Monday, January 02, 2017

Baptism 1

               In the Lutheran Church, we practice infant baptism.  And, as many of you know, this is an issue that divides Christians of various denominations.  There are many faithful, Bible believing, Christians who disagree with this practice.  There’s also a large number of people who fill our own pews on a regular basis who don’t fully understand why we practice baptism as we do. 

               For this reason, I’m going to present a series of blog articles addressing baptism.  They are not intended to attack our fellow believers in other churches.  They are intended to explain our position on this issue and to help you gain a better understanding of it.

               This is too big of an issue to address in one post.  So, for this reason, post by post, I’ll present our understanding of this practice.  And, if they aren’t considered in total, you’ll come away with an incomplete understanding of our view.

               The first reason we baptize infants in the Lutheran Church is because baptism is commanded by Christ.  And, as he gives his command, there are no age limits or restrictions that are given.  He simply says to us, in 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

            Jesus tells us that we are to make disciples of all nations.  And we’re to do this by baptizing them and teaching them.  Again, he doesn’t tell us to wait until a certain age or to reserve it for those who’ve reached a certain stage in life.

               In fact, as we look at the New Testament, we see entire households being baptized.  And it’s hard to imagine that there were no children, whatsoever, in these households.  We see examples of this in Acts 16:15 & 33, and in 1 Corinthians 1:16.

            So we baptize our infants in obedience to the command of Christ.  We make disciples of our children by baptizing and teaching them.  And we find no cause to withhold this blessing from them.

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