The difference between baptism and dedication varies among religious groups. Basically, in the Catholic and similar faiths, baptism is performed at an infant age and confirmation at an older age. (Usually around 12 years old). In the Protestant and similar faiths, dedication is performed at an infant age and baptism at an older age. (Usually at the age of accountability). So, with that being said, lets dig a little deeper and see what the bible says.
What is child dedication? Child dedication is just what it says. You dedicate the new child to God and ask for His love and protection over that innocent child. Dedication is a blessing for parents to publicly bring their child before the congregation of God’s people to commit themselves to raising their child in accordance with God’s will. (The child is not at the age of accountability and has no idea what is going on). A child is innocent when they are born. Christ would say: And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3). Free minded and innocent as a child. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:14). Christ was trying to explain that to enter into Heaven, you must become as a little child. Open minded and free from all the junk that has piled up over the years. (False teachings and traditions of men). A child is born innocent from sin. Here are a few more bible verses below to confirm the innocent child.
Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. (Deuteronomy 1:39). The children had no knowledge of good and evil.
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. (Ezekiel 18:20). In other words, “Sin is not passed on to another by anyone.” He shall not die for the iniquity of his father, but he shall surely live. (The one who sins is responsible for themselves).For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. (Genesis 8:21).
These verses prove that babies are born innocent. Everybody knows that babies know nothing when they are born. They do not know right from wrong. They do not know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. “They do not have evil imaginations of the heart.” The Bible says that the "imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth," not from his birth. It is only when children know to refuse the evil and choose the good that they can “have evil intentions, evil purposes, or evil choices of the heart.” Until they know right from wrong, their actions have no moral character, they can do neither good nor evil, and they are innocent before God. The Bible teaches that children must reach the "age of accountability" before they can commit sin.
What is baptism? Baptism is when a person becomes of age of accountability, and decides on their own to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and becoming part of the many member body of Christ. (i.e. washing themselves clean of sin and bondage in their old self, and becoming a new "spiritual person" and believer of the "true Word" in Jesus name). That is why all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death. Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so “we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).
So, how do we obey the gospel? We must crucify our old sinful lives, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:6). Just like with any dead body, we, being dead to self and sin, must be buried in the water of baptism (Romans 6:4). And coming out of the water, we are raised to walk as new Christians “newness of life,” (Romans 6:4). So, with that being said, do we need to be baptized? “Well, Christ was.” Are we better than Christ? (Matthew 3:13-17). Here are a few more baptism scripture verses: (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 8:12, 10:46-48).
What about those
who have never been baptized? Lets turn to the book of Luke and see what
happens to the two criminals which were crucified with Christ.
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed
on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. (Luke 23:39). The
one malefactor hanging to the left of Jesus scoffed saying; "If your the
Messiah, save yourself and us also to prove it." But
the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art
in the same condemnation? (Luke 23:40). The malefactor hanging to the
right of Jesus rebuked the other malefactor saying, "Don't you fear God even
when you have been sentenced to die?" And we indeed
justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done
nothing amiss. (Luke 23:41). "We deserve to die for our crimes, but this
man hasn't done anything wrong." (I John 1:8-9). We are all sinners and need to
repent to God. "This malefactor was repenting of his sins."
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou
comest into thy kingdom. (Luke 23:42). Remember me when You come into
Your Kingdom the one malefactor said to Jesus. "He wanted forgiveness for his
sins." (Romans 10:9-10). The one malefactor was ready to confess and believe.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee,
Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43). "Today you shall
be with Me in paradise Jesus said to the repenting malefactor." (II Corinthians
5:8). When we are absent from this body, we are present with the Lord.
Does God love us all? Our Heavenly Father is a loving, forgiving, God of the living. Baptism publicly shows that you are willing to become a “spiritual new creature” in Christ through His death and resurrection. But, baptism is not as important for salvation as being a believer. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). This verse needs no interpretation. No doubt, one of the most important scriptures written in the bible. However, the key here is "believe in Him." Here are a few more belief (faith), scriptures: (Romans 10:9, Titus 3:5-7, 1 John 4:9-10, 5:2-4). However, you must get to know someone before you can believe in them. You get to know Christ through the Word. "His written personality if you will." (His personal letter to you). When you study God’s Word and get to know and believe in Him, you have that promise of eternal life.
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