The Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 27
Q 74: Should infants, too, be baptized?
A: Yes. Infants as well as adults are in God’s covenant and are his people 1. They, no less than adults, are promised the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s blood and the Holy Spirit who produces faith. 2
Therefore, by baptism, the mark of the covenant, infants should be received into the Christian church and should be distinguished from the children of unbelievers.3 This was done in the Old Testament by circumcision 4, which was replaced in the New Testament by baptism.5
1. Gen. 17:7; Matt. 19:14.
2. Isa. 44:1-3; Acts 2:38, 39; 16:31.
3. Acts 10:47;1 Cor. 7:14.
4. Gen. 17:9-14.
5. Col. 2:11-13.
Having laid out the framework of Reformed understanding of Pseudo baptism, and graciously defended it over and against the Baptist’s position as well of the Roman Catholic’s teaching of Ex Opere Operato, Pastor Lindmulder continued,
“…we can hold the sign of baptism to our children, and say, ‘The Apostle Paul exhorts you as a child in Christ. The Apostle Paul exhorts you to live unto His honor and glory, to obey your parent, not just to please your parents, not just to make them happy, but because you are part of this community.
Because Christ has placed his sign on you, and because you’re called to take hold of him by faith, just like mom and dad.
And you’re called to believe these promises, just like mom and dad.
And you’re called to live your life according to these promises, just like mom and dad.’
And you see, it is how the Apostle Paul is calling us to see that the Lord is the one who calls a community unto Himself.
The sign of baptism is such a rich sign of the Gospel; of moving into the depth of Hell, to the bottom and belly of the sea where no man ever returns, and having this wonderful picture of Christ being shut out from the depth of the sea, being delivered from death so we can have life in Him. And Paul is saying in Romans 6, ‘don’t you understand that as you’re grounded in that one historic even, there is nothing that can discredit Christ. There is nothing that can pull Christ out from what He has done. It is so set in stone that it cannot be overturned. And praise be to God that as we receive the sign, as it is placed upon us we don’t have to go into the depth of Hell to experience death. We’re spared death because of Christ…”
Updated in April, 2016:
On April 24, 2016 the Rev. David Inks expounded on the same Lord’s Day question.