All Christians believe that baptism by water is essential to the administration of the sacrament. The Bible identifies water baptism with ceremonial purifying or cleansing with water. What does the Bible say? Scripture is very clear: Infants and children are not to be excluded from Baptism.In Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. When the water is poured upon us and received by us, but also through the whole course of our life. . . the infants of believers, who we believe ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant, as the children in Israel formerly were circumcised upon the same promises which are made unto our children. And indeed Christ shed His blood no less for the washing of the children of believers than for adult persons and therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of that which Christ has done for them; as the Lord commanded in the law that they should be made partakers of the sacrament of Christ's suffering and death shortly after they were born, by offering for them a lamb, which was a sacrament of Jesus Christ. The word "sprinkle" or some form of it occurs 84 times in the Old Testament and seven times in the New. Of the New Testament occurrences, six are in Hebrews and one in 1 Peter. Most of the Old Testament examples are connected with ceremonial rites (sprinkling the altar, sprinkling the mercy seat, the sprinkling bowls, or cleansing by sprinkling).
Below are a few of the instances of sprinkling in the Bible
Exodus 24:6-8, ff – Moses sprinkles the people with blood, initiating the covenant and purifying them before God.
Exodus 29:21 – The blood is sprinkled on Aaron and his sons, consecrating them as priests.
Leviticus 8:11ff—Oil is sprinkled on the altar, and then poured on Aaron, to consecrate him.
Leviticus 8:30 –Blood and oil are sprinkled on Aaron and his sons to consecrate them.
Leviticus 14:7 –Someone is to be sprinkled to be cleansed from an infectious disease.
Leviticus 14:51 – Blood and water are sprinkled on a house for its purification.
Numbers 8:7 – The Levites are made ceremonially clean by the sprinkling of water.
Numbers 19:13 – Speaks of the importance of the water of cleansing being sprinkled on someone before they enter the Tabernacle.
Isaiah 52:15 – The Messiah sprinkles many nations.
Ezekiel 36:24ff – In a discussion of the New Covenant, we read that God will sprinkle Israel with clean water and they will be clean.
Hebrews 9:13-14– Christians are cleansed because they have been sprinkled clean with the blood of Christ.
Hebrews 9:19, 21, and others – Sprinkling clean with blood.
Hebrews 10:22– We can draw near because our hearts have been sprinkled clean.
1 Peter 1:2 – We are sanctified by the sprinkling of Christ’s blood.
Man baptizes with water, but God baptizes with fire and with the Spirit. When God baptized with fire, the fire sat upon their heads (Acts 2:3). When God baptized with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit "fell upon" (acts 10:44, 11:15-16) or "descended upon" (Luke 3:22; John 1:32), or was poured out upon (Acts 2:17; 10:45-46), or came upon (Acts 19:6). Baptism by sprinkling or pouring fits all of these descriptions much better than immersion. water baptism is done in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost according to the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19. Although water baptism in itself does not save, it does identify us with Christ: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (I Corinthians 12:13).
When God baptizes you into Christ, you become part of the Body of Christ, which is the worldwide family of God. Nowhere in scripture is infant baptism prohibited. But Jesus has commanded infant baptism. In Matthew 28:19 He says, "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 . . .." Before He ascended, the Lord of the Church commanded us to baptize "all nations," a phrase the Church has always understood to mean "everyone." Matthew 25:31-32 also uses the phrase "all nations" in this way. All nations are to be baptized, regardless of race, color, sex, age, class, or education. Jesus makes no exceptions. He doesn't say, "Baptize all nations except . . .." Everyone is to be baptized, including infants. If we say that babies are not to be included in Christ's Great Commission, then where will it stop? What other people will we exclude?
It is true that there is no example in Scripture of a baby being baptized. However, to conclude from this that babies are not to be baptized is absurd. Neither are there any specific examples of the elderly being baptized, or teenagers, or little children. Instead we read about men (Acts 2:41; 8:35) women (Acts 16:14-15), and entire households being baptized (Acts 10:24,47-48; 16:14-15; 16:30-33; 1 Co. 1:16).
The Bible teaches that infants are born sinful and are in need of forgiveness. Scripture says nothing about an "Age of Accountability" that begins at the age of reason. Its message is that accountability begins at conception. David confesses in Psalm 51:5, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me." The Bible teaches original sin, that the corruption and guilt of Adam's sin is passed on to every human being at conception. Jesus affirms this teaching when He says, "Flesh gives birth to flesh" (John 3:5). Paul takes it up in Romans 5:18: "So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Furthermore, Jesus said, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; he who believes not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). According to Jesus, ANYONE who does not believe in Him will be damned. Jesus makes no exception for infants. Babies will not be saved without faith in Jesus. Parents who think they are placing their children under God's grace by "dedicating" them are deceiving themselves. The only dedication that the New Testament knows of is the "dedication" that take place via baptism. That is why infants should be baptized. Like everyone else, they desperately need forgiveness. If infants die before they believe in Jesus, they will be eternally condemned. They, like everyone else, need to be baptized so that they can be born again. Jesus said, "unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). We believe that baptism is God's special means of grace for children by which He causes them to be born again. To keep them from baptism is to keep them from forgiveness and to endanger them with damnation.
