Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. – John 3:5-6.
The widely spread Baptist sect—in fact, the entire Reformed Church, of which it is a branch—considers Baptism a mere outward ceremony, without regenerating power. And they say it is wrong to baptize little children, because, so they claim, little children cannot believe.
Are the children who are born within the Christian Church to be baptized in their infancy? Yes, indeed; for they are flesh born of flesh, having inherited sinful depravity from their parents. And very solemnly does the Lord Jesus assure us of the fact that no one can enter the kingdom of God except he be born of water and the Spirit, that is to say, regenerated. And whom does Jesus command us to baptize? All nations (Matthew 28:19).
And, surely, the little children, too, are included in “all nations.” And He emphasized it very particularly that the kingdom of God belongs to little children (Mark 10:14). Hence also Baptism, which regenerates them to the kingdom of God, belongs to little children. Were not the little children of God’s people in the Old Testament circumcised on the eighth day by divine command? And has not Baptism in the New Testament taken the place of circumcision (Colossians 2:11-12)? Also, little children can believe. The Holy Ghost, who in Baptism is poured out upon them, kindles faith within them, though we do not understand how He does it. Jesus says of little children that they believe in Him (Matthew 18:2-6).
Thus out of the mouth of babes and sucklings has the Lord ordained strength and perfected praise (Psalm 8:2; Matthew 21:16). There is also the exceptional case of how John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost already in his mother’s womb, and believed in his Savior (Luke 1:44). O Christian, be not deceived, but comfort yourself with the Baptism you have received—either in infancy or later in life.
PRAYER – Lord, help me, lest I be misled by false and fanciful doctrines. Grant me grace unto my dying hour to be comforted by my Baptism, whether received in infancy or as an adult, and through the grace obtained therein to obtain life everlasting. Amen.
An olive wild by nature
Thou graftedst me anew;
Death preyed upon my vitals,
And claimed me as his due:
But Christ’s atoning blood,
In death true comfort granting,
Drowned death with all his vaunting,
In His baptismal flood.
Hymn 252, 3. (ELHB)