What If My Child Was Not Baptized?

If you belong to a church that baptizes your children as infants, you should not confuse the symbolic significance of the infant’s baptism with the underlying reason as to how your child is eternally saved in the event of death. Your infant child is not saved because of the baptism; your child is saved by God’s grace. God owns our children; as between us and God, God’s claim to “our” children, as creator, is superior to ours. An infant is saved, regardless of whether they live in a first-world or a third-world country, whether the child was baptized as an infant, or even whether the child’s parents are Christians, through God’s grace. God owns each and every one of our infant children and, as such, has redeemed them all through the blood of Christ.

Consider what would happen if an infant child were, in fact, saved by the sprinkling of water in the context of an infant baptism ceremony. If infants are saved by baptism, then their salvation would be a salvation of works; that is, in being baptized, the “work” of the parents in baptizing the child saved the child. If this were true, the parents could justifiably boast in his or her own wisdom in saving the child through their decision to sprinkle their children. To God’s glory, 1 Corinthians clearly states that we will hear no such self-exaltation from the mouths of mere humans in Heaven. For that reason, infant salvation cannot be brought about by infant baptism.

Moreover, if infants are saved by baptism, God would not be free in electing those who are saved by His grace. God would be bound to abide by decisions of mother and fathers whose weekend schedule allowed them to squeeze in a cute little water-sprinkling ceremony with the local church. In such a situation, we could treat God like we would treat our dog on a leash. Just like telling our dog, “Go, dog, fetch that bone,” we would say, “Go, God, and fetch that little boy (or little girl).” God would be at our beck and call. In Heaven, we would elevate the wisdom and foresight of the parents in baptizing the child; human action, not God’s sovereign plan, would save children, and human pride would be central to the salvation of each child.

But God is not beholden to any of us, nor as we see in 1 Corinthians does God tolerate human boasting. “Our God does not live in a temple made by human hands. Acts 17:24-25. He is not at our beck and call. And Heaven is not about human self-exaltation. Those of us who are saved by God’s grace are saved in order to bring glory to God, not ourselves. Therefore, we can be assured that our children are saved by grace, through the blood of Jesus Christ, regardless of whether or not the child was baptized as an infant.

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