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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Children of the Covenant: One Presbyterian’s View on Infant Baptism

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Two Brief Notes of Explanation:


This paper focuses exclusively on the issue of whether or not the infant children of believers should receive baptism even before they are able to intelligently express faith in Christ. I want to first make it clear that those who favor infant baptism (called “Presbyterians” in this paper) and those who are opposed to the practice (called “Baptists” in this paper) both agree on one major issue: An adult without a Christian background must first believe in Jesus before he of she can be properly baptized. No one who takes the teaching of the New Testament seriously would advocate randomly baptizing everyone we encounter whether or not they have any faith in Christ or were raised in Christian home. Also, I think we are both agreed that baptism itself does not save anyone, nor is it a guarantee that the person being baptized is or will be saved.


I will not be discussing the issue of the mode or method of baptism—whether baptism should involve immersion, pouring (effusion), or sprinkling. I don’t have the time or space to go into all of my reasons for my conviction in this area, so I’ll limit my discussion to the question of whether the infant children of believers should or should not be baptized.


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