A Biblical Examination of Baptism
Infant Baptism

Dr. Max D. Younce, Pastor

  1. Infant Baptism

  1. The Tradition:

By use of the word "infant," we are referring to babies and all children who have not reached the age of accountability.  Their baptism is administered by the rite of sprinkling, with the idea that this suits the baby for acceptance into Heaven by the Lord.  As religious and appealing to the flesh this ceremony is; one can search the bible through, but will come up empty handed when looking for Scripture to support such an ordinance or practice.

After a person has reached the age of accountability (this varies with the child), they are responsible for their own destiny of Heaven of hell by their acceptance or rejection of Christ as their Saviour.  Since a baby is incapable of making that decision, it is asinine to think God would leave the eternal destiny of an infant in the hands of its parents.  If that were true, some babies would go to Hell because of unbelieving parents.  Our Lord disclaims any responsibility for such a thought. Only to religious tradition can such a damnable claim be accredited.

Again, we emphasize that nowhere in God's Word do we find that babies are to be--or ever were--baptized. As we find in Scripture, the prerequisite for baptism is always belief or faith in Christ as Saviour; a baby is incapable of doing this.  In Roman, we find that baptism is a testimony of a Christian's new LIFE and WALK with Christ.

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into (unto) Jesus Christ, were baptized into (unto) his death." - Romans 6:3

In baptism, by being placed under the water, we show, symbolically, a public testimony of our personal, living faith in Christ's death as payment for our sins.

"...that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the father..." -Romans 6:4

Therefore, coming up out of the water of baptism is one's testimony of his faith in Christ's resurrection.  This is the Gospel that must be believed to have eternal life, the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of our Saviour.

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the GOSPEL which I preached unto you ... how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures." - 1st Corinthians 15:1,3,4

Then, we are instructed in Romans 6:4, "even so we should walk in newness of life," as a continuance of our testimony for Him.  My question is, since baptism is a testimony and declaration to walk in newness of life, how does a baby do this?  Of course--this is impossible!  Should we press this tradition to a conclusion, babies that are born and die within a few months after birth would then be condemned, having no opportunity to be baptized.

The late Dr. Harry Ironsides once related that a writer endorsing "household baptism" stated that "parents who brought unbaptised children to him in prayer for blessing, were only bringing Cain's offering!", i.e., unbaptised children were the children of Satan, since Cain was of that Wicked One (Satan, John 3:12).  Can one imagine the mental agony and depression parents experience when abused with this kind of philosophical tradition, void of Scriptural truth?

  1. The Tragedy:

Only in eternity will it be revealed how many souls have plunged into Hell, with their memory of baptism as a baby bearing the responsibility for their fate.  This, in no way, relieves the burden or recompense to the parents, who followed this lie and those who have penetrated and administered the lie of infant baptism.  So many times, down through the years, when trying to lead someone to the Lord, I have been advised that their parents had them baptized when they were a baby.  Their reasoning and confidence is asserted when they assure me that Mom and Dad would not have done this if it wasn't necessary for their Salvation.  Once the parents have their baby baptized; that baby, when an adult, is then placed in a position of going against its parents, should he stand on God's Word in the Doctrine of Baptism.  For that person to conclude that God was right and their baptism was not founded on Scripture, puts them in a position diametrically opposed to their parents beliefs.  This is a very difficult thing for children, and adults, to do when facing their parents.

Some time back, a wonderful Christian lady related to me that she was having a real problem with her stepson who had come to live with them.  His mother had him baptized when he was a baby and he is now convinced that will take him to Heaven (he is only 10 years of age).  The stepmother is continually trying to show and persuade him that Christ is the only way to Heaven (John 14:6), not baptism. The situation had become a difficult one, since his mother has influenced him otherwise.  If he trusts Christ as his Saviour, he knows he will have to conclude his mother is wrong.

Psychologically, a child may be thinking that his parents will hate him, dislike him, or not trust him, if he goes against what his parents have taught him.  These thoughts are a real detriment to a son or daughter when trying to lead them to trust Christ as their Saviour.  Of course, "Old Scratch" (Satan) is always present to keep those thoughts surfacing and activated, to keep them from being saved.  The sad thing is...many times parents don't even go to Church or have any concern for God's Word.  They have their baby baptized and this seems to give their conscience some relief of any future responsibility.  How sad when a child's eternal destiny is at stake.

