First, infant baptism is an unauthorized change in God’s pattern for baptism. God tells us whom to baptize. He tells the conditions people must meet in order to be baptized, but babies do not fit. To baptize babies is to act by human authority without divine authority. All things that we do as God’s people must be done by the authority of Christ (Col 3:17). How can we presume to do something in Jesus name and say it is approved by Him when He does NOT command it or say it is pleasing to Him? We cannot! Below I have provided two reasons that infant baptism is contrary to the pattern given by God:
- We do not see one example of babies getting baptized in the New Testament. It is assumed into passages where we are told that whole households were baptized, but there is no evidence in the passages that babies were included. This is only an assertion without any other scriptural evidence.
- Also, we are told in scripture that there are prerequisites to baptism. One must hear the gospel (John 6:44-45; Romans 10:14-17) believe (Mark 16:16), confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10), and repent (Acts 2:38) before baptism. The one who does not do these things has not been baptized Biblically. There is no Biblical precedent to change the order of these conditions for salvation. Man has no such authority to do so. The one who is not baptized based on what the Bible teaches has not received forgiveness of sins. Jesus says we must believe AND be baptized to be saved, and Peter says we must repent and be baptized to receive remission of sins (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38).
- Infant baptism is almost always done by sprinkling or pouring, not by immersion. The Bible says that baptism is a burial (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12). A person must go down into the water and come up out of it (Acts 8:38,39; Mark 1:9,10). Bible baptism requires much water (John 3:23). Also, the Greek word for baptism means “to dip, plunge, or immerse.” When baptism is commanded in the Bible by Jesus and His Apostles, they are commanding immersion, because this is what the word means! Infant baptism does not fit God’s pattern on any of these points. The evidence clearly shows that Bible baptism is an immersion, not a sprinkling or pouring.
Second, infant baptism leads people to believe they are saved and part of God’s covenant community when they are not. God requires people to be baptized for the remission of sins when they are old enough to make their own decision about the matter. But many people have been baptized as babies. Then, when they are old enough to be responsible for their conduct and to make the decision to be baptized, they refuse because they believe they have already done so. But their infant baptism was not Scriptural. So the person goes through his whole life never having been Scripturally baptized, and therefore he never has received forgiveness of his sins! The false doctrine of infant baptism leads people to suppress the truth and to think that they have been forgiven by God when they have not been Scripturally.
Third, baptism is meant to forgive sins that are committed, but a baby has not yet committed sins. Since baptism must be done for the purpose of receiving forgiveness of sins, a baby could Scripturally be baptized only if he/she was guilty of sins and needed forgiveness. But is a baby guilty of sin? The answer is ‘no’. Sin is defined in scripture as transgressing the law of God (1 John 3:4, James 1:14-15) and it is the sin that we commit that separates us from God (Romans 3:23, Isa 59:1-2). A baby is not guilty of sin, so they do not have a need to be baptized. ‘Sin’ must be redefined (contrary to scripture) to make a baby a candidate for baptism.
What should a person do if his baptism was not done the way the Bible teaches? He should realize that he simply has not yet obeyed God, and he needs to obey God by being baptized according to the Bible (see Acts 19:1-6).