Why the OPC Baptizes Infants

Andrew Moody

The Committee on Christian Education has recently published the helpful booklet "Why Does the OPC Baptize Infants?" authored by the Rev. Larry Wilson. Pastor Wilson begins by saying, "It might surprise you to learn that even though we're presbyterians, we're also baptists. In other words, we do baptize. Our disagreement with our baptistic brethren isn't over whether we should baptize; it's over whom we should baptize. Why do we baptize the children of believers?"

He works through the answer to this question by following a five-step explanation:

  1. The church of the Old Testament and the church of the New Testament are, in essence, the same church.
  2. God regards the children of believers as members of this church.
  3. In the Old Testament era, the children of believers, because they were church members, were given the covenant sign of circumcision.
  4. In the New Testament era, God has taken the sign of circumcision and changed it to baptism.
  5. Therefore, in the New Testament era, the children of believers, because they are church members, are to be given the sign of baptism.

In addressing each of these five points, Wilson takes great pains to examine the teachings of Scripture, providing a very helpful summary of the Reformed belief that the New Covenant sign of baptism is to be placed upon the children of believers.

He concludes by saying,

In light of the cumulative evidence of Scripture, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church is persuaded—as historic Christianity has been persuaded—that the answer to the question, "Is infant baptism biblical?" is a resounding "YES!" God reveals that he wants to extend his church both through space (by the conversion of pagans) and through time (by the covenant nurture of children, so that generation after generation grows up trusting and serving the Lord). God deals with individuals as well as with families. This means that conversion isn't automatic. And baptism isn't magic. Baptism doesn't guarantee salvation any more than circumcision did. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone.

Order your copy today for only $1 (or $0.75 for 10+ copies) by visiting the publications page.

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