OceanSide church of Christ

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Mark 10:14, Infant Baptism

Victor M. Eskew


            There are numerous religious groups that baptize infants.  Some believe that babies are born with “original sin.”  Others teach that infants come into this world “totally depraved.”  Some seem to believe that baptizing babies involves following the example of Christ.  In Mark 10:13, there were parents who brought their children to Jesus.  Jesus’ disciples “rebuked those that brought them.”  “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not:  for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mark 10:14). 

            Those who use Mark 10:14 as a proof-text for infant baptism focus upon the words:  “Suffer little children to come unto me.”  They contend that Jesus wants little children to have a relationship with Him.  Baptism is the way one puts on Christ according to Galatians 3:27.  Thus, when infants are baptized, it is thought that they have been brought to Christ.  Those who use Mark 10:14 in this way need to give heed to the last part of Jesus’ statement:  “… for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”  Children do not need to be brought to Christ.  They already sustain a relationship with Him.  The purity of their hearts and lives is an example of what the hearts and lives of those in the kingdom should be.

            Baptism is a very important action connected to salvation.  When one is baptized, he receives the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).  When one is baptized, his sins are washed away (Acts 22:16).  Sin, however, is committed only when one transgresses the law of G0d (I John 3:4).  Infants cannot transgress a law they cannot read and comprehend.  Infants are safe in the arms of Jesus.  Their precious examples of faith, humility, submission, and love need to be followed by all that are subjects of the kingdom of heaven.  “And Jesus called a little child, and set him in the midst of them.  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:2-3).