Scriptural Critique of Infant Baptism
A couple of weeks ago I gave a message
on the issue of baptism and when I introduced
that I was going to do that, I said that
I wanted to give a follow-up message on
the issue of infant baptism and I’m going
to do that this morning. Now, I confess
that this may seem a little more like
a theological class lecture; you may feel
like you’ve just enrolled at the Master's
Seminary—that’s O.K. I warn you in the
back rows there, who may tend to wander
anyway, because you’re so far away—hang
in there. This is really, I think, a provocative,
and important, and far-reaching issue
to deal with.
Let me explain for some of you who might
not understand. There is a widespread
belief in the Church that babies are to
be baptized. And so, soon after their
birth, they are taken to the church whether
it’s a Roman Catholic church, or whether
it’s a Presbyterian church, or whether
it’s a Reformed church, or a Lutheran
church, an Anglican church, an Episcopalian
church…They are taken to the church and
they are sprinkled with water on the head—a
little bit of water is dripped on their
head and that constitutes their "Christian"
baptism. This is very widespread. This
is all over the world, in fact. This is
the influence of the post-reformation
European church and it has spread wherever
that influence has gone.
Now, the result of this is that you have
baptized non-Christians all over the world.
They were baptized as infants with what
they believe was a Christian baptism and
an initiation into the church—and an initiation
into salvation. Yet, they are not Christians;
they have never come to personal confession
of faith in Christ and so they were baptized
but they’re non-Christians. On the other
hand, you have the same group of people
who are actually not baptized at all because
that baptism is not New Testament baptism.
So, they are baptized non-Christians who
have never really been baptized at all,
in the true sense.
It is also true that many people are—particularly
in that movement—many people do come to
true faith in Christ. They may start by
being baptized as an infant in a Presbyterian,
or Lutheran, or Reformed church, or Anglican,
or Episcopalian church, or whatever church
it is that does infant baptism…they are
baptized as a child, they do come to true
faith in Jesus Christ, but are never baptized
by immersion because the church teaches
that that is not appropriate. In fact,
after the Reformation, if somebody was
rebaptized, who was baptized as an infant,
they were labeled an "Anabaptist"
It was not uncommon for that persecution
to reach a fever pitch so that after the
Reformation, you had Protestant people
who believed in infant baptism persecuting
people who believed in believers’ baptism.
It became a serious issue, even to the
point where some people who believed in
adult immersion after confession of faith
in Christ and were rebaptized, were killed.
So, this was a heated issue. We can be
glad it isn’t quite that furious today,
but it is still an issue of immense importance
in the church, because as I said, you
have baptized non-Christians and unbaptized
Christians. In both cases you have a problem,
a serious problem.
We have, certainly, the present largest
unbaptized population of professing Christians
ever. That unbaptized population would
be made up of people who were baptized
as infants and don’t feel they need to
be baptized; therefore, they are really
unbaptized in the true way. All those
other people who are hearing the gospel
today through television and radio and
in the sort of "seeker-friendly"
churches where baptism is not practiced.
So, you have this massive population of
unbaptized professing Christians everywhere.
Now, few things in the New Testament
are more unmistakable than the issue of
baptism. It’s just plain and simple. Jesus
said, "Go and preach the gospel and
baptize." Peter said, "Repent
and be baptized." It couldn’t
be much more clearly expressed than that.
Even so, we have wide-spread noncompliance
to this issue.
Now, this is of great importance to me,
because I feel that as a Christian preacher,
as a Christian pastor, as a shepherd of
God’s flock, as somebody who’s responsible
to the Lord for ministry, I need to preserve
what is precious to the Lord, right?…in
Now, there are only two ordinances the
Lord gave us—just two. He gave us baptism
and the Lord’s Table. And He said, "Just
do these two things. They are symbols."
Baptism, as we know, is a symbol depicting
the death of an individual in Christ,
the burial, and resurrection in the newness
of life. The Lord’s Table is a symbol
of the cross—both the body of Jesus Christ,
symbolized in the bread, and the blood
of Christ, symbolized in the cup and we
are enjoined to carry those out in the
This is important to me because it’s
part of the stewardship of responsibility
that I have to discharge before the Lord.
It grieves me that there are some churches,
like the Quakers’ church and the Friends’
church, that will not practice communion.
It also grieves me that there are many,
many churches—many of them—thousands upon
thousands of them—tens of thousands of
them all over the world, that will not
properly practice Christian baptism in
spite of what the New Testament says.
This is a matter of obedience—this is
a matter of honor to the Lord and it’s
of great importance to me.
Some years ago I was invited to be the
president of a great educational institution
here in our country and as I was contemplating
whether I wanted to leave the pastorate,
here at Grace Church, some years ago and
go do this, the thing that stuck in my
mind most was if I was there, I wouldn’t
be able to discharge my calling from the
Lord to lead the church. It struck me,
and I said this to the people at the time,
"I can’t do this because I need to
lead the people of God in the ordinances
that the Lord has commanded us, because
I believe he’s given me to the church.
How am I going to baptize people and how
am I going to lead them to the Lord’s
Table in that environment?" This
is always been very important to me because
the Lord didn’t give us that much that
we would get confused about it and He
wants us to carry the responsibility out.
Baptism is critically important and I
went into that two weeks ago. Baptism
is critically important. It is to be understood
and it is to be practiced. Standing
in the way of that understanding is a
huge barrier and that huge barrier is
infant baptism. As I said, most of the
mass evangelized TV/Radio stadium converts
are left to themselves and maybe never
even hear about baptism. They don’t have
any accountability for baptism; not under
any church authority…but, in addition
to them, you have this huge crowd of millions
of people who believe in infant baptism.
That too, confuses the issue greatly and
acts as a barrier to a true understanding
of baptism and to obedience to that understanding.
It’s not a minor matter—it has never
been a minor matter. As I said, during
the time of the Reformation, people were
called heretics if they were baptized
in a New Testament way, by those who were
infant baptizers. They were persecuted
and, as I said, in some cases, executed.
Now, as years have gone on, we’ve gotten
kind of comfortable and just sort of said,
"Well, they believe in infant baptism
and we don’t, and they’re our brothers
and sisters," and that’s true, and
it’s certainly not a reason to call them
non-Christians, and it’s certainly not
right to call them heretics, and it’s
certainly not appropriate to not have
fellowship with them, but it is right
to truly understand what Scripture says,
so that they can come into obedience and
compliance with the Word of God. Time
has come, after all these years since
the Reformation, to strip off these remnants
of Catholicism that never got dealt with
during the Reformation and have been perpetuated,
and return to the simple New Testament
design—and I want to address that with
you this morning.
Now, there are five reasons why I reject
infant baptism. I’m telling you folks,
I can’t get all that I want to say out
this morning so you’re only going to get,
I hope, the best of what’s here. But,
these are very important points.
1. Point number one, and this ought
to end the argument: infant baptism
is not in Scripture.
Infant baptism is not in Scripture, and
against that statement, there is no evidence—there
is no refuting of that statement. Scripture
nowhere advocates infant baptism. It nowhere
mentions infant baptism. It doesn’t exist
in the Bible; there is no example of it,
there is no comment on it, it’s not there.
It is therefore impossible to prove that
infant baptism is valid, from the New
Testament. It’s impossible to support
it from the New Testament or for that
matter, from the Old Testament.
A German theologian, Schleiermacher,
wrote, "All traces of infant baptism
which have been asserted to be found in
the New Testament, must first be inserted
there." He’s right. The host
of German and front rank "Theologs"
and scholars of the Church of England—the
Church of England, the Anglican Church,
which believes in infant baptism—a host
of their scholars have united to affirm
not only the absence of infant baptism
from the New Testament, but from apostolic
and post-apostolic times. It isn’t in
the New Testament and it didn’t exist
in the earliest church. They believe it
arose around the 2nd or 3rd
A Lutheran professor, Kurt Aland, after
intensive study of infant baptism, says,
"There is no definite proof of the
practice until after the 3rd
century," and he says, "This
cannot be contested." A Catholic
professor of theology, Hegerbocker (sp.),
writes, "This controversy has shown
that it is not possible to bring in absolute
proof of infant baptism by basing one’s
argument on the Bible." Good. B.B.
Warfield, who is no mean theologian, was
an astute and really a great, great theologian
who, again, influenced my life in my seminary
days…B.B. Warfield affirmed—he was, by
the way, an advocate of infant baptism—but,
he affirmed the absence of infant baptism
from the Bible.
Among the Calvinists—among the Reformed
people—there is a very important principle
which many of them like to use. It’s called
the "regulative principle" and
it says this, "If Scripture doesn’t
command it, it is forbidden." Now,
if they would just stick with that, they
would be all right. If Scripture doesn’t
command it, it cannot be introduced into
the church as normative. The theme of
the Reformation, of course, "sola
fide," "sola gratia,"
is faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone—also,
"sola scriptura," Scripture
alone. The theme, the great byword of
the Reformation was "Scripture only,
Scripture only, Scripture, Scripture,
Scripture." And yet, if you go to
Scripture, you cannot find one single
solitary word about infant baptism—it’s
not in the Bible.
It still is defended, however, amazingly,
and still practiced as if it was Biblical.
It’s really amazing. I can understand
how people within the Protestant church
can disagree about an interpretation of
Scripture…I really find it very hard for
myself to understand how they can argue
about something that isn’t in the Bible,
as over-against what is. It’s one thing
to say, "Well, I understand that
passage this way and you understand it
that way…I understand that doctrine this
way and you understand it that way,"—it’s
another thing to say, "I believe
what’s in the Bible," and, "I
don’t. I believe what’s outside the Bible."
That’s a completely different issue, but
that, in fact, is what we have.
Now, I would expect Roman Catholicism
to engage in that practice because Roman
Catholicism has two sources of authority.
On the one hand, they have the Bible;
on the other hand—and it’s as empty as
my right hand—they have tradition. You
see where the weight is. But, in the Catholic
system, there is what is called "tradition."
It is known as "tradition" or
the "magisterium." It is the
accumulation of materials outside the
Bible that bear equal authority with
the Scripture. Now, we’re not surprised
then, that the Roman Catholic system—because
they believe that the Catholic Church
is the unique recipient of post-Biblical
revelation—that is to say, God has given
His Word to the church beyond the Bible
and, therefore, it carries equal weight
with Scripture. We’re not surprised that
a system that believes there is extra-Biblical
material that has equal weight with Scripture,
would come up with infant baptism and
make it an absolute in their system…not
In fact, the Roman Catholic Church asserts,
that it is, the only recipient
of revelation beyond the Bible…not only
is it the only recipient of revelation,
but it is the only and infallible interpreter
of all revelation, both traditional and
Biblical. So, when we know that Roman
Catholics baptize babies, that fits into
their magisterium, but when you come to
Reformation people who say, "Scripture,
only Scripture, only…" and they had
a Reformation and they basically dumped
tradition and they dumped the magisterium
and they said, "It’s the Bible! It’s
the Bible! It’s the Bible!" how come
they hung onto infant baptism? It’s not
there. It’s a relic of Popery.
Now, we would understand the church history
would be Rome’s hermeneutic—"hermeneutic"
is word that has to do with an interpretation—we
would understand that history can interpret
the Bible for Rome, but history can’t
interpret the Bible for us. It doesn’t
matter to a Bible interpreter what history
has done, what some counsel said, what
some Pope said; it doesn’t matter what
some visionary said—the way you interpret
Scripture is not by something outside
of it, but by what is in it, right? The
Bible is it’s own interpreter. Use normal
historical, grammatical interpretation—you
take the words as they are, you interpret
the Scripture with the Scripture…you don’t
need tradition…you don’t need the magisterium
of some religious system.
Church history can be Rome’s hermeneutic.
In other words, they interpret the Bible
from their tradition. But, it has never
been the hermeneutic of the Reformed.
It has never been our hermeneutic to say,
"Well, I don’t know what that means
so let me consult some Pope." The
Jews did that in the Old Testament. They
say, "Well, we’re not sure what this
means so let’s ask Rabbi so-and-so."
If you don’t know what the Bible means,
you don’t go to somebody who has infallible
revelation as to it’s meaning; you dig
into the text to discern it. God does
not interpret Scripture through history.
God does not interpret Scripture through
tradition, through rights or ceremonies
or doctrines that are true simply because
some religious system says they’re true.
Only an honest interpretation of Scripture
in which you exegete the text itself can
yield the meaning of that Scripture. Reading
traditional history back into the Bible
is not a legitimate way to interpret it.
History is no hermeneutic.
