Infant Baptism, Accepting Jesus as Your Personal Savior, faith of parents, age of accountability for baptism and many more questions…
Where is this in the Bible? Not only will you not find this statement in the Bible, you will not find any of the phrases found in the Bible either. Show me where we even read the phrase, "accept Jesus." You will not find it. Show me where you will find the Bible say "personal Savior." You will not find it either. We ought to be concerned and see some red flags when we cannot find in the Bible the very phrases the religious world uses to teach people that they are saved. There must be a problem if I cannot find these things in the scriptures. Further, show me one example of someone accepting Jesus as their personal Savior. Not only will we not read in the Bible to accept Jesus as our personal Savior to be saved, but you do not read of a person saying that they did this.
Further, I believe we need to ask what this phrase means? What does it mean to accept Jesus as your personal Savior? How do I accept Jesus as my personal Savior? But how does one do this? Can I simply say the words that I accept Jesus as my personal Savior? Is this enough? Can the criminal or murderer do nothing more than utter simple words? Is this all that the Lord requires of me for salvation? Not only does it go against the scriptures, but it goes against our logic. Do we allow our criminals under our legal system to simply say that they are sorry and we let them go free? No, that is completely unacceptable. The criminal has to change his life, show true contrition, and obey the laws of our government before consideration will be given to be released into society again. So why do we believe that God will simply overlook all wrongs by saying sorry? Why do we think that sorry is what God has required of us? When someone wrongs us, is a simple statement of words enough? No, we want to see more than that. We want to see repentance and change. Well, so does the Lord. We should not think that God is some sort of push over that we can do what we want and give a tongue in cheek sorry and everything be okay.
All disciples are to be baptized. so Infants and children are disciples and hence they can be baptized. "And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"(Matthew 28:18-19).
Paul places of children within covenant which he does, not on the basis of their profession of faith but merely that of a believing parent. As he states "or the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy"(1 Corinthians 7:14). Given such things as: holiness, receiving biblical guidance, kingdom membership, and the ability to give God acceptable praise it seems we cannot deny the status of disciple from the children of believers
It clear that the blessing and promise of salvation was not just for adults, but for children as well. And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself’” (Acts 2:38,39) the children mentioned here were young enough to still be considered under the protection and authority of their parents. Although this is only indirect Scriptural evidence, the fact that the Bible mentions that entire “households” were baptized does make it seem probable that children and infants were included.
“Now I did baptize the household of Stephanas …” (I Corinthians 1:16)
(An angel spoke to Cornelius saying) “Send to Joppa, and have Simon, who is called Peter, brought here; and he shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, and all your household.” (Later, when Peter arrived at Cornelius’ household) “…he ordered them to be baptized.” (Acts 11:13b, 14; Acts 10:48a)
“And when she (Lydia of Thyatira) and her household had been baptized…” (Acts 16:31, 33b)
The Bible never gives one example of the baptism of a Christian child as an adult. when a child’s capacity to believe the Gospel is developed enough so that he can receive baptism. Neither does the Bible state that every child is in a “suspended state of salvation” until they have reached this age, which one would have to believe if he held to the “age of accountability” theory.
As we know through one man sin is entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men.” (Romans 5:12) For this reason “…there are none righteous, not even one” (i.e. not infants). (Romans 3:10) how are these young ones saved from the sin they have received from Adam’s race? They are saved through the regenerative power of baptism and the faith of the Church.
“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration (baptism) and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)
Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” (Acts 2:38)
“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.’” (John 3:5)
“…when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water, and corresponding to that, baptism now saves you.” (I Peter 3:20,21)
Circumcision, the sign of God’s covenant between the people of Abraham and Himself, was performed on every male child who was eight days old (Genesis 7:12).
Many see a direct parallel between circumcision and Christian baptism in Scriptural passages such as Colossians 2:11,12:
“And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism…”
If baptism is the “New Testament circumcision” there can definitely be no objection to “sealing” the infant of a consecrated Christian family in Christ’s New Covenant.
b) Moses’ leading his people through the Red Sea is seen as an Old Testament foreshadowing of Christian baptism. The following New Testament passage clearly points to this:
“For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all at the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them, and that rock was Christ.” (I Corinthians 10:1-4).
It is worthwhile to note that “all were baptized” through Moses’ leadership in crossing over the Red Sea. He did not leave the infants or children on the shores of Egypt to become prey to the angry armies of Pharaoh because they were not old enough to believe in the promise of the Old Covenant. Rather, entrusted to the arms of their parents’ faith, they were carried through the “baptism of Moses.”
c) The saving of Noah’s entire family by the ark can also be seen as a prefigurement of a baptism which includes infants. All that needs to be said, as in the case of Moses’ passing through the Red Sea, is that the entire family was on board the ark. Why should we leave infants out of the ark of baptism?
Some Scriptures which support the possibility of an “infant faith” are these:
“Yet Thou are He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother’s breast.” (Psalm 22:9)
“And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better from him if with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)
“For behold, when the sound of your greeting (Theotokos) reached my ears (Elizabeth), the baby (John the Baptist) leaped in my womb for joy.” (Luke 1:44)
“Infants are baptized for the remission of sins. What sins? Whenever have they sinned? In fact, of course, never. And yet: ‘No one is free from defilement.’ (Job 14:4) But defilement is only put away by the mystery of baptism. That is the reason why infants too are baptized.”
There is … one Lord, one faith, ONE baptism.” (Ephesians 4:4,5) If you have been baptized once, there is no need to be baptized again.
God includes the children of believers as members of this church.
The living God himself embraced the children of believers as members of his church. Genesis 17:7—"I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you."
Christian parents, this means that you must actively nurture your children in the Christian faith. You may not treat your children as neutral until they are "old enough to make their own decision." In baptism, God has laid claim to your child. Thus, you must train your children to respond with faith and obedience to the Christ of the covenant.
God deals with individuals, as well as with families. When God baptizes you into Christ, you become part of the Body of Christ, which is the worldwide family of God.
To get the full flavor of this truth, we ought to see the entire New Testament witness. Look at these verses one by one, remembering the normal meaning that any Jew or instructed Gentile would attach to the word "house" and let the cumulative force of these verses overwhelm you:
Matthew 10:12-14 "And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet."
Luke 19:9 "And Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham'"
John 4:53 "So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, 'Your son lives.' And he himself believed, and his whole household."
Acts 2:38-39 "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.'"
Acts 10:2 "[Cornelius was] a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always."
Acts 11:14-18 "'[Peter] will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.' And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God? When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, 'Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.'"
All baptized persons have a right and a duty to worship God. This is why we do not have "children's church" in which we send our children away from worship (or at least preaching). They have a right to know from their earliest years that this is the place where God's people meet to sing and pray to him, and I am one of those people.
All baptized persons have a right to be instructed in the faith. The child down the street doesn't have this right, but ours do. The parents have taken a vow to raise that child "in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord."
When a baptized person strays away, we don't just let them go. They have a right to be exhorted, admonished, censured, disfellowshipped, and excommunicated as a last attempt to restore them to the flock. We do not pursue the children of the world in this way. But our own children have a right to this.
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