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Heaven or hell.

Dedesmond's picture

If a baby (child) died immediately after birth. Where will the child go?

Mark Anthony's picture

The Official Lutheran (LCMS) stance on Infant Baptism

Q. How does faith play a role in infant baptism? Is faith later taken care of when the child is confirmed?

A. Lutherans believe that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by God's grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ. Baptism, we believe, is one of the miraculous means of grace (together with God's written and spoken Word) through which God creates the gift of faith in a person's heart. Although we do not claim to understand how this happens or how it is possible, we believe (because of what the Bible says about baptism) that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant. This faith cannot yet, of course, be expressed or articulated, yet it is real and present all the same (see, e.g., 1 Pet 3:21; Acts 2:38-39; Titus 3:5-6; Matt. 18:6; Luke 1:15; 2 Tim.3:15; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:13).

Parents and sponsors of a baptized child bear the responsibility of teaching this child God's Word so that the child's faith may remain alive and grow (Matt. 28:18-20). Confirmation is a time-honored church tradition (not required by God's Word, but--we believe--useful nonetheless) in which the child baptized as an infant is given the opportunity to confess for himself or herself the faith that he or she was unable to confess as an infant. Faith is not "created" at confirmation, but rather confessed for all to hear, so that the church can join and rejoice in this public confession, which has its roots in the faith which God Himself created in baptism.

I can only add to this that, as I have seen a few infant/child baptisms, that 'faith' as a community is very much front and center as a local church. In such a way:

1. We are all reminded of our own baptism and our helpless estate before hearing God's word.

2. The church takes a shared responsibility to live in such a way as to proclaim the risen Lord to the next generation.

3. As sponsors, we take on the specific concern for the child, so that they are never without an avenue of grace.

Grace to you all.

Micah 6:8