Luke 18 tells us that certain parents were bringing infants (Greek - brephe) to Jesus, that He might bless them. The disciples rebuked those who brought the babies. Jesus' response is well known: "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it" (Luke 18:15-17). Some have objected that it is "little children" and not infants that Jesus speaks of here. Yet the very little children that the disciples were forbidding were infants. The infants are the focus of the passage. Clearly on this occasion Jesus had babies in mind when He said what He did! For those still stumbling over infant faith, remember: it is purely by God's grace that any person, adult or child, can believe. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit as much for the adult as for the child (see John 6:44; 1 Cor. 12:3; Eph. 2:1-4). When the adult believes in Christ it is only because the Holy Spirit, working through the Gospel, has worked the miracle of faith in his heart. So with the infant. If faith, then, is always a miracle, why can we not believe that God would work such miraculous faith in a baby? it is through baptism that faith is created in the infant's heart. Baptism, far from being the empty symbolism that many imagine it to be, is the visible Gospel, a powerful means of grace. According to Scripture, baptism "washes away sin" (Acts 22:16), "saves" (1 Peter 3:21; Mark 16:16), causes one to "die to sin, to be buried, and raised up with Christ" (Romans 6:3-4) causes one to be "clothed with Christ" (Galatians 3:27), and to be a member of the body of Christ: "for by one Spirit, were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:13). It bears repeating: baptism is a special means of God's grace by which He gives faith, forgiveness, and salvation to the infant. To deny the blessing of infant baptism because you can't find the words "infant baptism" in the Bible makes as much sense as rejecting the teaching of the Trinity because you can't find the words "Trinity" or "triune" in the Bible. We don't ask a baby if it wants to eat. We just feed him or her. We don't ask a baby if it wants its diaper changed, we simply change the diaper. We don't ask a baby if it needs a bath, we simply give the baby a bath when it is dirty. We take these simple and logical actions to physically clean up a baby. Catholics think it is even more important to do the same thing spiritually, through baptism. We need to let our Lord wash away the "original sin" from the baby. John's role was that he was "preparing the way of the Lord." Naturally, that preparation would include a prefiguration of the way that Jesus would save souls, which Catholics believe is through Baptism. (Acts 2:38, 22:16, 1 Pt. 3:21, Mk 16:15-16 Acts 2:38) After Jesus was Baptised, He made baptism the doorway to salvation and He sent his disciples to "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" (Mark 28:19). We presume from Scripture and early Christian writings that that included infants. In a child Baptism, the parents and the Church intercede for the child. The parents who are interceding for the Child promise to bring the child up in the faith so as to prepare the child for this future mature decision for Christ, to the best of their abilities. Catholics feel that Jesus' generosity and the parents/Church's intercession along with the expectation that the child will make a personal decision for Christ when they are capable of doing so (1st Communion or Confirmation), combined with God's Grace and love of children, make the Baptism valid and wins salvation for the child.
He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.'
Acts 16: 15, 33
15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.
1 Corinthians 1: 16
(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.)
Colossians 2: 9-12
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Matthew 28: 19-20
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Ephesians 2: 8-9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Supporting verses for Infant Baptism are: Acts 2:38-39, 1 Cor 1:16, Acts 11:13-14, Acts 16:15, Acts 18:8, Col 2:11-12, Mk 10:13-16, Jn 3:5, Mt 28:19, Mk 16:16, Acts 16:33, Act 2:39, Act 2:42, Luke 18:17,Genesis18:18,Mathew 19:29,Numbers 8;11,Luke19:9,Acts11:14,Acts 16:31,Colosians2:11-13,Romans 2:13,Romans 3:20,Romans 4:2-3,James2:21-23,mark2:3-12,Ezekiel 18 :1-4,1 Timothy 2:4,Acts 10:44-48,mark 16:16,1 Peter 3:21,Romans 6:1-11, Acts 2:38-39 , 1 Cor 7, Ezekiel 36:25, Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Malachi 2:15, Ephesians 6:7-8, Matthew 15:8, Psalms 14:1-3, Ephesians 6:4, Ephesians 2:1,Acts 11: 14