Now, it is also true that Scripture—they
will bring this up—they’ll say this, "Yes,
it’s not in the Bible, but it’s also true
that Scripture no where forbids infant
baptism. Now, if I can get into debate
and we’re going to debate that point,
I think I can win. You’re telling me that
it’s O.K. because it’s not there? It should
be an ordinance of the church because
it’s not there? Do you realize how much
is not there? You could make an ordinance
out of everything that’s not there! I
mean, just use your imagination and figure
out where that could go.
That’s nothing—that’s nothing but an
argument from silence which is no argument
at all. It provides no basis for acceptance,
certainly no basis for a mandate for infant
baptism as some kind of ubiquitous, divinely-ordained
ordinance that all children of believers
or all children of church members ought
to engage in. The fact that it is not
there proves absolutely nothing—expect
it proves that it’s not valid. It certainly
doesn’t prove anything on it’s behalf.
To justify that sprinkling of babies should
be done because it’s not forbidden in
Scripture is to standardize what’s not
in the Bible as if it were standard, for
the church. It’s to imprint with divine
authority something that men invent—to
open the way to any ritual, any ceremony,
any teaching, any anything that isn’t
forbidden specifically in Scripture.
In fact, at the time of the Reformation.
. .we all associate Martin Luther, you
know, the monk who saw the truth of the
gospel by faith and grace and confronted
the Roman Catholic Church—went up one
day and you know, nailed his thesis to
on the door of Wittenberg there. . .the
1500’s and this was a big moment. He was
calling the church to take a good, hard
look at, of course, selling indulgences—they
were telling people that you could get
forgiveness of your sins if you paid enough
money to the church. You could buy an
indulgence and, in other words, you could
buy forgiveness. He didn’t like that and
we don’t blame him for that. Then, he
went from there to understanding justification
Martin Luther said the only way you’re
redeemed is through faith and grace, and
we all understand that and that’s what
gave birth to the Reformation. And Luther
went so far as to say that it has to come
out of the Bible. Luther really fought
the Catholic system. Let me quote what
he said. "The church needs to rid
itself of all false glories that torture
Scripture by inserting personal ideas
into the Scripture which lend to it their
own sense. No!" he said. "Scripture!
Scripture! Scripture! For me, constrain,
press, compel me with God’s Word!"
That’s Martin Luther.
Martin Luther—he wasn’t just some stumbling,
bumbling, local monk—he was a brilliant
doctor of theology. Martin Luther was
one of the brightest theologians in the
entire Catholic Church at the time. He
was saying, "It’s Scripture, Scripture,
Scripture!" for him. Well, there
is nothing in the Scripture about infant
baptism. In a minute, I’ll tell you what
happened to Luther in the transition from
what he just said to, eventually, capitulating
to do infant baptisms.
Another thing the baby-baptizers use
for support is they try to go to Matthew
18, where Jesus said in verse 3, "Except
you become as a little child, you can’t
enter the kingdom." Well, that’s
not talking about babies; that’s talking
about believers. You have to become like
a little child to get into the kingdom.
What does that mean? Well, if you’re going
to come into God’s kingdom, you don’t
come with the record of all your great
achievements. You haven’t got any—a little
child has no achievements, right? A little
child has accomplished nothing, done nothing.
They are not productive; have you noticed?
They don’t do anything. They just have
to have things done to them all the time.
They don’t achieve anything, accomplish
anything…they don’t make any contribution
at all except just the sheer joy of their
That’s what the Lord is saying: you come
into the kingdom without any achievements,
without any accomplishments, without any
curriculum vita, without having achieved
anything or accomplished anything…you
come in naked and bare and stripped and
needy. That’s how you come.
He’s talking to the religious leaders
and he’s talking to the disciples and
saying, "Don’t expect that somehow
all the stuff you’ve achieved is going
to get you into the kingdom. Remember
the apostle Paul, Philippians 3, "You
know I was of the circumcision, circumcised
the eighth day, of the tribe of Benjamin,
of the people of Israel," you know,
"zealous as to the law"…went
through the whole deal and he said at
the end: it’s manure. Right? It’s manure;
I can’t bring that list of achievements.
That’s all Jesus is saying.
In Matthew 19 and Mark 10, you remember
Jesus said to disciples, "Let the
little children come to me"…remember
the little children came to him? That’s
another Scripture they like to use and
it says, "Let the little children
come to me. Don’t forbid them for such
is the kingdom of heaven." Jesus
gathered up the little children, there
in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 (both record
it), and He blessed them. Well, in the
first place, how could that advocate infant
baptism—He didn’t baptize them. That’s
no evidence of anything about baptism…He
just picked up some little children and
said, "God has a special care for
these little ones who are too young to
either reject the truth or accept the
truth…God has a special care for them,"
and He pulled them into His arms and He
demonstrated that special care by blessing
They weren’t, necessarily, the children
of believing parents—we don’t even know
who their parents were! For all we know,
some of them could have been Gentile kids
and they might have been uncircumcised
pagans. The idea that you baptize all
these infants of believing parents or
of church member parents, based upon that
Scripture, is just beyond connection.
Jesus didn’t baptize them. Jesus didn’t
cause them to be baptized. He didn’t suggest
that they be baptized. He didn’t say anything
about their parents, whether they were
believing or non-believing parents. All
He said was, by what He did, "Children
are precious to God; He takes care of
them; He blesses them." That’s all.
Then, the people who believe in infant
baptisms, try to advocate it, from two
books: Acts and I Corinthians. In Acts
and I Corinthians, you have five mentions
of a household—and they say, "Well,
in a household you must have babies and
it says that households were baptized;
therefore, babies were baptized."
Well, certainly that’s an inference. It
doesn’t say that. There’s never an incident
of a baby being baptized in any of those
households—it never identifies them. "Households"
simply mean—could mean "family, could
mean "servants" who were a part
of that household.
They suggest that some babies were baptized
in those households as an act of solidarity.
The father, they say, served as a surrogate
for the faith of the children. Surrogate
faith? What is that? You mean I can believe,
and my child is saved by my faith? That’s
not what the New Testament teaches. That’s
a severe challenge to individual salvation
as well as an insertion into the text
because no babies are ever mentioned and
no babies are ever mentioned being baptized.
Look at these five, I’ll just run them
1. Cornelius’ house—Acts 10. The
gospel was preached by Peter, Cornelius
heard it…it says, "They all heard
the Word…they believed it…the Spirit fell…they
were all baptized." All heard,
all believed, the Spirit came on
all, they were all baptized.
2. In the jailer’s house—Acts
16 is the next one…Philippian jailer.
