At some point within the next few weeks, Selah will be brought to the font to receive Holy Baptism. That is, to be baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-6). We wanted to write a post to share why this is so important to us.
We believe that scripture speaks of baptism as a saving work done by God that is given to us as a gift, as Peter says in 1 Peter 3:21 where he writes, “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” What this means is that baptism isn’t a work we do or a promise we make to God, but instead, what God promises to us. Baptism is spoken about in this way again by Peter when he says in Acts 2:38-39, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” In this passage, we see that baptism delivers the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. We also see that it’s not just for adults but for children of any age as well. And finally, that God is doing the work, that is, calling whomever He desires to himself. This calling is clear with David when he was called to the Lord as a babe in arms in Psalm 22:9 when he writes, “Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.”
When it comes to infants and whether or not they should be baptized, we understand that in Psalm 51:5 David again says that “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Original sin is in us all at conception, which means we need Christ’s forgiveness at our earliest state. Baptism delivers this forgiveness to us by uniting us to and clothing us in Christ. We also see that whole households were baptized in Acts. Specifically, Lydia and her household in Acts 16:15 which reads, “And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay. And she prevailed upon us.” Also, in verse 33 in Acts 16 it is written, “And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.”
The Lord’s command in Matthew 28:19-20 is 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 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” We also know that Jesus says in Mark 10:14, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Because Jesus says to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching and also desires that little ones come to Him, we believe infants are to be included to receive the promises of God through baptism. Just as 8 day old males in the Old Testament received those same promises through circumcision, baptism is now the circumcision of Christ as St. Paul said to the Colossians in Colossians 2:11-12, “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”
We continue to pray that the Lord will preserve Selah unto the waters of Holy Baptism and that we will teach her all that He has commanded us, trusting in Him that he will in fact be with us as a family always, to the end of the age.