I hope you can begin to see the eternal consequences that many will experience as a result of infant baptism. Remember, no where do we find in God's Word that infants are to baptized.  No human effort ever fits a baby, adolescent, or adult for the Kingdom of God.

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God." -John 1:12,13

  1. The Truth:

The pseudo-doctrine of infant baptism is built upon tradition and theory as a result of man's imaginations, "vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind" (Colossians 2:18).  Christ rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for placing their traditions over the Word of God:

"...This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart if far from me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men ... And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." -Mark 7:6, 7, 9

Paul, again, in Colossians 2:8 gave the warning,

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

As one Bible scholar has put it concerning those who teach and practice infant baptism, "It seemed to me that they had read their teachings INTO Scripture, NOT OUT OF IT; rather EISEGENIS, than true EXEGESIS."  When religion introduces tradition, any Scripture is sought which would seem to justify its use.  So, let us examine the error of this and then explore the truth.

  1. Examining the Error:

The reasoning of many is that if a whole household is baptized, it must include babies also.  Let us examine some of the errors that are projected.  Cited are some of the passages which are used.

  1. Lydia's Household.

"And when she (Lydia) was baptized and HER HOUSEHOLD, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there.  And she constrained us." -Acts 16:15

On the part part of those who endorse infant baptism, it is presupposed that her household included a baby, or babies; yet, God's Word contains no such account.  There is no record of Lydia being married, being a mother, or having children in her home.  We are told that after Paul and Silas left Lydia's house, they were beaten and out in prison.  Upon their release, they returned to Lydia's house and we find out who composed the household.  The record is given in Act 16:40.

"And they (Paul and Silas) went out of prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed."

These brethren, as spoken of in Verse 15, made up the household of Lydia.  She could have given them free lodging, or could have charged them for their lodging, we simply do not know.  "Her household" in Verse 15 does not necessarily mean her own family; but, from the record, would be inclusive of all that were lodging in her home; which, from Verse 40, would have been "the brethren."  These were the ones baptized, along with Lydia, in Verse 15 and spoken of as "her household."

"...She (Lydia) attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul." (Verse 14). (Then she was baptized.")

Her household, as the brethren in verse 40 were called, shows us they were saved and then baptized. Paul never baptized anyone to be saved, only those who were already saved.

  1. Jailer's Household.

Another of the Verses used to support infant baptism is found in Acts 16:30,31...

"Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

The record of what took place is very simple and concise; the jailer had brought Paul and Silas to his home, as recorded in Verse 34:

"And when he (the jailer) had brought them unto his house, he sat meat before them..."

Paul and Silas then witnessed to all that were in his house, as recorded in Verse 32:

"And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to ALL that were in his house."

Their message was:

"...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved..."

The whole household believed (Verse 34):

"...he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing on God WITH ALL HIS HOUSE."

After this the jailer and his whole house were baptized, as stated in Verse 33:

"And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was BAPTIZED, he and ALL HIS (HOUSEHOLD) straightway."

In Verse 34 we are told that:

"...BELIEVING in God with ALL his house."

It is evident there were no babies present or belonging to his family, as a baby is incapable of understanding and believing Paul's message; therefore, the "all" that composed his household excluded any infants.  Only those that believed were baptized--made up of everyone present and his family.

  1. Household of Stephanas.

Paul bears record of baptizing the household of Stephanas in 1st Corinthians 1:16.  Here is the account:

"And I baptized also the household of Stephanas..."

Again, there is no mentioning of infants being baptized or being in the household of Stephanas.  We do find in the same epistle, Paul mentioning the family of Stephanas in Chapter 16, Verse 15, as the whole family having addicted themselves to the ministry of the Saints.  Here is the record:

"I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have ADDICTED THEMSELVES TO THE MINISTRY OF THE SAINTS.)"