Paul, you remember, gave him the gospel,
it says, "All heard the gospel…all
3. Chapter 18, it was in the house
of Crispus, "All believed…all
The other two occur in I Corinthians.
The other two are the account of Lydia
and Stephanas—Lydia is in the book of
4. But, in the case of Lydia,
it’s the same thing. We must understand
the same thing must have occurred—they
heard, they believed, they were baptized.
5. Stephanas: They heard, they
believed, they were baptized.
I mean, it’s all basically the same pattern.
They all hear the gospel, they all believe,
they all receive the Spirit, they all
are baptized. That excludes infants because
infants can’t hear and believe. The "household"
then is defined—it is defined as "those
capable of hearing, understanding, believing."
That’s the definition of the "household."
In Stephanas’ household, which is in
I Corinthians, chapter 1, "All who
were baptized," it says, "All
who were baptized were devoted to the
ministry of the saints." Babies can’t
be devoted to the ministry of the saints.
It says, "All who were baptized were
helping in the spiritual work of the church."
It’s impossible for infants.
In the case of Lydia, in Acts, "her
heart was opened when she heard the gospel.
The gospel was preached and her heart
was opened," it says. So, we understood
she heard the gospel, she believed…others
must have heard the gospel, their hearts
were opened, and they believed and they
were baptized. By the way, to assume there
were children in the house is maybe stretching
it since, apparently, she had no husband.
She, apparently, was a single person.
In John 4, in verse 53, it says about
a nobleman—you know, whom Jesus talked
with and He healed his son—it says about
that man, "He himself believed and
his whole household." They all believed.
Household belief, then household baptism.
Where there is no faith, there is no baptism.
In Acts 2:38—let me show you this. Turn
in your Bible for a minute to Acts 2:38.
Here is another Scripture which they use
to defend infant baptism. Acts 2:38—Peter
is closing the sermon on the day of Pentecost
and he says, in verse 38, "Repent…let
each of you be baptized!" So, we
see the sequence: repent, be baptized.
"And, you’ll receive forgiveness
and you’ll receive the gift of the Holy
Spirit…" Then, in verse 39, "For
the promise," he says, "is for
you and your"—what?—"children."
"Oh," they say. "See, the
promise here for the children. This is
an important Scripture." "Repent
and be baptized and 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." Now, they
see "your children" as an allusion
to the baptism of children. And, of course,
that’s a stretch. There’s nothing about
baptism of children here whatsoever.
Well, what is being said here? Do you
understand what’s being said? He’s talking
to some Jews, O.K.? And, there gathered
around him…it’s the day of Pentecost and
they’re in the city of Jerusalem…and he
said, "Look. I’m saying to you, ‘Repent,
come to faith in Christ, be baptized in
His name…you’ll receive the forgiveness
of your sins, you’ll receive the gift
of the Holy Spirit and this promise is
not only for you, but it’s for your children."
Now, how obvious is that? What is he
saying? He’s saying, "This isn’t
isolated to the crowd today—this is for
anybody who comes into the future."
Right? This is for your children, and
your children’s children, and your children’s
children’s children…He’s simply saying
this promise goes on and on and on, and
for all who are far off, it’s for Gentiles
too. So he’s saying, "For your children,
Jews in the future, and for Gentiles as
well in the future." Anybody who
repents of sin, anybody who believes in
the Lord Jesus Christ, anybody who receives
the forgiveness of sin and the gift of
the Holy Spirit—that promise is fulfilled
to anybody whether they’re Jew or Gentile.
That’s all he’s saying here. There’s
nothing about babies here. The children
he’s speaking about are the offspring
of crowd there. This is for all future
generations to be called to the same salvation
promises and the same salvation blessings.
Now, one other Scripture they use is
I Corinthians 7 and I’ll show you this
one and then I’ll make some more general
comments. I Corinthians, chapter 7, verses
12-14, is another Scripture they like
to use. Again, it doesn’t say anything
about baptism at all, none of them
do, but this is where they have to
go if they’re going to try to find a Biblical
Now, he’s talking to people in various
marital situations here and in verse 12,
he says, "Look, this is something
I’m going to say to you; it’s not a direct
quote of Jesus—it’s still inspired and
it’s from God—but it’s not directly quoted
from Jesus." He’s been saying some
things that come right out of the instruction
of Jesus, but he says, "I’m saying
this. This isn’t quoting the Lord here,
but here’s the principle. If any brother
has a wife who is an unbeliever"—OK,
you’ve got an unconverted wife; your wife’s
not a Christian and she wants to live
with you. She doesn’t want to separate.
She’s not a Christian; she doesn’t believe,
but she wants to be with you—"then,
you shouldn’t send her away." You
shouldn’t send her away. That means divorce;
that’s the word for divorce in the Greek.
"Don’t divorce her."
You see, the idea was: Christians were
coming to Christ and they were saying,
"Wow! You know, I don’t want to be
unequally yoked with an unbeliever,"
he just got through saying that in chapter
6, you know, and you don’t want to be
connected up with anybody who’s sinful…so
maybe you’re married to an unbeliever
and you don’t want to continue that relationship,
you want to marry a Christian…Well, look.
If that unbeliever wants to stay, you
keep that marriage together. The next
verse says, in the reverse, if the woman
has an unbelieving husband and he consents
to live with her, don’t send him away.
So, stay in that marriage even though
you have an unconverted spouse.
Why? Verse 14, "The unbelieving
husband is sanctified," what
does that mean? "Set apart,"
set apart to what? To blessing. What happens
to that unbeliever is, by being married
to a believer, he gets the spillover of
God’s work in your life. He gets the spillover
of God’s blessing. God is so kind and
God is so gracious! For the sake of that
unbeliever, God would like him to just
hang around so he could enjoy the blessings
that God pours out on you.
And, then he winds it up at the end of
verse 14 and says the same is true with
children. If you separate, then you’ve
got a problem of the children. Otherwise,
your children are unclean, but now they
are holy. The word means "separate."
What happens is you’ve separated your
children from blessing. If you keep that
home together, even with an unconverted
husband or an unconverted wife, the blessing
that God pours on the believer is going
to spill on the husband or wife and it’s
going to spill on the children.
It doesn’t mean that the child is a believer.
It doesn’t mean the child is in the covenant
community. It doesn’t mean the child should…where’s
baptism? It isn’t here! A very simple
principle: it’s good to keep a marriage
together if an unbeliever is willing to
stay there, because then blessing will
come down on that unbeliever and down
on those children. Who knows, but what
that blessing could lead them to faith.
