Christ’s Great Commission and Infant Salvation

We need to look at Christ's Great Commission.   Just before He gave it, covenant children (paidas) had been praising Jesus.   He Himself had then insisted that God had perfected His praise — even out of the mouth of speech-less in-fants (nepia) and unweaned babies (thelazonta).   Indeed, He soon went on to assure especially the tiny children in Jerusalem that He loved them just as much as a mother hen loves her own little chickens.

Soon after that, Jesus obviously included such speech-less in-fants (and other children too) — among the God-praisers in "all the nations" to be baptized in terms of His Great Commission.   For, as Isaiah predicted of Him — "so shall He sprinkle many nations," and "He shall see His seed."   Hence, Jesus commanded His Ministers: "Disciple all the nations, baptizing them!"

Also as far as His infant seed is concerned, the implied teaching of Christ's Great Commission is very clearly: first, belief; and only then, baptism.   Hence, declared Jesus: "he who believes and is baptized, shall be saved; but he who does not believe, shall be damned!"   Of course, this means all believers (the tiny ones too), and all unbelievers (the tiny ones too).

Against the views of all Baptists, we must insist upon executing the full thrust of Christ's Great Commission.   For it not only permits but in fact requires that all apparent believers need to be baptized.   This means not just older children and adults who profess belief, but also even all of the many tiny believers not yet professing.

For the very "nations" (including their babies) are to be baptized.   Indeed, just before ordering baptism, Jesus commanded that the Gospel is first to be preached to "every" creature or human being — including all infants.

The false notion that the (believing but unprofessing) babies of believers should be left unbaptized — is an Anti-Protestant doctrine which denies the brand-mark of holy baptism to those who seem to be Christ's little lambs.   For the risen Christ commanded His servants to feed not just His sheep, but especially His little lambs — His arnia or probatia.

Advocates of the opposite and equally atrocious error would baptize unbelieving babies and unbelieving adults.   Such erring advocates cast the pearl of Christ's sacrament before those deemed or deemable to be swine (or at least little pigs).

As the great Anglican and Puritan scholar Rev. Dr. William Wall rightly insists in his massive History of Infant Baptism: "Suppose our Saviour had bid the apostles, 'Go and disciple all the nations' — but instead of 'baptize,' had said 'circumcise them!' An antipaidobaptist will grant that in that case, without any more words, the Apostles must have circumcised the infants of the nations as well as the grown men — though there had been no express mention of infants in the commission."

Very frankly, because baptism has now replaced circumcision, the Great Commission has irrefragable paidobaptist force.   Jesus has commanded His Church to subjugate

"the nations" as such (including their infants) to the Great Commission.   Yet from their antipaidobaptistic viewpoint, Baptists would never wish "the nations" as such to get baptized.   Consequently, their hypothesis is not only a sacramentological and an ethical but also an eschatological error.

"He that believeth and is baptized" — includes babies!   In the Great Commission according to Mark 16:16, we read: "He who believes and is baptized, shall be saved; but he who does not believe, shall be condemned."

Here, baptistic antipaidobaptists and inconsistent paidobaptists both allege — that "infants cannot believe."   In this, both are wrong.

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