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Janice McKelroy wrote:


In Acts 2:38 it says,

"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

  • Given this, how can an infant repent?


  { In light of Acts 2:38, how can an infant repent? }

Mike replied:

Hi Janice,

Here is my two cents on this question:

They can't.

Nevertheless, Our Blessed Lord makes it crystal clear how Baptism is necessary for salvation. Because all parents want what is good for their children, they make that choice for their children, and speak for the children, along with their godparents, at the baptismal font.

Later, the child makes that choice on their own at their Confirmation.

I would also direct you to the Oral Tradition of the Church (2 Thessalonians 2:15) and
St. Hippolytus of Rome, a discipline of St. John. (c. 215 A.D.)

"Baptize first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them."

St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 215 A.D.) — The Apostolic Tradition 21
(View more quotes

Though Catholic teachings are not necessarily Bible-based here are some Scripture verses that back up the Catholic position on infant baptism.

    Baptism to be administered to children "Infant Baptism"

    Joshua 24:15
    "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
    Matthew 8:5ff
    Servant healed because of Centurion's faith.
    Matthew 15:21ff
    Daughter healed because of the Canaanite woman's faith.
    Matthew 18:14
    It is not the will of God that children be damned.
    Matthew 19:14
    "Let the children come to me."
    Mark 10:14
    Let the children come, for such is the kingdom of Heaven.
    Luke 7:1ff
    Just say the word, and let my servant be healed.
    Luke 18:15-17
    People were bringing even infants to him ... whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.
    John 3:5; Mark 16:16
    No one enters heaven without baptism of water and spirit.
    Acts 16:15
    Paul and Silas baptize Lydia and her whole household.
    Acts 16:30-33
    Paul and Silas baptize a prison guard and his whole family.
    Acts 18:8
    Crispus, his family, and other Corinthians are baptized.
    Romans 5:18-19
    All are born with Adam's sin and need Baptism.
    1 Corinthians 1:16
    "I baptized the household of Stephanas."
    Colossians 2:11-12
    Baptism has replaced circumcision.
    See also:
    Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15, Acts 2:39, 1 Corinthians 15:22
    St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 215 A.D.)
    "Baptize first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them."
    (The Apostolic Tradition 21)
    Origen (post 244 A.D.)
    "The Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving baptism also to infants."
    (Commentary on Romans 5, 9)
    St. Cyprian of Carthage (252 A.D.)
    This council [Council of Carthage] condemned the opinion that infants must wait until the eighth day after birth to be baptized, as was the case with circumcision.
    (St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter 64 (59), 2)

I hope this helps,


Bob replied:

Hi Janice,

A further reading of the text (verse — 39) in question will explain:

"the promise is made for you and your children."

  • Doesn't that say enough?


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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