words translated Wash and Washing - but the CONTEXT of the passage tells us that the subject matter is "ceremonial washing" according to the Pharisees - and NOT Christian Water Baptism.
    The passage taken in CONTEXT tells us the Pharisees saw the disciples of Christ eating bread with defiled hands - that is to say UNWASHED (Greek word "aniptos an'-ip-tos", #449). Verse 3 then tells us the Ceremonial Practice of the Pharisees and Jews, EXCEPT THEY wash their hands often, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. The word WASH in verse three is "nipto nip'-to" (Strong's #3538) and means to cleanse, especially the hands or the feet or the face. This word is translated into the English word WASH 17 times and has nothing to do with Christian Water Baptism. Verse four (4) CONTINUES with the context and says of the Pharisees and Jews "And when they come from the market, except they WASH, they eat not." The Greek word translated WASH in verse four is "baptize" - WHY? I don't know. But it obviously has nothing to do with Christian Water Baptism. Verse four (4) goes on to talk about the "WASHING of cups and pots, and brazen vessels, and tables". The Greek word translated WASHING is "baptismos" - WHY? I don't know. But it obviously has nothing to do with Christian Water Baptism.
    For someone to take the FOUR times "baptismos" is translated into the English word Wash or Washings - and try to Change the PRECEPTS taught in the Scriptures about Water Baptism being by Immersion and a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ - can be compared to what Jesus said to the Pharisees: "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." (Matthew 23:24).

  5. Thank you for your comment. I have responded to you here:


    God bless!

    In Christ
    Fr. Joseph

  6. Is proper baptism a matter of sprinkling or is it total immersion in water? Consider what happened after Jesus was baptized. Matt. 3:16 says: "After being baptized Jesus immediately came up from the water..." Reasonably speaking, would Jesus have "come up" from a sprinkling? No. But he could have "come up" if he were totally immersed in water.

  7. Just as He walked into the water He walked out of the water. It says nothing of what happened when He was in the water. God bless!

    Fr. Joseph