INFANT BAPTISM: WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT IT?

Nothing! All of the passages in the New Testament show adults being baptized. Not one single verse in the Bible says anything about infants being baptized. Some have said that the conversion of the jailer’s family in Acts 16 is an example of infant baptism.

Acts 16:31-33

So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.’”

However, it is only an unproven assumption that there were infants in the jailer’s family. The text does not say how old the family members were. It would be logical and consistent to conclude that his family did not include infants simply because verse 31 begins with Paul telling the jailer that he needed to first “believe”. Other verses say the same thing. One must “believe” before one can be baptized.

 Mark 16:16

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”

A baby cannot believe therefore a baby is not a candidate for baptism. The Bible also says that before baptism one must repent.

  Acts 2:38

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized…”

A baby cannot repent because he does not yet possess the mental capability to do so, nor has he yet committed any sin. Therefore, a baby has no need for repentance. Thus, he is not a candidate for baptism. Infants are innocent of any sin as is clearly expressed by Jesus himself.

  Matthew 18:3

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus used “little children” as an example of what men must be like in order to enter heaven. This would not be a good example if infants were sinners (as many people claim). It is a fact that infants do not need to be “saved” because they are not yet “lost”. This can be illustrated by two men fishing in a boat. One man yells to the other, “Don’t panic, I will save you from drowning. Hold on and I will throw you a life jacket.” The second man responds, “What do you mean? I am right here and am not drowning because I have not fallen out of the boat.” This is how infants should be viewed. They have not yet fallen out of the boat. It is not until they reach an older age that they become accountable for their decisions that result in sin. When they reach that age and after they believe the gospel and repent of their sins, they become candidates for baptism.

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