No mention of baptism; absolutely none.
Just don’t get separated and divorced
if it’s not necessary, so that unbelievers
and children can enjoy the spillover of
God’s blessing on the believer in that
Well, the full counsel of God is either
expressly set forth in Scripture—listen
carefully—it’s either expressly set forth
in Scripture or it can be necessarily,
compellingly, and validly deduced by good
and logical consequence. I’ll say that
again. The full counsel of God is either
expressly set forth in Scripture or can
be necessarily, compellingly, and validly
deduced by good and logical consequence.
In other words, it’s either there explicitly
or it’s there implicitly and you can easily
draw it out, like the doctrine of the
Trinity, for example. But, this issue
of infant baptism just isn’t there in
any way, shape, or form and it is not
necessarily, compellingly, and validly
deduced by good and logical consequence.
It’s just not there.
2. The second reason is really the
other side of the issue. I don’t believe
in infant baptism because infant baptism
is not Christian baptism.
What is in the Bible is Christian baptism.
I already dealt with this two weeks ago;
I’m just going to comment on it briefly.
Christian baptism is this: somebody believes
as an adult, they repent of their sin,
they confess Jesus as Lord, they acknowledge
Him as Savior, they are saved, then they
are baptized. That is New Testament Christian
baptism. It’s definitive. It’s meaning
is clear. It’s mode is inescapable. The
word "bapto," "baptizo,"
means "to immerse" or "submerge."
Every single time it is used in the book
of Acts, it is talking about the immersion
of a believer. Even John Calvin said,
"The word ‘baptize’ means ‘to immerse’
and it is certain that immersion,"
he says, "was the practice of the
early church." Of course, that’s
what the word means.
They had a different word for sprinkle,
it was the word "rhantizo."
This ordinance was very clearly designed
by God. When a person believes, here’s
a public way to confess their faith: put
them down in the water and bring them
out. Why? Because it’s a symbol of their
death, burial, and resurrection with Christ.
Remember, we went through that two weeks
ago. It is a picture, an object lesson,
a symbol, a visual analogy of a spiritual
truth. Clearly unmistakable.
The only distinctive—if you were to go
through everything to the core of the
Christian faith, it would be this: I am
in Christ and Christ is in me. Right?
That’s it. I’m in Christ. It’s a great
doctrine of imputation—my sins imputed
to Him, His righteousness imputed to me.
God treats Him as if He lived my life
and He died on the cross bearing my sins.
God treats me as if I lived His life;
God sees me perfectly righteous and takes
me into His glorious heaven. It’s that
I’m in Christ and Christ is in me. I was
buried with Him in baptism, Romans 6 says,
and I have risen to walk in newness of
life. Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified
with Christ, nevertheless, I live."
Galatians 3:27, "We were baptized
into Christ." Colossians 2:12 and
13, same thing.
Baptism pictures the fact that, by the
divine power of God, when you come to
faith in Christ, you’re joined with Christ
and you die in Him. Your old life dies
at the cross with Him and you rise in
His resurrection to walk in newness of
life. That is symbolized in immersion
very obviously. We are literally immersed
into Christ—into his death, into his burial,
and into his resurrection and now we are
joined with Him in one life.
That’s why the Bible can say, "Go
and make disciples, baptizing them,"
because baptizing was synonymous with
evangelizing, synonymous with saving faith.
They were inseparable—one Lord, one faith,
one baptism. Baptism became, really, the
expression—the word used to define salvation…they
were inseparable. We know what New Testament
baptism is; it’s a person repenting, believing,
embracing Christ—spiritually they, therefore,
are united with Christ and that is symbolized
as they go down into the water and rise.
Their old life dies and they rise in newness
of life with Christ. I think the Church
needs to get back into this understanding
of baptism. The fact that the church
doesn’t do this is tragic. It needs
to be restored. I’m going to give you
some reasons why it needs to be restored.
One, in our day an open, public,
solemn confession of the crucified risen
Lord is necessary. All who experience
the reality of the power of the risen
Savior should give this public testimony
to His glory.
Secondly, by Biblical baptism
in the New Testament manner, believers
give a witness also to careful obedience
to Scripture in which nothing can be treated
as unimportant. We say, when we are baptized,
"Yes. The Bible says it and I’m doing
it." Therefore, you tell people you’re
not only joined with Christ, but you are
obedient to Him.
Thirdly, by Biblical baptism believers
testify—this is crucial—to a redeemed
church. I’ll say more about that later.
By Biblical baptism, believers testify
to a redeemed church. The point there,
just as a hint, is you’ve got all kinds
of people who were infant baptized, who,
at the time of their infant baptism, were
supposedly ushered into the church. They
have nothing to do with the church now,
what are they? They’re a part of an unredeemed
church, confused by infant baptism.
Fourthly, by Biblical baptism,
believers give fundamental rejection of
all human regulations through which, clear
Biblical teaching has been obscured or
curtailed or supplemented. Baptism becomes
an apologetic for the truth and a denunciation
Number five, by Biblical baptism
the church signifies a public renunciation
of the nominal and mass Christianity of
our day. We make it real and personal
in believer’s baptism.
Finally, in Biblical baptism the
church calls for the reintroduction and
practice of Biblical New Testament church
order and discipline.
Those are reasons why its so very important.
The great commission makes it very, very
clear—for Jesus the order was very clear.
You preach the gospel, they believe, they’re
baptized, and they obey. That’s it.
Do you know, in 1955, the Anglican Church—which
baptizes babies—the Anglican Church did
a study on baptism. This is what it says—1955
report, "Every expression in the
New Testament concerning the rights of
baptism assumes that the convert receives
them with living faith and a renunciation
of his old former life." That’s right!
"It is clear," it says, "that
the New Testament doctrine of baptism
is established with reference to the baptism
of adults." Adults with living
faith—that’s New Testament baptism.
Where in the world does this infant thing
come from then? It’s not in the Bible;
Christian baptism is in the Bible and
it’s very clear what it is. It’s the immersion
of people who have believed as adults.
3. Third point, why I reject infant
baptism: it is not a replacement sign
for the Abrahamic sign of circumcision.
Now don’t get too carried away here;
this isn’t going to be as complicated
as you think. Infant baptism is not a
replacement sign for the Abrahamic sign
of circumcision. Now, let me give you
the bottom line. Infant baptism says this.
This is the theology of it: the old covenant
sign was a baby circumcised. That introduced
them into the covenant. So, we need a
parallel. The parallel sign is baby baptism.
That’s in the new covenant; that introduces
them into the new covenant. Sounds good.
In the old covenant, they had a circumcision
which introduced them into the covenant
community. In the new covenant, we have
the baby baptism which introduces the
infant into the covenant community. That’s
You know what? Those two things just
don’t go together ever in the Bible. It’s
a nice thought; just isn’t Biblical. Scripture
never makes that connection. There’s
not a verse they could point to. There’s
not a passage they could point to, either
by explicit terms or by implicit. There’s
not one place in the Bible where baptism
is ever connected to circumcision, period…no
So, any connection is purely manufactured.
So, without Scriptural support, without
Scriptural connection, they infer that
baby baptism is the new covenant equivalent
of old covenant circumcision. Now, let
me make a very simple few statements so
you’ll understand just exactly what the
It’s true. In the Old Testament, little
boys, on the eighth day after their birth,
were circumcised. Girls weren’t so that
poses a real problem in paralleling the
new covenant since girls can come into
the new covenant too. But, little boys
were circumcised the eighth day. Now,
that introduced them—listen carefully—that
introduced them into an earthly, temporal
community of people. That introduced them
into the nation Israel, as it were. It
was physical and it was temporal. That’s
what it was.
In the new covenant, there is no "physical"
community. We don’t have a nation; we
don’t have a land. We aren’t a duly constituted
people, ruled over…We don’t an order of
priests. We don’t have a king. We are
a spiritual community. There’s a big,
big difference. Circumcision was the sign
of ethnic identity. It was the physical
participation in the temporal features
of the Abrahamic covenant. Listen carefully:
it didn’t have any spiritual implications
at all. None! Because most of the
people who were circumcised—the vast majority
of Israelites who were circumcised, went
to hell. You understand that? They rejected
the true and living God; they worshipped
idols. Right? That’s the history of Israel.
In the present, most of the Jewish people,
who are circumcised, will perish without
the knowledge of God. In the future, two-thirds,
it says, of the nation Israel, will be
purged out and be judged eternally by
God and He’ll save a third and bring them
into His kingdom. The vast majority of
Jews will perish without the knowledge
Not all Israel is Israel. What did God
say? Circumcise your—hearts. You see,
the spiritual promises and realities that
God offered Israel didn’t come to them
by any right or ceremony or ritual. All
circumcision did was mark them out as
a part of the nation Israel. They entered
into the physical participation, the ethnic
identity, the temporal features of the
nation Israel that was under blessing,
promised by God to Abraham. It was an
earthly blessing, not salvation. That’s
why Paul said, "I was circumcised
the eighth day and that’s manure. That
did nothing for me savingly; I was on
my way to hell and I had been circumcised,"
A person born in Israel of Abrahamic
seed was physically related to temporal,
external privileges; nothing more. Now
you come into the New Testament—the new
covenant—this is dramatically different.
There is no physical participation. There
is no temporal, earthly feature attached
to this—we don’t have a land, we don’t
have a place. Under the old administration,
the Abrahamic covenant during the Mosaic
era, you entered the earthly, natural,
covenantal community by birth, and by
circumcision you took the sign of that
people. But, there was a small remnant
in Israel that really believed, wasn’t
there? They entered into the special,
But, in the new covenant, there are only
those who believe, there are only those
who have come by repentance and faith.
This is not the same at all. There is
absolutely no connection. All in
the new covenant are believers. All
in the new covenant know God. Now, if
the early church thought that baptism
was a replacement—baby baptism was a replacement
for circumcision—why isn’t that in the
And then, why did the Judaizers who were
going around telling everybody they had
to be circumcised, why didn’t Paul say
to them, "Hey, you guys, that’s over;
baptism has taken it’s place. We don’t
circumcise babies, we baptize them."
He could have put an end to the Judaizing
deal with just one comment. Now, why would
they go into the Jerusalem counsel in
Acts 15 and had this big, long debate
about what do we do about the circumcision…what
do we do? Why didn’t somebody just get
up and say, "Oh…no, no. That’s out
and baby baptism has taken its place."
That’s never said. Nobody ever says that.
The Abrahamic covenant had a unique feature:
circumcision. All that meant was you identified
with the nation of Israel. Circumcision
had a second benefit: it was physically
beneficial. Up until very modern times,
Jewish women had the lowest rate of cervical
cancer of any people in the world because
circumcision does help prevent the passing
on of certain diseases. God knew that
that would be a preservative in His people
and He wanted to preserve His people Israel
because of His ultimate purpose for them.
Also, it was a sign of how desperately
they needed to be cleansed on the inside…it’s
symbolic of that. But, the point was it
just introduced you into the nation; it
didn’t save you. There is no parallel
to this in the New Testament. There is
nothing that sort of ushers you into some
earthly group. There’s just the believers
and they’re all in the new covenant.
You see, Jeremiah 31:34—Jeremiah in 31,
is talking about the new covenant. Listen
to what he says; here’s the character
of the new covenant, they are very different
from Israel under the old. Here’s what
he says; this is the most salient feature
of the new covenant. Here it is—Jeremiah
31:34, "They shall all know Me."
That’s the difference. Under the old covenant,
they didn’t all know God. They didn’t
know Him. Remember when Jesus came, He
said, "If you knew My Father, you’d
know Me," didn’t He? "You don’t
know My Father, you don’t know Me."
In the new covenant, they all know God.
You’re not even in the new covenant unless
you know God and the only way to know
God is through Christ. That means that
all those who are members of the new covenant
community know God savingly. Membership
in the new covenant is limited to those
who have been saved. Jeremiah is making
a dramatic statement here. He’s saying,
"I know under the old covenant there
were lots of folks who had the sign of
the covenant, there were lots of folks
in the covenant community who didn’t know
God. But, in the new covenant, everybody
in it is going to know God. That’s distinctive.
That’s conclusive. Circumcision was never
a spiritual sign of anything. Baptism
is a spiritual sign of true inclusion
in new covenant salvation by grace through
4. Well, let me give you a fourth
reason. I reject infant baptism because
infant baptism is not consistent with
the nature of the church.
I hinted at this earlier. Infant baptism
is not consistent with the nature of the
church. This opens up proverbially Pandora’s
box. There is so much chaos at this point,
it begs discussion.
It’s just impossible to solve the problem
unless you go back to rejecting infant
baptism. Here’s what I mean. You have,
for example, in the Roman Catholic Church,
millions and millions and millions of
people who were baptized. At their baptism,
it was stated that this baptism ushered
them into the kingdom of heaven.
