Go, Make Disciples, and Baptize . . . Your Children?

Just before his ascension to the right hand of the Father, Jesus gives us the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Discipleship is thus the mission of the church. We ought to disciple the nations to follow Jesus Christ.

In the Great Commission Jesus tells us not only what we are to do as the church (disciple the nations), but also how we are to do it: baptism and teaching. We make disciples of all the nations by baptizing them into the Triune name of God and teaching them to obey all that Christ commanded. Simply put, the church cannot make disciples apart from baptizing and teaching them.

And therefore we ought to baptize the children of believing parents.

I know, I know. This probably seems like a huge jump in logic. But think about it. Children who are born to believing parents will inevitably grow up in Christian homes and churches where they are taught to obey everything that Christ commanded (which fulfills the second half of the Great Commission). We will do our best to raise them in the knowledge of God. For goodness sake we might even say that we are “discipling” them and call them “disciples!”

So why should should we forbid these disciples, these covenant children, from receiving the covenant sign of entrance into God’s people? If our mission as the church is to make disciples, and if we are to make disciples by baptizing and teaching, and if we teach our children, why would we not then also baptize them? Why do we not fulfill the first part of the Great Commission?

Thanks for reading. If you have a question or comment, leave it below.

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