Baptism and Circumcision: Acts 16:15
Scripture: Acts 16:15
In this class we continue the discussion of baptism in water by addressing the claims of those who teach infant baptism. Colossians 2:11, 12 is used to make the analogy between circumcision under the Old Covenant and baptism under the New Covenant. The argument is that since circumcision was a sign of being under the previous covenant, infant baptism similarly serves as the sign of being part of the covenant community in the church. We show that the Colossians passage is about a “circumcision made without hands” that was accomplished in Christ for those who believe. Believers are “made complete” (Col. 2:10), circumcised without hands (Col 2:11), buried with Christ (Col. 2:12), and raised with Christ (Col. 2:12). These parallel truths all apply to believers. The claim that Paul was speaking of baptizing babies (an act done with hands) is not supported by this passage. That baptism of believers signifies that Christians are those who trusted Christ, and laid aside the old life (buried) and were now alive in Christ is clear. We also cite Romans 6:4-7 that speaks of the burial of the old self that was crucified with Christ so that believers are no longer slaves to sin. Furthermore, Deuteronomy 10:16 and 30:6 speak of the circumcision of the heart which means going from the old life to the new. This is a work of God’s grace, not the liturgical practice of baptizing infants. We discuss implications concerning the Biblical definition of the church as compared to definitions that arise in church history.