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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

2009 08 19 - LCMS Proof Text - Commentary on Infant Baptism

Concerning the LCMS proof text:

I Peter 3:21 “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

- -The “corresponds to this,” speaks to the previous context concerning Noah’s blind trust in God’s word. That it was not just Noah saved, but his family as well, although they may or may not of understood their father, they none the less, obeyed and shared in Noah’s calling, on nothing more than the word of God’s judgment and promise to save, a word they received at the mouth of Noah.

Acts 18:8 “Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized”

- -Speaks of whole households being baptized.

Acts 2:38, 39 “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

- The promise is not limited, but encompassing! “It is for you, your children and those far off”, which does not just speak of distance in miles, but also distance in time, which extends the graceful promise to the next generations as yet unborn.

Titus 3:5,6 “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,”

- The action of Baptism is very much the work of God. It was first accomplished in Christ for our sake, and maintained or renewed daily by the Holy Spirit. When we celebrate any form of Baptism, it benefits the whole community of believers to remember the mercy of God and his regenerating us. It is the action of His pouring out this “washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” without any qualifying conditions (age). Since the Lord knows the heart of those he grants the Holy Spirit and grants mercy and the ability to be regenerated he is not limited by any aspect of time (age).
- There is yet a condition of repentance to those who agree with God on their condition as sinners.
- Since an infant, although born in sin and equally deserving death, yet finds mercy perfected. In that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Nowhere is this plainer than in infant baptism.
Matt 18:6 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

- Although used in not the best context, this verse never the less expresses the warning of how we treat children doctrinally. Since we all to an extent have “The keys to the Kingdom” and the authority to forgive and retain sin, to grant grace or to withhold grace and to show or restrain mercy. In the worst case, concerning Infant Baptism we will be judged on how we error’ in forgiveness, grace, hope, faith, love and mercy.
- True we certainly would be in error if we did not have a continuing concern to see a person grow in the grace of God by an authentic teaching of the Bible, after we had baptized them as a child.

Luke 1:14,15 “And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.”

- God knows people while yet in the womb. God is not limited by the context of time as we are. He knows the end from the beginning.
- As a side note, I think a child’s baptism brings gladness and joy to a local church; it remains one of the events that kind of recognizes the child as apart of the community of believers in that lo-cal. A coming out of sorts. Also recognition to the parents, of their obedience in raising up a child in the Lord.

Well there are yet a few more verses to go, but I am running out of time. I hope this expresses some of the spirit behind why I feel as I do about this topic. I’ve used the verses in the (LCMS Statement) and I am without any of the church councils to back up my thoughts on this.

I am a Nicene Christian as I suppose you are as well. I keep a very simple and honorable faith and trust the Lord concerning the baptism of any other individual, no matter what their age. The Lord knows, and I am comfortable in His keeping of these matters.

It sure makes for interesting conversation though, I’ve had fun!

Grace my friend.

Micah 6:8