Since infants were circumcised in the OT, doesn’t that justify infant baptism?

Some quote Paul’s verse in Colossians 2:11-12 to mean that baptism in the NT is like circumcision in the OT. And they add that since infants were circumcised in the OT, we should have infant baptism in the NT. But this is not what Paul is saying. Paul used the word circumcision to illustrate how a person “cuts off ” sin at baptism. He said, they were “circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh” (2:11).

The circumcision from sin was a spiritual act. Moses made a similar reference when he said, “Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer”(Deuteronomy 10:16, emp. Added). The comparison between circumcision and baptism had nothing to do with the age of the ones who were baptized.

The Bible teaches that no one should be baptized unless he:

(1) Learns the truth of God “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them … Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19, 20).

(2) Believes it “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

(3) Has repented “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

(4) Has experienced conversion “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:4-6).

It is clear that infants that are baptized have no knowledge of God, repentance, or sin. Therefore, infants don’t qualify for baptism. In fact, to do so, completely disregards God’s direct commands regarding baptism.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

 

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