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Bible Q

Is sprinkling baptism invalid or unbiblical? And what about infant baptism?

What we find in the Bible about baptism:

Biblical baptism involves repentance, dying to serving sin symbolised by burial (immersion) in water, rising to a new life of serving God, symbolised by coming up out of the water. Romans 6:3-6

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  (4)  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  (5)  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.  (6)  We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

Sprinkling does not follow the pattern laid down for us in Scripture.  Other passages which indicate baptism refers to immersion in water not sprinkling:

John 3:23

John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized

Notice that water was plentiful — a necessity for immersion, but not for sprinkling.

Acts 8:38-39

And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.  (39)  And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

Again,  immersion not sprinkling occurs —  indicated by Philip and the eunuch going down into the water then coming up out of the water.

Infant baptism is not practiced in Scripture and is meaningless.  Baptism is for those who understand and believe the Gospel and have the capacity to repent of their sins, die to serving sin and live to serving God.  It is a decision people have to make for themselves — it is meaningless for a parent or someone else to baptise an infant who has no idea about what is happening.  Consider the following Scriptures:

Matthew 28:19-20

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,  (20)  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

An infant cannot observe the commandments of Christ.  This message was/is for those old enough to understand.

Mark 16:16

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

An infant cannot believe the Gospel because they cannot understand the Gospel.

Acts 2:41-42

So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.  (42)  And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

An infant cannot receive the Gospel nor can they devote themselves to the teaching etc.

Acts 8:12

But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Once again, belief is stressed.  Notice it is men and women spoken of — not infants.






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