DO INFANTS QUALIFY FOR BAPTISM? BY STEVE FINNELL
What preceded water baptism under the New Covenant?
Under the New Covenant terms for pardon, all who were baptized in water believed before they were baptized.
Jesus said in (Mark 16:16 Those who believe and are baptized will be saved. But those who refuse to believe will be condemned.)
Jesus did not say those who are baptized and then believe will be saved. Water baptism always follows belief. There is no Scripture under the New Covenant where water baptism precedes belief.
Infants do not qualify for baptism because they cannot believe.
Atheists do not qualify for water baptism because they have not believed. Infants and atheists are both non-believers.
On the Day of Pentecost all three thousand had some things in common.
1. They heard Peter preach Jesus as a miracle worker. They heard about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They heard Jesus preached as the Lord and Messiah.
Infants cannot understand the meaning of the apostle Peter's sermon. They cannot believe. They do not qualify for water baptism.
2. Peter told the three thousand what they had to do after they believed. (Acts 2:38 And Peter replied, "Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of yours sins; then you also shall receive this git, the Holy Spirit.)
Infants do not qualify for water baptism. They cannot turn from sin because they are not guilty of sin. They cannot return to God because they have not left God, they are innocent of any sin. Infants cannot follow the instructions to believe, repent and be baptized.
Acts 2:40-41 Then Peter preached a long sermon, telling about Jesus and strongly urging all his listeners to save themselves from the evils of their nations. 41 And those who believed Peter were baptized--- about 3,000 in all.
Peter was not urging infants to save themselves. Infants do not understand sermons. Those who believed were baptized. Infants cannot believe, they were not baptized on the Day of Pentecost.
ALL OF THE PEOPLE BEING BAPTIZED IN WATER, UNDER THE NEW COVENANT, WERE BAPTIZED AFTER THEY FIRST BELIEVED.
1. Acts 2:22-41 (The 3000)
2. Acts 8:13 (Simon)
3. Acts 8:26-38 (The eunuch)
4. Acts 22:6-16 (Saul)
5. Acts 10:30-47 (Cornelius)
6. Acts 16:13-15 (Lydia)
7. Acts 16:29-34 (The jailer and his household were all believers. Infants cannot believe.)
8. Acts 18:8 (Crispus and his household were all believers. Infants cannot believe, they were not baptized.)
9.Acts 19:3-5 (They were baptized in the name of the Lord (New Covenant baptism) after they believed, not before they believed.
If infants can be baptized for the forgiveness of sins before they believe, then atheists can also be baptized for the forgiveness of sins before they believe.
JESUS SAID BELIEVE AND BE BAPTIZED. JESUS DID NOT SAY BE BAPTIZED AND THEN BELIEVE.
(Scripture from: The Living Bible ---Paraphrased)