by Ajay Abraham Kuriakose
We all are aware of the sacrament of infant baptism and even more of the controversy some people try to create from infant baptism. They tend to go against the scriptural reference of belief in one baptism.
The process of baptism even though least understood by many is not very controversial. It is the question of the effects of infant baptism. I shall try to address this issue in a Biblical perspective. Let us see what the Bible teaches.
In the Old Testament we see the ritual of circumcision commanded to father Abraham. What was he told? Genesis chapter 17 verse 12
“He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations"
In the New Testament we clearly see St. Paul teaching that circumcision in the Old Testament is shadow of baptism in Christ
Now you and I know the intelligence of a new born child eight days old. When Isaac was eight days old do you think he was circumcised as part of Gods chosen people understanding and fully contemplating the faith of his father (a man who for his faith in God never kept back his son)
Dear friend do you think Isaac fully confessed the level of faith of his father Abraham (to whom the promise was made) when his father circumcised him?
So how this was made possible? The mystery is explained in the New Testament in. 1 Corinthians Chapter 7 verse 14 "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy."
But now they are holy: Abraham sanctified by his faith both his wife Sarah and his son was holy. What St. Paul declares holy in the Holy Spirit who dare say is unholy? Ask those ravenous wolves who approach you to force a second baptism What God has declared holy in verse 14 chapter 7 how dare he declare to be unholy or unworthy so as to receive a second baptism?
So what does these new age teachers mean when they say a child cannot be accepted by God and the Holy Spirit does not or cannot dwell in him?
They simply propound false doctrines that are not in line with the Word of God (considering that they accept both old and new testaments as the Word of God ,every single word uttered with a purpose).
Infants dedicated to God
We already have seen how God the Father commanded Abraham regarding the dedication of infants to Him. One who was not dedicated by means of circumcision the eight day was doomed to be cut of from God refer Genesis chapter 17.
Now let us see about infants and the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit with Infants: We clearly see in the Bible that the Holy Spirit works miracles not only in infants but also in babies still in their mother’s womb. Jeremiah Chapter1 verse 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you ; Before you were born I sanctified you;"
I attribute this with the Holy Spirit because sanctification is completed in the Holy Spirit.
Yet another case where the Holy Spirit blessed an infant is John the Baptist. We must carefully observe this scripture. We must observe how the Holy Spirit blessed John the Baptist. We clearly see in Luke Ch 1 verse 41 "And it happened when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit."
Mary was carrying the Word of God (Jesus Christ). When she uttered the greeting Gods chosen child John the Baptist heard the greeting not using his own ears directly but through the ears of his mother. At that very moment John leaped in his mothers womb the child was filled with the Holy Spirit.
When a mediator holds his or her child and utters the faith for the infant being baptized the child is benefited in the same way that the word of God moved through the ears of Elizabeth and John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit
Also from the same part we observe that the greeting of St. Mary was not left void note that as the babe leaped Elizabeth too was filled with the Holy Spirit “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" This was the response of mother and her infant within her womb to the greeting of Mary I hope you get the idea that the mediator is not an obstacle in any infant receiving the Holy Spirit from this scripture. If John spoke through his mother why cant the infants who are already holy by their parents (1 Corinthians Chapter 7 verse 14).
Jesus Christ blesses infants: Now finally let us come to the second person in the trinity Jesus Christ. While he lived on the Earth what was his say about infants. We go to the Gospel according to LukeCh18 verse 15. "Then they also bought infants to Him that He might touch them;"
Now I suppose all of you are clearly aware of an infant’s ability to confess faith. I am sure we agree that infants most of the time are baffled and always wondering what is going on actually?
Yet again when mediators bought infants to Christ they had a faith that if the word of God touched these infants they would be blessed …
Lets see what Jesus did. Mark Ch10 verse16 "And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them , and blessed them."
And blessed them: What do you think is the age of an infant who is taken up in His parent’s arms?What do you think is the understanding of an infant who is taken up in His parent’s arms?
Yet seeing the faith of those bought these infants before Him our Lord laid hands on the infants and blessed them. We have seen that the Holy Spirit does sanctify many in their childhood, many even while they are in their mother’s womb.
Now tell me something. Don’t you think it is possible for the Holy Spirit to sanctify one whom Jesus has accepted into His arms and blessed...?Or do you think that new conditions have to be met???
1. God Father asked Abraham to dedicate 8 days old infants to Him by ritual of circumcision which is the shadow of NT baptism.
2. We saw how the Holy Spirit blessed and sanctified and gave power to infants through the examples of Samson, Jeremiah and John the Baptist
3. We see Jesus Christ our savior taking infants into his hands, bought to Him by adults in faith, laying His hands on the infants and blessing them. He didn’t require the faith of the infants. Instead he saw the faith of the parents who bought the infants to Him and Blessed them.
Now to those who propagate that infant baptism is void, because the child does not speak for himself …I ask you, what the Holy trinity has accepted as good and blessed how dare you try and say that the blessing and gift of Holy Spirit is of no effect to the child? Indeed those who go on to say that the Holy Spirit cannot sanctify an infant blaspheme and sin against the Holy Spirit which again is recorded as grave sin.
Regarding the Holy Oil (Muroon)
Exodus Chapter30 verse 31 Saying ‘This be a holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations”. Ever wondered why the holy oil is made in a strange composition and has perfume like smell? Exodus ch 30 verse 25 “And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil". Also in verse 32 “nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition .it is holy, and it shall be holy to you.” This is why we respect the Holy muroon and also why a child filled with Holy Spirit after his baptism is anointed with the Holy Muroon.
Church tradition can be backed up by numerous references. But due to space limits for now I wish to use mainly a few from the Book of Psalms. In the light of the above I trust you will understand the context and meaning in all verses.
On Infant Baptism:
Verse 2: Out of the mouth of babe and infants You have ordained strength, Because of your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger
Anointing with oil
Psalm 23 V5: You anoint my head with oil;
Psalm 141 V5: Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him reprove me; It shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it. [righteous here is a symbolic use to representatives of righteous God (clergy or saints who anoint infant during his baptism)
This is clear in Psalm143 V2: For in your sight no one living is righteous
Through the blood of Jesus we have become the new Israel, descendants of Abraham and King David. On the strength of those anointed with holy oil
Psalms 89 V20: I have found My servant David; With my holy oil I have anointed him,
V21: With whom my hand shall be established; Also My arm shall strengthen him.
V22: The enemy shall not outwit him, Nor the sons of wickedness afflict him.
V23: I will beat down his foes before his face, And plague those who hate him.
But there’s a condition
psalm 132 V12: If your sons will keep my covenant. And My testimony which I shall teach them, Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore.
This is inline with the New Testament
Colossians Ch.1 V23: If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard...
Psalm 89 V30: “if his sons forsake My law And do not walk in My judgments,
V31: If they break my statutes And do not keep My commandments,
V32: Then I will visit their transgression with the rod ,And their iniquity with stripes.Nevertheless there is still hope for the anointed ones of God.
V33: Nevertheless My loving kindness I will not utterly take from him,Nor allow My faithfulness to fail.
Psalm132 V10: For your Servant Davids sake,Do not turn away the face of your Anointed.
A Final Word
The parents of infants in mark ch10 v16 came to Jesus to get a blessing for their children because they trusted in Jesus.
Were the children forsaken because they were infants? Were the children forsaken because they were bought to him by mediators?