“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen,” Matthew 28:19-20.
The NKJV translates the beginning of verse 19 as “make disciples of all nations.” The first command is to make disciples among the nations without prejudice or bias. The criterion for discipleship would be belief in the subject the teacher presents: in this case the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then disciples (and only disciples) are baptized in the triune name of God. Furthermore continued discipleship is the goal of a believer’s life to gain maturity, understanding and to grow in the faith. An infant cannot accept doctrine since they cannot understand doctrine. Therefore the injunction to disciple someone before baptizing them would have to be ignored to justify infant baptism. Matthew’s account finds no grounds for infant baptism.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned,” Mark 16:15-16.
Here we have a statement by our Lord that is fairly straight forward. There is a positive and negative connotation to this passage. The positive is that he who believes (an act of both comprehension and will) and is baptized shall be saved. The negative is that those who do not believe will be condemned. The contingency then hangs on belief rather than baptism in this passage. Unbelievers will be damned; believers will be saved. An infant can be neither, since they are far too young to comprehend the gospel that saves, much less make a conscious choice regarding its moral implications. There are no grounds in this passage to justify the practice of infant baptism.
Here we have the first mention in the book of Acts of public baptism after Peter’s great Christian sermon about Christ as the risen Lord and Messiah of Israel. Three thousand men and women responded to the message and were baptized; only after gladly receiving the word Peter preached. Again, this predicates a cognitive response infant children could not perform. There are no grounds to teach infant baptism here.
In this passage Philip preached Christ to the Samaritan cities and many believed his message and were converted to Christianity. Philip had been evangelizing the lost and many heard his word, believed the gospel, and were saved. The result of their salvation was instant obedience; they followed Jesus’ first command to the infant church about being baptized in the triune name of God as a profession of their newly established faith, Matthew 28:19. The fact that Luke recorded that men and women believed and were baptized precludes any hope of assuming infants were among them. The idea is clear: the crowds heard Philip’s message, and those who believed came forward to be baptized.
Again we find Philip following the Holy Spirit’s leadership; this time he pursues and evangelizes a eunuch on his way back from worshiping at Jerusalem. Philip finds the opportunity to preach Christ to the man who responds to the message, and after a confession of faith decides to be baptized as a profession of the faith he just espoused. Philip’s caution to the eunuch was simply this: if you believe with all your heart you may be baptized. Once more we find an impossibility in Scripture to justify infant baptism. Infants cannot believe anything with all their hearts.
Here we find Saul, soon to be known more famously as Paul, stripped of his sight, praying and fasting. Ananias went to minister to Paul, and prefaced his greeting with the title “brother,” gently demonstrating to the stricken Pharisee that he had been saved by the same faith Ananias professed. He was to return Paul’s sight and then Paul would be filled with the Holy Spirit; mind you he was not receiving the Holy Spirit but being filled with Him. We receive the Holy Spirit upon believing the gospel; we are filled with the Holy Spirit when God equips us with the ability to perform His will on this earth. Paul named Christ Lord on the Damascus road, an act indicating saving faith, 1st Corinthians 12:3.
In other words, God was readying Paul to go out straightway and testify of Jesus Christ, and he would need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to possess an effective witness. With his sight restored and purpose give him, Paul immediately obeyed the first injunction of our Lord: he was baptized in water. Baptism is a public profession of one’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. It is a visible demonstration of inclusion into God’s heavenly family, the church universal. Paul was saved and then baptized as a demonstration to Jew and Christian that his faith was now in the sufficient and perfect death, burial and resurrection of his newly acquired Lord: Jesus Christ.
While this tradition is firmly established within professing sects of Christendom it has no roots whatever in the Bible; a sad example of men simply embracing the doctrines and traditions of men. We must rightly divide the word of God to discern what is truth from what is error, while holding fast to the former we must thoroughly reject the latter, 1st Thessalonians 5:21-22. Otherwise we ride the shifting sands of human opinion which holds no authority in the light of Scripture. Infant baptism is folly to practice, as it gives a false assurance to the ones performing it on their child’s behalf. It is deceptive. I only pray that more of God’s children realize this and reject the false teaching that we call infant baptism.