I cannot remember the exact scripture but it was concerning the proper age and mental ability to fully understand the meaning of communion. I therefore would appreciate an absolute, Bible based answer regarding the proper age to be baptized. I am 78 yrs of age with grand & great grandchildren and I do not feel totally comfortable when talking about this subject with parents of young children or with the children themselves. I anxious look forward to a response. Thank you
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In my view, the bible clearly teaches that water baptism is our public declaration of faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour and the Lord of our life. Babies do not need to be baptized because they are already under the grace of God. Mark 16:16 says “ Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” It is God alone who decides when each human being is accountable for their sin and when they need to accept Jesus as their Saviour. Our job as parents and grandparents is to teach our children/grandchildren the good news about Jesus Christ and invite them to believe and be saved. We know children can understand good and evil, right and wrong from a very young age. They understand punishment for doing wrong and the acceptance that comes from “I’m sorry”. The apostle Paul confirmed these truths for his spiritual son Timothy, in 2 Timothy 3:14-17: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Priority 1 is to teach our children/grandchildren the way of salvation. Priority 2 is to pray that our children/grandchildren will have open minds and hearts to accept what Jesus has done for them.
I would say that sprinkling a baby (sometimes referred to as paedobaptism) is regarded by denominations that practice it as being a baptism. There is disagreement among Christians as to whether such an action constitutes a valid baptism in the New Testament sense of the word, or whether baptism by immersion (which would necessarily have to be done at a more mature age) is required, based on immersion being symbolic of burial, and resurrection, as noted by Paul in Colossians 2:12. (A discussion of this issue can be found on this site at the following web address: https://ebible.com/questions/3514-what-does-the-bible-say-about-infant-baptism) Congregations from multiple Protestant denominations with which I have been affiliated have practiced the baptism of infants in the form of sprinkling or pouring, but have then required a subsequent course of doctrinal instruction for children by the pastor beginning at the age of eleven or twelve, which led to them being "confirmed" at age thirteen or fourteen, at which time they gave public testimony of their faith, and were accepted into communicant membership in the congregation, which entitled them to receive the Lord's Supper, and also to vote on matters affecting the congregation.
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