Can You Re-baptize a Child?

Water Fountain from Wycliffe Discovery Center in Orlando, FL

Dear Pastor Andy, can you re-baptize a child in another denomination or faith system?

My Reply: I suppose you could re-baptize them, but neither do you need to, nor is it suggested that you do. Biblically and Theologically-speaking, you only need to be baptized once: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:5-6).

The short answer to your question is, if they were baptized once, then there is no need to baptize them again.

The problem though is that so many people just do not understand what Baptism is all about. Does it bring salvation or not? Is it inward, outward, or both? If baptism is only about cleansing of sins, the why was Jesus baptized? Should there be age limits? Is baptism communal or individual? How should it be done and what biblical references support the different ways? Is baptism only a Christian-thing?…To help wrestle through some of these questions, I have published several posts on Baptism. I encourage you to search through my blog, or even better yet, my free ministry resources site.

—Pastor Andy G.

8 Comments

  1. baptism is one of the two sacraments that was commanded by our lord after god saves or justifies you by faith alone. ‘repent and be baptized’. repentance comes first and then obeying christ is the outward sign of the new life you have in christ is it possible for a child to be saved? is there any evidence in scripture where a child was baptized? the answer is a clear no.

  2. actually Keith Mihelich, that’s not true. In Acts, when Peter went to the Gentile’s house, it said that when he was baptized, he also baptized his whole household. We can assume that there were women and children there, also.

  3. Also, Keith Mihelich, when we look to infant baptism, we must also look forward to confirmation, as well as backwards to the Israelites who crossed through the Jordan river as they entered the Promised Land. Remember, there were families, women, men, and children who crossed through it to get to Canaan. It’s also believed that John the Baptist baptized people at that same place where the Israelites crossed over into the Promised Land. We look forward to confirmation because, if children are baptized (or dedicated), then we put them through the same understanding as that of the Jewish culture, in that the whole congregation brings them up knowing the Lord, serving Him, etc., and confirmation works like their Bar-Mitzvahs.

  4. And thirdly, Keith Mihelich, if Baptism is only an outwardly sign of our faith, then why bother with it? Why not just let our deeds and actions be the sign? Also, if only an outwardly sign, then why did Jesus need to be baptized? Wasn’t being the Messiah enough sign of His faith? So there’s more to baptism…more happens. It’s so much bigger than something inward being expressed outwardly. There’s a reason Jesus did it, and there’s a reason that He commanded that we too be baptized.

  5. Keith Mihelich: Have you gone to my website and read the full post? Check it out and let me know what you think. (feel free to leave comments on the site. We can start a discussion on there then.

  6. proving children can be baptized based on one assumption and verse is dangerous and illogical. just because cornelius baptized his entire household does not necessarily mean there were children among them. household can include slaves or other family members

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