THE WORD IS
Acts. 16:33 "And was baptized, he and all his, straightway."
Jesus gave the command to baptize: "...make disciples of all the nations baptizing them..." (Matt. 28:19). This Great Commission answers the question, who is to be baptized. Those who reject Infant Baptism refer to the passage: "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved." This passage does not answer the question, who is to be baptized, but rather who will be saved. In His Baptismal command Jesus does not mention the age of those who are to be baptized. For this reason it is not right to deny Baptism to children. Those who deny Baptism to infants make a decisive mistake, when in addition to the general Baptismal command, they seek special commands for Infant Baptism. Because there is a general command that applies to everyone, the rejectors of Infant Baptism should find a passage that forbids the baptizing of infants. The Bible, however, nowhere forbids Infant Baptism. Those who forbid it act like a steward of an estate, who gets a command from the owner to seed all the land. But because the owner did not specifically tell the steward to seed some small fertile strips of the land, he did not seed them.
The Apostle Paul compares Baptism to circumcision, which rite was performed on male children at the age of eight days (Col. 2:11,12). The Apostle Peter says: "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children..." (Acts 2:38,39). The Bible speaks of whole families that were baptized but does not say that the children were left unbaptized. All of this speaks clearly in behalf of Infant Baptism.
Those who reject Infant Baptism demand rebirth, but reject the means through which children too can be reborn. "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" (John 3:5). "In Baptism... you were also raised up with Him through faith, in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead" (Col. 2:12). The rejectors of Infant Baptism say that children are only to be blessed. But they reject the means through which Christ now blesses, namely Baptism. "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ" (Gal. 3:27). In Baptism children receive Jesus as their very own clothing and are acceptable for heaven.
Those who deny Baptism to infants base Baptism on faith rather than on the Baptismal command. They claim that an infant cannot believe. Jesus says: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me..." (Matt. 18:6). According to Jesus even nursing babes (Matt. 21:16) are better believers than adults and are examples for them. As long as believers are to be baptized, then children should be baptized first of all! For the Holy Spirit works through Baptism and grants faith to the child who is baptized. It is true that Baptism without faith will not save, but this does not mean that Baptism is based on faith. Faith rather is based on Baptism, a means of grace.
Why then do not those who reject Infant Baptism believe the Bible in this instance? There is undoubtedly a deep?seated reason for this. They, you see, maintain that a person is not spiritually dead in sins, but that he can co?operate in his conversion and rebirth. In this way they place their own works on a par with God's grace and make Baptism a work that a person does for God. To Lutherans Baptism is a work of God in which God grants us forgiveness of sins and regenerates. Baptism gives us this also as adults from day to day when we believe, for God's Covenant always endures.
First we must be convinced that we are lost sinners, then the grace we received as infants when we were baptized will be acceptable to us.