“… and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)
We are all familiar with the importance of baptism, but many faiths have different beliefs on this event. In the more traditional faiths, baptism is done as a baby shortly after they are born. In other faiths, more emphasis is placed on salvation (declaring Jesus as our Lord and Savior according to the Book of John, Corinthians and Acts) and baptism is the outward declaration of your faith.
In many circles, salvation is the accepting of Jesus into your heart, and baptism is both the outward declaration and the receiving of the Holy Spirit and fire according to Acts.
Being Baptized as a Baby
The rationale, by many, for baptizing an infant is twofold. Some denominations believe that baptism seals your salvation and guarantees entrance into Heaven. The parents, who have been given authority by God, take their authority over their child and guarantee their salvation into eternity. The other rational in this is in the event something happens to that child, that they would be in Heaven in the event that they die.
It’s a pleasant and comforting thought that your children will go into Heaven. It may be true that it’s all you need, and is indeed scriptural… in part. However, it negates the confession that we see in John for the forgiveness of sins, and the personal declaration that Jesus is Lord over your life.
And while a baby is unable to personally confess Jesus is their Lord, and are unable to understand what this means, they cannot participate until they are older.
Is Baptism As An Infant Enough?
Some would say yes, because the parents act on the child’s behalf, and some say no based on “if you confess with your mouth and mean it with your heart, you will be saved”. A baby cannot confess with their mouth, nor their heart at this time. Does it mean that their salvation is secured? What if something happens? Do they go to Hell?
Teresa Smyser discusses this issue in great detail. She goes through each scenario and biblically discusses each ramification on our children. She addresses important questions such as:
- If a child dies in the womb, do they go to Heaven?
- If my child dies before they are baptized, do they spend eternity with God?
- Is salvation enough- Do we need to be baptized?
- Is there an age of accountability?
This feature and many more discussions on salvation and baptism will appear in our July Issue coming out on June 26th!