“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:4-7)
We are saved, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Tit 3:5) This also goes along with what is being said in John 3 quoted above.
We are then born again, new without sin!
Baptism is then something that actually affects us spiritually as well as physically making us like Christ, without sin. This is not the language of symbolism only, this is real and substantial. St. Augustine says of Baptism: "The word is brought to the material element, and it becomes a sacrament."
In the synopsis of the Mark passage in the Gospel of Luke we can see that the word children is rendered infants. So we can be open to the fact that both accounts are right and children of all ages were brought to him.
Therefor an unwilling exclusion from water baptism will not jeopardize salvation. If it be a willful rejection of Christ’s saving message and baptism, than therein lies a problem according to the Church and Scripture (as shown in this article). A baby of course cannot reject Christ and his saving message they would not be excluded and in fact are baptized by the desire of the Church and or the parents. This however must never be a reason to withhold baptism from an infant or anyone who is incapable of understanding.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)
By Joanne Utke
Previous posts by me :) Salvation Assurance a Commentary on Philippians 2:12
Baptism Saves You
The Necessity of Baptism
All verses used in this article:
1 Peter 1:23
1 Peter 3:20-21
1 Cor 15:21-22
1 Cor 6:11
1 Corinthians 15:21-22
1 Tim 3:15
1 Cor 1:16