“As Long as They’re Christians”
Do Denominational Differences Really Matter?
Part V: Concluding Thoughts on Baptism
Small Point of Clarification
Sometimes those who deny infant baptism do not fully understand what baptism is. Those of us who defend the Biblical teaching of baptism do not teach that baptism is some magic act. It is not magic water. Nor do we teach that Baptism saves apart from faith. As Martin Luther said in his Small Catechism, “Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God’s command and connected with God’s Word… It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare…It is not the water indeed that does this, but the word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is simple water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says in Titus, chapter three.”
The Holy Spirit in the Word of God is where the power is located, not in the water by itself. Further, this gift is received by faith alone. As to say, there is only one way of salvation not two. It is salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Hopefully, this small point of clarification aids the reader in understanding the Scriptural teaching of infant baptism.
Upon closely analyzing the Bible it is clear that infant baptism is taught. The Word of God clearly says that all babies are born sinful, that is to say they inherit original sin from Adam. It clearly says that all sinners, who by nature are children of wrath, are under God’s condemnation and are destined for hell. Thanks be to God that scripture also clearly speaks of the New Adam, Christ, Who came to redeem all of the fallen creation and die for the sins of the entire world. And, it is clear that the Bible teaches that in order to receive the benefits of Christ work on the cross for all, individual faith is necessary. As to say, all are saved by grace through faith. Scripture teaches that faith is not the logical decision of an adult, and that fallen human reason rejects the Gospel and finds it foolish. Scripture teaches that faith is more than understanding, and uses the faith of infants as the prime example. Faith is God’s gift created by God’s Word. Furthermore, the Word of God says that baptism (God’s Word with water) saves our children and us all.
Finally, Christ said to baptize all nations.
The Word of God speaks clearly on the issue of infant baptism and human reason must not be allowed to interfere.
This essay is written out of love and is intended to rightly proclaim and observe all the things that Jesus commanded. For as it says in Ephesians 4:5 There is but, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
Do denominational differences really matter? They do if Jesus’s words really matter.
Baptized into Christ- Pastor Stark
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