No infant can do this, thus excluding any infants from being in the household of Stephanas.  I hope you can begin to see the extremes to which religion will extend itself in misuse of Scripture to support its tradition.  Proverbs 30:6 is surely a warning to those who exercise this practice:

"Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."

  1. House of Crispus.

Paul, while on his second missionary journey, had left Athens and arrived at Corinth.  Many there were led to Christ and baptized, including the chief ruler of the synagogue and his whole family.  The record is given in Acts 18:8:

"And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, BELIEVED ON THE LORD WITH ALL HIS HOUSE; and many of the Corinthians hearing BELIEVED, and were baptized."

The only ones baptized were those capable of believing.  Belief in Christ makes one Christian, belief in God's Word and a willingness to obey makes one desire to be baptized.  There is no mention, or even a hint, of infants being baptized within the family of Crispus.

  1. Examining the Truth:

To bring an infant to a minister or priest for baptism and blessing would actually be accusing God of not loving little babies.  Would one dare insinuate that the God of the Universe does not care for or His watchful blessings on a baby until it is baptized?  Is baptism the "switch" that activates God's love to the child?  In other words, prior to baptism, God does not love the child.  This is what tradition and false doctrine does in a very subtle way; it falsely accuses God of not loving little babies until they are baptized.

Infant baptism also substitutes the minister or priest in place of Christ as the Mediator who confers the blessings to the child by means of baptism.  Would not 1st Timothy 2:5 be applicable here:

"For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

No priest or minister has any power to confer blessings upon anyone--infant or adult!  This power rests solely in the hands of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus.

In the Synopsis, we have the record of little children and infants being brought to Christ, unbaptized, to receive His blessings.  Matthew 19 and Mark 10 tell us that children (Gr. "a young child") were brought to Christ; while Luke 18 lets us know that some of the mothers brought their babies (Gr. BROPHOS, "infants") to be touched by the Lord.  Does this constitute a contradiction, we ask?  Absolutely not! --since we have both infants and young children being brought to the Lord at the same time; therefore, the Gospels are not contradictory, but, complementary and complete. Here is Dr. Luke's account in Chapter 18, Verses 15, 16:

"And they brought unto him ALSO INFANTS, that he would touch them...(15).  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God" (16).

The Greek word for "children" in Verse 16 is "paidion" and is used of both infants and young children.  Our Lord summoned both the mothers with infants and those with young children.  To these He stated, "for of such is the kingdom of God."  Should one of these infants die unbaptized, Christ assures the parent that they belong to the kingdom of God.  Baptism has absolutely no place in any person's life until after they are saved!  When these parents brought their children, Christian baptism had not yet been introduced for the Church.  Matthew 28:19, 20 instructing the 11 Disciples to baptize occurred after the resurrection of our Lord.

From Luke 18:15, 16 we are assured of several facts:

  1. Infants and small children were brought to Christ (Matthew 19:13).

  2. These were never baptized, as that ordinance was still forthcoming.

  3. Christ rebuked the disciples for interfering.

  4. Christ loved the infants and young children, held them, and blessed them; yet they were unbaptized.

      "...and He (Christ) took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them." -Matthew 10:16

  1. Christ assured their parents and all present that these little ones, even though unbaptized, belonged to Him and His kingdom:

      "...for of such (children) is the kingdom of Heaven." -Matthew 19:14

One may ask, what did Christ do to bless these Children?  Here the Greek word for "blessed" is "EULOGEO" and means "to speak well of; praise; thank; or involve a benediction upon."  Verbally, our Lord was letting everyone present, know how much He loved these babies and little children--the product of His creation!

Now, we are going to list, for a simple comparison, man's religious tradition:

  1. No unbaptized baby can receive blessing from the priest or minister. (Tradition)

  2. No unbaptized babies are going to heaven. (False)

  3. The priest or minister will confer the blessing. (False)

One can easily see that church tradition is diametrically opposed to God's Word.  Who will you believe?  The Lord's plea is found in Psalm 118:8:

"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."


Dr. Max D. Younce, Pastor

P.O. Box 573
Walnut Grove, MN 56180
Telephone (507) 859-2519

Web: www.heritagebbc.com

Am I Going to Heaven? | Books by Dr. Max D. Younce | 100 Bible Questions and Answers