What does the Bible teach about child and adult baptism?

(HarryAnuraag) #1

In some denominations child baptism is adopted.can we consider that as baptism?? If a person gets baptized in childhood when he don’t know about Christ,does that come into account?? If not,is it possible for that person to get baptized after committing his life to Christ??
Thank you!

(Jamie Hobbs) #2

I come from a unique perspective on this one. I was raised Baptist, meaning baptism is by immersion after professing faith. My paternal family were Methodist, and they performed child baptism at the time the baby was dedicated by sprinkling. My wife was raised Church of Christ, so they not only believed that baptism was after belief by immersion, but also physical baptism is a requirement to be saved. With all of these denominational perspectives, I’ve had many opportunities to discuss the subject.

Scripturally, the baptism by the Spirit is the only baptism that is a requirement for salvation. So a baby that’s sprinkled isn’t saved because he or she was sprinkled, any more than a Baptist is saved by the immersion. The thief on the cross proves to us that water isn’t necessary at all. That being said, most denominations see baptism by water as an important step in the process of becoming a Christian, since Jesus Himself was similarly baptized. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where babies were sprinkled or baptism came before belief, nor was it a requirement for belief. It is the outward proclamation of the change that has already taken place within.

Ultimately, the baptism of the Spirit is what matters, otherwise you’re just getting wet.

(SeanO) #3

@Anuraag Thank you for that question. I appreciate @Jamie_Hobbs emphasis that we each must profess Christ and be born again by the Spirit of God. I have provided a few articles below. The CARM article gives an overview, clarifying that infant baptism is an issue that we can disagree upon and still worship together. Then I provide two articles - one in defense of believer’s baptism and one in defense of infant baptism.

But before you dive in there, I’d just like to make a few opening points:

  • if a person puts their faith in Jesus, they can always be baptized again if they want to as a public profession of faith and they feel that is the Lord’s leading, even if they have been baptized before as an adult (or infant)
  • as @Jamie_Hobbs pointed out, baptism does not save us - if we are not made new by the Spirit of God, we go down a dry sinner and come up a wet sinner - we must be born again

Hope those thoughts are helpful. Feel free to ask more questions. The Lord grant you wisdom and peace.

CARM Article

Believer’s Baptism

This position states that you should only be baptized once you are old enough and have personally chosen, of your own will, to put your faith in Jesus. It is then a public profession of your decision.

Sam Storm’s Defense

Infant Baptism - Born Into God’s Household

Infant baptism tends to see the child as part of God’s covenant community because they were born to parents who are part of that community. Just like children in the OT were part of the covenant community, infants are part of the Church - sanctified by the parents - unless they choose to walk away from the Lord.

I Corinthians 7:14 - For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

My Question: Query regarding baptism and christenings