I would like to know how much of a connection there is between circumcision and baptism. Some suggest they are extremely connected, and since circumcision was done to babies, it is babies who should be baptised.
In the Old Testament, children became part of the covenant through circumcision. (Adults became Jews through three things: circumcision, ritual cleansing, and sacrifice.) Circumcision "rolled away" the flesh, which is an illustration of how baptism enables us to deal with our flesh (our sinful nature). This is the comparison Paul develops in Colossians 2:11-13. Yet there are some major differences which qualify and limit the analogy:
* Circumcision was for boys only. Baptism is for male and female alike.
* Circumcision was nearly always a decision made on behalf of a morally unaccountable infant. Baptism is an adult decision.
* The Old Covenant brought us into it even though we did not yet know the Lord; under the New Covenant, we know the Lord--all of us--from the moment we are baptized. See Hebrews 8:8-11.
There are a number of instances of circumcisions in the Old Testament--both adults and infants. Yet there are no instances of babies being baptized in the New Testament.
To sum up, there are parallels between circumcision and baptism, but they are limited. Babies should never be baptized. They are in a state of grace, and as such, not amenable to this adult requirement.
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