Are they part of the church? Is the church
responsible for these people? Are we responsible
to shepherd these people who don’t believe?
The vast majority of those people obviously
have no knowledge of God, no knowledge
of Jesus Christ. Millions of them have
no connection to the church whatsoever.
They go about living their lives…are they
a part of the church? Are we responsible
to shepherd these people? Should we discipline
You see, what happens is pedo-baptism
destroys the redeemed church idea. It
just completely assaults the idea that
this is a redeemed community of people
who have come to personal faith in Jesus
Christ. Now you’ve got something that’s
so vast, that’s so ubiquitous [universal]
that it’s impossible even to define, let
alone deal with. It confuses the visible
church with the invisible church and such
confusion is not helpful. If people, when
they’re baptized as babies whether it’s
in an Anglican church or an Episcopalian
or a Presbyterian church or a Lutheran
church or whatever it is, if that includes
them in salvation in the kingdom of God
and in the church and they go on to live
dissolute lives of sin and just carry
on just like the pagans that they are,
are they really a part of the church?
What in the world is the church then?
Is the church not redeemed?
You see, infant baptism perpetuates the
same thing it did in Israel. You had a
whole bunch of circumcised kids who didn’t
know God. Now, we have a whole bunch of
baptized babies who don’t know God either.
If we’re going to carry that over, we
get the same result. The true church,
however, unlike Israel—Israel was a nation
of people, earthly people—the true church
is a nation of believers. Whether somebody
was baptized as a baby, whether they were
confirmed at the age of 12 or not, if
they don’t know God personally through
faith in Jesus Christ, they do not belong
to the Redeemed church.
There’s this huge confusion about: what
is the church? Infant baptism just totally
throws this into chaos because the world
is full of these baby-baptized adults
who range anywhere from the hypocritically
religious through the indifferent, to
the blasphemous. They’re not in the church;
they can’t be included in the church and
if infant baptism saved them, then salvation
doesn’t change anybody.
You say, well why is it in there then?
Let me give it to you. Infant baptism
is a holdover from absolutist state church
systems in Europe. I’ll give you a little
history here. Here’s what happened. Catholicism
reigns till the 1500’s. . . 1500’s comes
the Reformation. Catholicism built it’s
power this way: back in the 4th
century, Constantine takes over (325 AD);
he makes Christianity the state religion
and starts to persecute the people who
aren’t Christians—this is kind of a switch.
It feels good for the Christians for a
while, but pretty soon it’s serious.
He decides that the greatest way to have
power over the people is to have religious
power over the people, so he makes Christianity
the State Religion of Holy Roman Empire—starts
calling it the Holy Roman Empire from
about 325 AD on. Then he determines that
we have to include everybody within the
purview of the Roman system. Everybody
in their vast world kingdom has to be
included under this great power so we’ve
got to baptize everybody and that’s where
infant baptism is introduced (in about
the 3rd century or 4th
In comes infant baptism. Infant baptism
serves the power of the government very
well because now everybody is automatically
in the kingdom of heaven, which is the
same as the government. Everybody is now
in the church; therefore, the government
has power over them all. It creates national
solidarity. It allows the church and government
to be one, the church and the military
to be one, the church and the body of
politic to be one…and so they can use
the big club of God on everybody’s head.
So, now God is ruling through the Roman
Empire…everybody’s a baptized convert,
everybody’s a baptized part of this thing,
and you get this massive monolithic, great
kingdom that perpetuates itself for a
thousand years. You know, that’s remarkable.
The great Babylonian kingdom, the first
world empire, lasted two hundred…the Medo-Persian
lasted two hundred. These world kingdoms…then
the Greek kingdom came along—the third
world came—it lasted two hundred. But,
the Roman system lasted a thousand years!
Actually more than a thousand years and
they did it because they had this monolithic
religious structure, and infant baptism
was the key to it because everybody was
baptized into the system; therefore, God
was their authority as wielded to the
power of the system, and the Roman church
took that power.
So, what happens is the Reformation comes…now,
all of a sudden, the Protestants pull
out and they’re these little, sort-of
weak groups of Christian people and they
feel over-powered. The Reformation starts
to gain some momentum, gain some ground…larger
numbers of people join in the Reformation
and they want some power. How are they
going to get it? How are they going to
unify their people? How are they going
to have a state that has the power that
can counteract the Roman state. You have
a state, a government, that’s Catholic,
like France—what’s Germany going to do
to stand against France? They don’t have
the solidarity, so they decide, "Well,
we’ll have a state church here and we’ll
baptize everybody as infants." So,
you have a Reformation state church developed
so that it has the political clout and
the solidarity internally to stand against
the power of France, which is Roman Catholic.
That’s how they began to work that infant
baptism: because of it’s political power.
It’s a holdover from absolutist state
powers. The absolute church system, national
sovereign church power, and with it came,
by necessity, the persecution of people
who didn’t buy it. The people who didn’t
buy it said, "We don’t believe it.
We don’t believe the Bible teaches infant
baptism. We reject that! We believe in
believer’s baptism," and they called
them Anabaptists and they persecuted them.
The state church denied the right of
conscience to the individual and to the
community, denied the right of freedom,
the right of thought. The government was
going to control everything to create
the solidarity that would give them a
base of power to stand militarily and
politically against the Catholic states.
So, you had state Christendom: Catholic
state Christendom, Old Protestant, Lutheran,
Reformed, State Christendom.
Now, at the beginning, Luther had a lofty
idealism. He was against it. He contended
for a Christianity of churches that would
embrace freedom—Christianity of churches
that would renounce force and live only
by the Word and the Spirit, he said. He
said that the Scripture is the only standard
for all issues of personal life. We’re
going to stand with the Scripture. Luther
says this, "I say that God wants
no compulsory service. I say it a hundred
thousand times: God wants no compulsory
service. No one can or ought to be compelled
to believe. But, a soul of man is an eternal
thing above all that is temporal; therefore,
only by an eternal Word, must it be governed
Boy, he’s right on, isn’t he? Just the
Word…Just the Word. Neither the Pope,
nor a bishop, nor any other man has a
right to decree a single syllable concerning
a Christian man, apart from his consent.
All that comes in the spirit of tyranny
and you know what? That was right. Luther
was right. By 1527, he caved in and he
turned back to the state church and he
allowed for infant baptism and the state
church. And the state church grew into
great power and buried the true church
and the Reformation began to disappear.
