Should Children Be Baptized?

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Should Children Be Baptized?

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In Colossians 2:11-12, the apostle Paul compared repentance with circumcision. "In him [Christ] you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism" (NIV). Paul also said, in Romans 2:29, that circumcision is "of the heart."

Physical circumcision—the surgical removal of the male foreskin, or prepuce, which God commanded be done in infancy (Genesis 17:12)—demonstrated for Abraham's descendants that they were in a covenant with God. Circumcision of the heart serves a similar purpose. When we change our way of thinking and behavior, we demonstrate our submission to God under the terms of a new covenant with Him.

Even though Paul likened baptism to the practice of physical circumcision, he did not mean that children should be baptized. Jesus did bless little children, but this was quite different from baptism (Mark 10:13-16). Unlike physical circumcision, baptism must wait until we are mature enough to understand repentance and the magnitude of committing one's life to following God. The seriousness of baptism clearly makes it a decision for those who are mature.