Monday, January 09, 2017

Baptism 5

               As we continue our look at the Lutheran practice of baptism, we come to another interesting passage of Scripture.  In Colossians 2, starting in verse 11, we read: In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

            In this passage, Paul equates baptism with circumcision.  He tells us that, through baptism, we have received not a physical circumcision.  We’ve received, instead, a circumcision made without hands.  We’ve received a circumcision performed by God.  We’ve received a circumcision by which we’ve put off the body of flesh.

            Circumcision, you remember, was a practice given by God to his people in the Old Testament.  In this way, they were marked as the people of God.  In fact, if they were not circumcised, God said that they were to be cut off from their people.

            Here’s the interesting point: the boys, who were born to Israel, were circumcised when they were only 8 days old.  They received this mark, they were made part of God’s people, when they were infants.  And, again, Paul equates this practice with baptism.

            No, Paul doesn’t specifically tell us to baptize infants.  He doesn’t specifically say to do so when they’re eight days old.  But, if this was the practice given by God to Israel, and if baptism is equated with circumcision, it seems reasonable that baptism is also a blessing that can and should be bestowed upon infants.  It doesn’t seem that there is any reason to refuse them until they reach a certain age.

No comments: