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Page 414

 

And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

-II Samuel 12:22-23

Then the Word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

-Jeremiah 1:4-6

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

-Luke 1:41,44

 


If children dying in infancy may join the church in heaven, should they be permitted or forbidden to join the church on earth? Why?

men in various spheres of authority, but inward judgment of the heart is reserved for God alone (I Samuel 16:7; John 2:24-25).

9. Children, as well as adults, may possess the inward reality of spiritual baptism,' hence they may receive the outward sign of water baptism. Scripture testifies of infants possessing grace in both Old and New Testaments. Some examples would include:

  • David and Bathsheba's child (II Samuel 12:22-23) .

  • Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1: 4-6)

  • John the Baptist (Luke 1:41,44)

Jesus includes "little children" in the church, the kingdom of God, when He testified, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:14b). He also "took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them" (Mark 10:16).

If Jesus included them as members of His kingdom and blessed them, who is man to forbid them church membership and the blessings and responsibilities of baptism? If Scripture includes some as recipients of the inward reality of baptism, who is man to deny all its outward sign?

Those opposing paedo-baptism frequently appeal to Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." However, this verse is both taken out of context and based upon false logic when used in an attempt to condemn infant baptism. To state that "infants may not be baptized because they cannot yet confess their belief" is ascribing a meaning which is beyond the context of this verse. The preceding verse states, "And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). These verses comprise Jesus' mission command to His apostles. Those on new mission fields must first hear and believe before they may be baptized. As previously explained, howver, once theye~t.er,Qod's covenant, their entire households may be baptized.

Using this verse to claim that infants may not be baptized because they cannot confess their faith reflects false logic. Based


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