Infant Baptism

Q. Should infants also be baptized?

A. Yes, Infants as well as adults are included in God's covenant and people, and they, no less than adults, are promised deliverance from sin through Christ's blood and the Holy Spirit who produces faith. Therefore, by baptism, the sign of the covenant, they too should be incorporated into the Christian church and distinguished from the children of unbelievers. This was done in the Old Testament by circumcision, which was replaced in the New Testament by baptism. - Heidelberg Catechism Q & A 74

It is the teaching of the Reformed Church in America and Missio Dei Church that children of believing parents are to be baptized by the sprinkling or pouring of or immersion in water. Though we will be charitable, respectful, and tolerant of different interpretations, it will be the teaching of this church that the promises of God extend to the children of believers and therefore they should bear the mark of his promise – which is baptism. It is the goal of this paper to survey what the Bible says about baptism and explore the interpretations of our church in comparison to others.

THE COMMAND TO BE BAPTIZED…

Jesus’ command is very simple – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19). Peter took up this message in his very first sermon, at Pentecost, when he says, “Repent and be baptized” (Acts 2:38). And Paul links baptism with “putting on Christ” in his letter to the Galatians (Galatians 3:27). So it is not an overstatement to say that it is a clear command that Christians must be baptized. In fact, so adamant are the Scriptures that the doctrinal standards of Presbyterians churches teach that is a “great sin” to neglect it (Westminster Confession of Faith: chapter 28, section 5).

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