Colossians 2:12 Having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God who raised Him from the dead.

We are new to the reformed faith (PCA) and have been learning a lot about baptism and why infant baptism is practiced. I came out of a ritualistic, liturgical church where many people believe that the baptismal rite itself has the power to insure entry into Eternal Life for recipients. I rebelled and took up the view that baptism should be reserved for those who make a profession of faith. After all, Jesus commissioned his followers to disciple all people groups. Following that imperative, He then mentioned two component parts of that process: a) baptism b) teaching. I interpret the Great Commission as an activity whereby we share the good news about what Christ has done. People repent and put their faith in Christ’s work on the cross and in God’s promises of present spiritual gifts and in future grace. They are baptized as a sign of that transformation and they continue to be taught.

But what about infant baptism? Where does that fit in ? Why baptize a baby if he hasn’t repented yet because he hasn’t HEARD that he’s under God’s wrath? Why baptize a baby if he has yet to learn the way to escape God’s wrath, thus fleeing to Jesus?

A clue came to me today as I was meditating on Colossians 2:12. I am enjoying the process of memorizing the Book of Colossians. It’ll probably take me 6 months, but every moment spent on it is worth it. Memorizing Scripture as opposed to reading Scripture is like walking instead of driving by a place. You see so much more because every word has to be chewed on and placed in one’s memory.

Maybe infants are ONLY buried with Christ in baptism. They are raised to life later when given faith (faith comes from hearing…) and that faith is actually exercised. Verse 12 says that we are raised from death when we believe that God actually raised his Son from the dead. At the point we understand and believe God we get LIFE. So baptizing a baby is a good thing. It’s like Part One. It doesn’t magically impart eternal life. But it does bring a baby into the family of God and bodes well for the baby. Hopefully he is discipled so that faith can take root and grow. A crucial component of the infant baptism process in the PCA church is that only believers’ children are offered baptism. So the sacramental ceremony is a reminder to the parents and the wider covenant family of the church that they are undertaking the responsibility to train up this child in the faith.