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At what age should one be baptised?

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  • At what age should one be baptised?

    I was looking for some clarification on this subject. It is my understanding that children do not need to be baptised at an early age, and that as adults we need to be. So we can be born again and forgive our sins.

  • #2
    Well, since every example that I can recall from the NT has baptism as adults or IMO mature enough to understand what sin is and what the meaning of repentance is. Cornelius, his family and friends received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit prior to their water baptism but this just shows us that its is the saving Grace of Jesus and belief in Jesus that saves us, not the baptism. It's the Gospel that saves us:

    Romans 10:13-17

    13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."[a]
    14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"[b]
    16But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?"[c] 17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

    Another great example for me was the story of the jailer in Acts 16. In these scriptures we see that Paul and his friend are taken from the jail to this jailers home and the two preach to the family and then they are all baptized after hearing the Word of God. I look at this in black and white and even though the scripture says "family" some may assume infants were involved... I don't assume but take it word for word.

    Acts 16:29-34

    29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
    31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

    In your question you state about being baptized to be born again, it's the other way around. You are born again once you "understand" what faith is, how God's Grace saves you, and you have given yourself to God in your belief of Jesus Christ as your savior...and then in your act of obedience to this... you get baptized.

    An infant can't do any of this. At what age can the Gospel be comprehended by a child... I don't know.
    Slug1--out

    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~

    Comment


    • #3
      Infant baptism
      Groups that practice baptism of infants baptize not only infants but also adults who have come to faith in Christ. One of the arguments proposed in favor of baptizing infants is that entire households were baptized in New Testament times (Acts 16:15, 33). Certainly such households or families must have included children. Consequently, groups who hold this position believe this practice should be extended to the present day.
      A second argument cited is Jesus’ treatment of children. Jesus commanded the disciples to bring the children to Him. When they did so, He blessed them (Mark 10:13–16). Because of this example from Jesus, it would seem inconsistent to deny baptism to children today.
      A third argument put forth by covenant theologians is that children were participants in the Old Testament covenant: “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you” (Gen. 17:7).


      Believer’s baptism
      Those who hold to this view believe that baptism should be restricted to those who actually exercise faith. This approach excludes infants, who could not possibly have such faith. The proper candidates for baptism are those who already have experienced the new birth on the basis of their personal faith and who give evidence of this salvation in their lives.
      Both positive and negative arguments are advanced in support of this view. The positive approach argues from evidence in the New Testament. In every instance of New Testament baptism in which the specific identity of the persons was known, the persons being baptized were adults. Further, the condition required for baptism was personal, conscious faith. Without this, adherents of believer’s baptism point out, baptism was not administered. This is especially evident in the Book of Acts (2:37–41; 8:12; 10:47; 18:8; 19:4–5), as well as Matthew 3:2–6 and 28:19. In the New Testament, church repentance and faith came first, followed by baptism.

      my God; in Him I will trust (Psa 91:2).

      If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, NOW is the time.

      Persevere, pray and be ready for the Return of Christ.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think these scriptures indicate that the baptism of the Holy Spirit can take place at an early age.

        Matthew 19:13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

        Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

        Matthew 19:15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.


        Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

        Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

        Michael

        Comment


        • #5
          A few churches I have attended, and Christians families I know, hold to infant dedication, and believer baptism, which I agree with.

          The infant dedication is not a baptism, but simply the parents bringing their newborn before God to thank Him for the new life, and to pray that He makes Himself known to the newborn when they grow older. Support for this type of idea was drawn from Jesus' own infancy story in the gospels, how He was dedicated to God in the temple.

          Baptism, as others have Scripturally pointed out, should be for a person who is mature enough to know of their own sins and their need of repentence to God. John the Baptist is never depicted baptizing infants, only adults who came to him. In Acts, we do see whole families baptized on occasion, but we don't know how old the sons and daughters of the family are, and in context, the baptisms were only performed when people had intentionally come to believe in Christ, not when they were unaware of their sins as an infant would be.
          To This Day

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 1god4me View Post
            I was looking for some clarification on this subject. It is my understanding that children do not need to be baptised at an early age, and that as adults we need to be. So we can be born again and forgive our sins.
            I would refer you to the example of the first believers who publically were baptized “into Christ” – ie - baptized into the Lord’s church on the first day of Pentecost after our Lord’s resurrection. Those 3000 souls were “of age” – ie – they had the mental maturity to hear and understand the “gospel of Christ” which included the command to repent and be baptized in water “for the remission of sins…”
            Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:37-38 (KJV)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by SoldierOfChrist View Post
              I think these scriptures indicate that the baptism of the Holy Spirit can take place at an early age.

              Matthew 19:13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

              Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

              Matthew 19:15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.


              Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.



              Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

              Michael
              SoldierOfChrist greetings

              Have you noticed the qualification that Jesus put into this verse.

              Mark 9:42 "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."

              Evidently the little ones were old enough to believe in Jesus.

              terrell

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you

                Thank you everyone for your responses. It is helping me understand.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tgallison View Post
                  SoldierOfChrist greetings

                  Have you noticed the qualification that Jesus put into this verse.

                  Mark 9:42 "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."

                  Evidently the little ones were old enough to believe in Jesus.

                  terrell
                  Yes... good point and the context was this:

                  Mark 9:36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,

                  Mark 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

                  I don't see any age restriction here either:

                  1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

                  1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

                  Michael

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Baptized at what age? I go by Eph.5:31,32 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

                    I see baptism as our wedding ceremony to Christ, full commitment. So my criteria for what age, do you believe the person is mature enough to get married then they are mature enough to get baptized. Maturity comes at different ages and the parents are the ones who really know the answer.

                    Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins, Ac..2:38; a person getting baptized needs to be able to confess their sins, most 12 year olds may know the steps to salvation but have no concept of sin in their personal lives. The old man dies, a new creature arises, what will change in the life of a 12 yr. old?

                    No age can be set, it's a matter of maturity and kids mature at differing ages so it really is up to the parent and the parent should be the one doing the baptism, not the minister or elder or Sunday school teacher, but the parent.

                    RJ Mac

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was reading last night from Colossians, and I read 2:11-12, which just plain spoke out loud to me on just this issue.

                      12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

                      We were buried with Christ in Baptism (pay attention now) and raised from the dead with him THROUGH FAITH.

                      It is our faith that saves; it is through this baptism that we express our circumcision of the hearts, that we declare "I was buried with Christ and raised up with him."

                      I say any time any person wants to be buried with Christ and raised with Him, let them be baptized. I can't see doing this for a child; that's just absurd. That steals their chance to express their faith in Him in this most meaningful of ways, chosen by the Lord Jesus who set us an example by being baptized Himself by John the Baptist. When we go down in baptism we know we are following in His footsteps--literally.
                      One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father over us all.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 1god4me View Post
                        I was looking for some clarification on this subject. It is my understanding that children do not need to be baptised at an early age, and that as adults we need to be. So we can be born again and forgive our sins.
                        Baptism can be any age between birth and death - but only when we, personally, submit our lives to Jesus Christ, with full understanding of what His Sacrifice has done for us, and our responsibilities of discipleship.

                        We are not baptised so that we will be Born Again and our Sins will be Forgiven. We are Baptised to publicly acknowledge that we have submitted our lives to God through Jesus Christ, that we are Born Again our Sins are Forgiven and Jesus is our Lord and Saviour.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would agree that being baptized is not a born again experience but that it is our resurrection.
                          It represents the death burial and resurrection of our Lord. As we see in Ro.6:1ff.

                          As for getting our sins forgiven in baptism, the argument is not with men but
                          with scriptures I guess. But if you don't believe the scriptures are all authoritative
                          then whatever you want to do goes, but realize its not God's will.

                          Ac.2:38 - Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ
                          for the forgiveness of you sins...
                          Ac.22:16 ...Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name.

                          It is troubling when people will now deny what the scriptures say concerning
                          the reason for baptism. But then people would rather follow men's teachings
                          and not the Lord's.

                          Mt.7:21 Not everyone who says to Me Lord Lord, will enter the kingdom of
                          heaven but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.


                          RJ Mac

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There is an ancient text, dated to sometime between 80 - 160 AD by most scholars.

                            This text is called "The Didache" for short, but the full title is given as "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles." The relatively short text concerns itself with various Christians rituals (such as the communion wine and bread) and how they should be performed.

                            Whether or not this is actually what the twelve apostles taught in the time following Jesus' ascension to heaven is debatable, it does still give us an idea on how the earliest Christians performed these certain rituals.

                            Part of the text concerns baptism:

                            And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.
                            Note the final part, on fasting. If the earliest Christians believed that a person should fast for "one or two days" before their actual baptism, it would be ludicrous to assume that they would make newborns fast for two whole days before their baptisms. The earliest Christians thought that for a person to be baptized they would need to be able to fast first, which would be any age other than infancy. In my opinion, it's quite obvious that the earliest Christians did not perform infancy baptisms.
                            To This Day

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                            • #15
                              Remember, been baptized, at whatever age, will not get you into Heaven, only faith in Jesus will. Batizing is a sign of faith and also has spiritual meaning.

                              Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (Rom 10:9)

                              Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4)

                              in whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, (Col 2:11)

                              my God; in Him I will trust (Psa 91:2).

                              If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, NOW is the time.

                              Persevere, pray and be ready for the Return of Christ.

                              Comment

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