Who Were Baptized? – C.R. Nichol

C.R. Nichol

I had a debate with a Methodist minister, in which he made the affirmation: “Infant baptism is authorized by the Scriptures.” There are others who sprinkle water on unconscious infants, and make the claim that such is baptism, and authorized by the Lord.

The Great Commission

So far as I know, all who profess to believe the Bible, make the claim that when they baptize they find the authority for such action in the Great Commission, which reads as follows: Jesus said: “All authority hath been given unto me, Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:18-19). “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).

The foregoing quotations are from the American Standard Version. The King James Version reads: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:18-19). “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16).

Can any one who has not been blinded by false doctrine, regardless of which version he may prefer, get the idea that there is authority to baptize infants. Make “disciples,” baptizing them—the “disciples.” Unconscious infants are not disciples; or if you prefer: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” The unconscious infant is not a believer. The unconscious infant is not lost, that it needs to be saved.

In my library I have a book in which the author thus commented on the Great Commission. “The command was to preach to all nations, baptizing them. In nations there are infants, hence they are included in the command, and are subjects of baptism.” The author of the book was not thinking clearly. In “nations” there are drunkards, gamblers, and occasionally an infidel. Are such people subjects of baptism? No one thinks so, nor does anyone so teach! The correct statement is baptize disciples, or believers.

Those in New Testament times, laboring under the Great Commission did not baptize a single infant, not one. The beginning of the execution of the Great Commission was on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus. When the people heard the preaching on that occasion and “inquired what we must do,” the answer was given: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). There was not an infant in that number, as is declared by the statement: “They that gladly received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41). There was not an infant in that number!

In the eighth chapter of Acts in the record of the baptism of the converts at Samaria, also of the treasurer of Queen Candace, it is said: “When they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized” (Acts 8:5-13). Who were baptized? “men and women” and the “man” Simon. No infants in the number baptized. In Acts tenth chapter is the record of Cornelius and his company being commanded to be baptized. No infants in that number—unconscious infants are not commanded to do anything! In Acts sixteenth chapter is the record of the conversion of Lydia and her household. (Vs. 15.) She invited Paul and Silas to visit in her house, they did, and “When they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed” (Acts 16:40). Is there a man any place that thinks there were unconscious infants in the number “comforted” by the apostle Paul—an old bachelor? In the same chapter is the account of the conversion of the jailor, “who when he had been baptized he brought the preachers into his house, and sat meat before them and rejoiced, greatly, with all his house, having believed in God” (Acts 16:32-34). In the eighteenth chapter is the conversion of the people of Corinth. It is said: “And Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed and were baptized” (Acts 18:5-8). No infants in that number; nor can you find any place in the Bible where infants were baptized. Such was not done by the apostles!

Infant baptism was invented in an effort to save the infant whom they taught was lost because it inherited the Adamic sin. To further their false doctrines and teachings it was affirmed that the infants sins were washed away by baptism in water.

Mr. John Wesley, the father of Methodism, says: “If infants are guilty of original sin, then they are proper subjects of baptism, seeing, in the ordinary way, they cannot be saved, unless this be washed away in baptism” (Wesley’s Works, Miscellaneous, Vol. 2, p. 16). For a fuller discussion on infant baptism read Nichol—Ballard Debate.

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