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What do Presbyterians Believe about infant baptism?

Infant baptism — it's all about grace

By Tom Walker

Reprinted from the March 2006 issue of Presbyterians Today

The overstuffed shoebox lay long forgotten in the back of a closet in my mother's apartment, I ran across it while looking for something else. When I opened the shoebox, out poured more than I ever could have imagined.

Inside were letters recording four years of correspondence (1958–62) between my parents and the North Carolina Children's Home Society, an adoption agency. The letters ended in February 1962—the month of my birth and my adoption. Four years of expectation and hassle, of yearning and hard work, of dutiful preparation and burgeoning excitement—all documented in that little shoebox.

Four years before I was even born, my parents were hard at work preparing a place for me. Even before I received my name, before I was baptized in our small Presbyterian church, before I could respond with the words "I love you," my parents cared for me. In that shoebox was a history of love and grace that preceded any action on my part.

God's 'shoeboxes'
This discovery has given me an image to share with parents in the congregation where I am pastor, as we journey together toward the baptism of their children. Baptism is the church's celebration of the fact that God has "shoeboxes" for all of God's adopted children, meaning all of us. In infant baptism we visibly proclaim the central tenet of our Reformed faith: God's grace towards humanity.

When we baptize an infant we testify that God's grace acts on our behalf before we are capable of responding.      



  • well I am confused, I had a baptismal for my child and was under standing that I was pledging that I would bring my child up in the church. I also done at the same time but I was saying that I had excepting Christ as my savior and God as my father in front of the church and became a member. by Betty on 05/29/2015 at 6:43 p.m.

  • God shares his grace with those who believe and those who do not it. Infant baptism is important because Matthew 28:19 says: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. All nations INCLUDE infants by Sam Oht on 01/21/2015 at 10:48 a.m.

  • baptizing babies is not right, or wrong for that matter.the act itself is only a "Religious" show that makes the parents feel good and gives them a false hope that no matter what that child grows up to be it will go to heaven when it dies.even the Baptist do it, but they just call it a "dedication ceremony".same thing just without the water. all that happens when a baby is baptized is the baby gets wet. there is no salvation in the act of baptism. our only salvation is in JESUS CHRIST. ask him to come into your heart and repent of your sin then make your profession of faith a public announcement by following him in believers Baptism.Please don't sell out to some warm and fuzzy religious vodo. get you a bible and READ it for yourself.God Bless You in Jesus Name. a-men by jimmy on 11/09/2014 at 5:15 p.m.

  • If parents baptise their child in infancy then glory be to that child, those who are brought to baptism at a later age are also glorified and blessed are you parent/carers that keep your faith by doing so, you will have a seat in God the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ our lord and Saviour. That's what I believe anyway. by michael on 07/18/2014 at 12:58 p.m.

  • Baptism is a burial(Rom.6:4,Col.2:12)in water(Acts 8:36,10:47)only for those who have the gospel of Christ preached unto them(Mark 16:15-16,Acts 8:12)for(eis,in order to obtain) the remission of sins(Acts 2:38),to be forgiven of all trespasses(Col.2:11-13),to have one's sins washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ(Acts 22:16,Rev.1:5),to get into Christ death(Rom.6:3)where His blood was shed(John 19:34), to save us(1Pet.3:21), to get into Christ one body (1Cor.12:13)which is His one church(Eph.1:22-23,Col.1:18,24).Baptism is the last commandment to the lost,alienated sinner After having Heard and Believed the Gospel of the DB&R of Christ from the dead(Acts18:8,15:7),then Repenting of past sins(Acts2:38,16:33,9:6),then Confess The Lord Jesus Christ(Acts 8:37,Rom.10:9-10).After the sinner has obeyed all these commandments from God then he/she is according to the holy scriptures a Christian(Acts 11:26,26:28,1Pet.4:16), a member of the one body/church of Christ(Mt.16:18,Acts2:47,Eph.4:4)which is described in scripture as the churches of Christ(Rom.16:16),the church of God(Acts20:28),the kingdom of His(God the Father's)dear Son,the house of God (1Tim3:15) by Mark on 03/25/2014 at 11:19 a.m.