Grace Protestant Reformed Church

The Baptism of the Children of Believers

Date: AM
Text: Romans 9; Lord's Day 27
Psalters: 177, 89, 234, 396
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2016-18)
  1. The Biblical basis.
    1. God promises to be the God of His people and of their elect children (Gen. 17:7 and Acts 2:39).
    2. God’s promise of redemption and forgiveness is directed to elect children as well as to elect adults (Luke 18:15,16).
    3. Third, God promises the Holy Spirit, the author of faith, also to the elect children of believers (Acts 2:38,39).
    4. Infants can partake of God's grace without conscious knowledge (cf. Ps. 139:13; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:15).
    5. The children of a believing parent are called “holy” (I Cor. 7:14) or “sanctified in Christ.”
  2. The biblical practice.
    1. Jesus commanded that when the elect were converted, then they were to be baptized (Matt. 28:19; Mk. 16:16).
    2. When the apostles obeyed, they baptized new believers and their households: Acts 16:15,31,32; I Cor. 1:16.
    3. The apostles included households because they saw that God saved in the New as He did in the Old.
  3. There is a Biblical answer to the difficulty that not all those baptized (adults and children) are saved.
    1. This does not deter us from baptizing the infants of believers because God commands us to do so.
    2. Serious errors have arisen in the attempt to deal with this difficulty.
    3. The Bible answers this problem by pointing to the Israelites who did not believe (Romans 9:1-8).
    4. Why is it that God's promise is only for some of Abraham's children (the elect among them) and not all of them?
  4. The biblical responsibility: keep bringing your children to Jesus (Mark 10:13)!!
    1. In obedience to God's commands we baptize and teach them the truth along with the command of God to obey (Gen. 18:19).
    2. We teach our children to consider themselves saved only in the way of their repenting and believing.
    3. We constantly praise God for His gracious goodness, and constantly pray that He will not cut us off in our generations.