We all start out life looking something like the picture above. Some would have us believe that the infant above needs to be baptized because mankind is born into a sinful state and needs to start out life cleansed of those sins which they have never committed in the first place. The scriptures teach that a child is born free from sin and does not require baptism until they have reached an accountable age and can understand what sin is and see their need to be forgiven of them.
The examples of baptism (and thus, obeying the gospel) in the bible all involve adults who see a need to be saved from their sins and are told to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38). How can a newborn child ever meet these requirements. A newborn child cannot repent of his sins, obey Jesus in baptism ,nor submit His life to Christ and so is not a candidate for true scriptural baptism.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:2-4: “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”
If we are to be converted and become as little children, how could those children be seen as being in a lost state. If children, who cannot understand the need for salvation fully as an adult can, are in need of baptism why do the scriptures not include one example of a child obeying the gospel. Rather, we are to become like that little child to enter the kingdom of heaven (the church).
A child has many characteristics a child of God must cultivate in themselves. A child is trusting and dependent on his parents as we are to be on God. A child naturally cares for others and does not have the emotional baggage that might make him distrustful of others. And I submit that a child is in a saved state already, since he cannot willingly submit to Christ and be saved of sins, until he becomes an adult that can understand what he needs to do. To submit a child to baptism is not necessary, because the child is in a saved state already and should he die at that moment, will go to paradise like all who are saved.
Remember, we are to become like little children and not pretend that the child is like an adult already and thus in need of salvation. No one can obey the gospel for someone else and neither can a parent baptize their child without the child’s consent and desire to be saved. This belief in infant baptism negates the purpose of the gospel completely.
If one does not willingly and willfully submit to God, He wants no part of it. A child who has not reached the age of accountability (when he is aware of sin and is convicted of the sin in his own life and the need to be forgiven of them), cannot obey the gospel, so baptism under these conditions does not accomplish anything since it does not meet the requirements of salvation. See “Plan of Salvation” above and under categories.
May God bless and keep you until next time.