There was no real building of New Testament
churches because they were persecuted.
They were seen as non-Conformists, as
they were called in England. They were
threatening the state church. Infant baptism,
you see, saved the state church and served
them well, as it had the Roman Catholic
Church because it initiated everybody
into that solidarity and allowed them
to wield the God-club over everyone. They
even did battle against each other; sometimes
Protestants against Protestants. The state
church was a great tree, far-reaching
with its branches, but rotten to the core
and fruitless and intolerant of the true
So, in Europe today, true Christianity
is very, very, very small. It was buried,
not only under Catholicism, in say, France,
but just completely buried under Protestantism
is Martin Luther’s own country of Germany.
That’s why they developed infant baptism,
not because it’s in the New Testament.
It is a relic of Popery drawn in to serve
the Protestant churches politically. The
state church and the Biblical Christianity
are and always will be completely opposed
to each other. The true church is not
of this world and doesn’t incorporate
I’ll tell you, one of the strategies
that Hitler had—I told you this in the
past—Hitler knew the power of bringing
everybody under the state church, so he,
literally, swallowed up the state church
of Germany. Adolf Hitler did and it capitulated
completely to him and anybody who didn’t
capitulate was put into prison and executed.
Guys like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who stood
for the true church against the state
church, went to a concentration camp and
eventually was executed in a concentration
camp. That’s a Protestant church environment
that Hitler, literally, took over and
used for his own power. That’s how apostate
that system had become and any true surviving
Christian in the midst of that was fuel
for the fires in the furnaces of Hitler’s
There is no connection, no divine connection,
between the true church and any state
power. "The true church," Jesus
said, "is not of this world,"
and it doesn’t incorporate the unconverted.
Infant baptism serves the state church
well; it horribly confuses the true church.
Neither Luther nor even Melanchthon, two
great reformers, opposed the assault on
the Anabaptists and others who rejected
the national church. They even said that
anybody who rebaptizes is infested with
heresy—that’s what was said in those days.
A Strasbourg reformer, a Matthias Zell,
said, "He who confesses Christ as
his own Lord and Savior shall, in spite
of anything else, share our table and
I will also share with him in heaven."
He was right and he was going against
Infant baptism, mass communion, which
you see in the Roman church and in some
Protestant environments…infant baptism
and mass communion efface the contrast
between the believer and the unbeliever,
between the church and the world. So,
we have to reject those kinds of things.
As the nature of the church became corrupted,
so the ordinance of baptism became corrupted.
Well, I think you get the point.
5. One last point and I’ll let you
go. Infant baptism is not consistent with
It’s not consistent with the gospel.
Maybe this is the most important point
of all. You say, "What in the world
happens when a baby is baptized?"
Shall I read you the Heidelberg Catechism?
This is a great German catechism that
defines the meaning of infant baptism.
This is what it says, "Yes, for they,"
speaking of children, "as well as
the old people appertain [relate] to the
covenant of God and His church and in
the blood of Christ, the redemption from
sins and the Holy Spirit who works faith
and its promise not less than to the older."
So, they’re really saying in the Heidelberg
Catechism that children enter the covenant
of God, His church, receive the benefit
of the blood of Christ, the redemption
from sin, the Holy Spirit, and faith.
"Therefore, shall they also though
baptism, as the sign of the covenant,
be incorporated into the Christian church,
be distinguished from the children of
unbelievers as in the Old Testament took
place by circumcision, in the place of
which, in the New Testament, baptism is
appointed." See that connection?
That illegitimate connection? But, they’re
actually saying they’re in the church.
And they go further than that. Luther
finally affirmed, because he said salvation
is by faith…they say, "Well, how
can a baby be saved if he doesn’t have
faith?" So, Luther finally affirmed
the infant does have faith. He does have
faith. He said, "Children are to
be baptized. They must be able to believe;
they must have faith." Luther said,
"It’s not the vicarious [substituted]
faith of the godparents or the church"—he
rejected that. "It is the children
themselves who believe," Luther said.
Someone says, "How is that possible?"
"The Holy Spirit helps them to believe,"
he says. "The Holy Spirit comes to
the child in the holy baptism. By this
bath of regeneration, He is richly poured
out upon us." This is a bath of regeneration
in which the Holy Spirit comes and gives
faith to an infant? Some even call it
"unconscious faith." Some call
it "surrogate faith."
In any case, it is not what the gospel
is about, which is personal faith, right?
The great mark of the Reformation was
salvation by faith alone accompanied by
personal repentance! A baby can’t do that.
A baby doesn’t have any faith. A baby
doesn’t have any part in baptism. It’s
no different than circumcision; a baby
didn’t have any part in circumcision.
In fact, if you’d asked him, he’d probably
vote against it. Baptizing a baby has
no spiritual meaning to that baby. They
got into a confounded viewpoint that somehow
faith, and grace, and salvation, and regeneration,
and entrance into the church is all dumped
into that little baby at the point of
which water’s dumped on his head. It has
nothing to do with the gospel of faith.
That’s why we have to call it into question.
I wrote down 25 quotes or so out of reformers
that answered the question, "What
happens at a baby baptism. "Baptism,"
one of them says, "declares the inward
regenerated operation of the Holy Spirit."
Wow. "It signifies the regeneration
ministry of the Holy Spirit." "Infant
children of believers are rightful heirs
of the covenant." "It is the
witness and attestation to their salvation."
This produced all kinds of confusion as
the doctrine of justification by faith.
Only a person old enough to understand
can believe. Right?
Well, there’s more, but I think you get
the message. Let’s pray.
Father, as we contemplate these things,
some may think this is just an academic
exercise; the truth of the matter is we’re
struggling to call your church to true
understanding of your Word, so that we
might be obedient as you have called us
to be. Lord, thank you for the clarity
of your Word. We love many of these dear
folks who continue to advocate this. We
esteem them very highly for many of the
great things that they do in the kingdom,
for much of their great insight into the
Word, but we are baffled by the fact that
they cling to something which, we believe,
is a dishonor to you and that they do
not advocate a proper believer’s baptism
in the way that You’ve designed it in
order to be a testimony of our unity with
Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection
and thus exalt the cross and the open
tomb. Lord, work in your church and maybe
use this message and others who can call
your church to re-examine these things,
to come back to the truth so simply, straight-forwardly
set forth in your Scriptures. Make us
to be obedient to these things. We thank
You in Christ’s name. Amen.