Mercy Christian church believes that all members, including infants, should be baptized as a sign of God’s covenant promises.
Baptism is one of the two sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ as a way to strengthen our faith, along with Lord’s Supper.
We believe that the Bible teaches us to baptize infants of believing parents because they are included in God’s covenant and should therefore receive the sign of the covenant. This covenant is an agreement between God and His people. It is more binding than a friendship and more relational than a contract. With this covenant, God makes promises to his people that require a response.
In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with Abraham where He promised, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you…all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12: 2,3). God then asked Abraham to respond to this promise by circumcising every male in his family. This circumcision was more than just an outward sign of response – it was given to Abraham “as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised” (Romans 4:11). Because of Abraham’s faith, the promise was given to him and his children – a promise that is repeated in the New Testament (Acts 2:39).
We believe that in the New Testament, baptism replaced circumcision (Col 2:11-12)and was also given on account of faith to both the believer and their children. In Acts 16, we read of two instances where a new believer’s entire household was baptized: first Lydia came to faith and “she was baptized, and her household as well…” (Acts 16:15), and then later the Philippian jailer “was baptized at once, he and all his family” (Acts 16:33). The children of these new believers were included in the promises of baptism and therefore welcomed along with their parents as members of the early church. This was also confirmed by Origen, one of the earliest Christian authors, who wrote, “The Church has received from the apostles the custom of administering baptism even to infants.”
While we love and deeply respect our Baptist brothers and sisters, we believe the correct interpretation of God’s Word is to continue giving the sign of baptism to our infant children, and to the children of any new believer who is also baptized. This does not mean that we believe that the waters of baptism have any power to save baptized children; it does mean, however, that God has extended His covenant promises to these children and has given their parents the responsibility to teach them about Him. It is the prayer of every parent who presents their child for baptism that this child will respond with faith and obedience to Jesus!
For further confirmation of the belief in infant baptism, we recommend: