Baptism Doctrine

Why we baptise babies

water 2This post is about covenant baptism, that is, the baptism of new believers and their children.

Secondary Issue

Let me start by saying that we consider ones view about baptism an open-handed or secondary doctrine. According to the Bible there are close-handed or primary doctrines that you must believe in order to be a Christian e.g. God is Trinity, salvation by faith alone, the bodily resurrection of Christ etc.  Secondary doctrines, however, do not affect our salvation and Christians may disagree e.g. view on form of church government, alcohol, and speaking in tongues etc. You might not agree with what I’m writing, however we can disagree as Christians.

Baptism Covenant Baptism

Infant baptism: a practise fully agreeable to the institution of Christ

On Sunday we had the privilege of baptizing the small baby of Christian parents at our church service.  I suppose many Baptists (who hold to only believers’ baptism) would cry “heresy!” or mumble a something about the influence of Roman Catholicism under their breath.  Why did we baptise that young child?


Baptism is the sign of the new covenant in Jesus, just as circumcision was the sign of the old covenant with Abraham (Romans 4:11).  All New Testament doctrine and practise have their beginnings in the Old Testament; baptism is no different.


Baptism Covenant Baptism

Covenant baptism: Why we baptise some babies and some adults

Who do we baptise some babies and some adults at our church?  Baptizing babies seems to be quite a controversial practise these days and often the baptizers are accused of flouting biblical principles for the sake of unbiblical tradition.

Convinced Baptists argue that we should only be baptising believing adults because there are, they maintain, only explicit biblical examples of believers’ baptism in the New Testament and because, they maintain, baptism is reserved only for those that have expressed faith in Jesus.

I would like to challenge both those assertions.

REACH SA  is certainly not opposed to baptising believers, and regards that practise as biblical and indeed mandatory.  Article 27 of our statement of faith (the 39 Articles of Religion) reads: