Hebrews 11:6


#1

How does a Catholic view with verse.

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Doesn’t this cause a problem with infant baptism?

Thank in advance for the answer. :slight_smile:


#2

Well I’d say not for a few reasons.

Firstly, a baby could neither please nor displease Him. We please God by accepting His offer of faith and then by doing good works that are produced out of our Faith. Infants can’t do anything really, so they wouldn’t be able to please Him anyways in that way.

But more importantly, you souldn’t just take a passage and read it as 100% literally with no exceptions. For instance, in Acts, Peter tells the people that if they want to be saved simply to “repent and be baptised.” He doesn’t tell them to have faith at all. From this instruction it would seem we could just go be baptised, repent, and then never think of God again. The passage is in general directed at those who are reading it or hearing it read. It’s a general statement. To take it and turn it into a legalistic declaration is to take it beyond what it means to convey.


#3

I’m not sure the context of that Hebrews passage has in mind that infants must have an active sort of faith that knows enough about God and what he has said to believe in his promises. The people mentioned there are Abel, Abraham, Noah, Rahab, etc. They are adults, and the actions described are adult actions.

Are you worrying that infants, because they lack adult reasoning, cannot be saved should they die before they grow up? It sounds more like a salvation question than a baptism question.


#4

I’m not worrying about anything. I believe baptism is circumcision fulfilled in the New Covenant, and not to be withheld from infants.

But a friend doesn’t believe in it. Just looking for some Catholic commentary on this verse. :thumbsup:


#5

Infant baptism is supported by the following verses of scripture:

Matthew 19:13-14
Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them;

Luke 18:15-16
People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it.
But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them;”

Col 2:11-12
In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ when you were buried with him in
baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. (i.e.,baptism replaces circumcision and children were circumcised as infants)

Scripture describes entire households that were baptized such as those of the Roman jailer, Lydia, and Stephanes. Scripture does not indicate that children were not included.

Luke 1 :15
The angel Gabriel says that John the Baptist , “even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

This last verse concerning John the Baptist is particularly important. We have a verse in scripture that explicitly speaks about an infant being filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb. What did John the Baptist do to earn this? Does this verse indicate that John the Baptist had faith even from his mothers womb? No, faith is necessary for those that have reached the age of reason when they can then take ownership of their faith. Faith for infants is communal through baptism just as circumcision was for the Jews and their infants.

There is another verse that may also apply in this regard. In Acts 2:38 it says, "And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Then in verse 39 it says, “For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.” Combine all of these verses with the fact that infant baptism has been practiced from the days of the apostles forward and there should be no doubt that it is both proper and necessary.


#6

[quote=Pug]I’m not sure the context of that Hebrews passage has in mind that infants must have an active sort of faith that knows enough about God and what he has said to believe in his promises. The people mentioned there are Abel, Abraham, Noah, Rahab, etc. They are adults, and the actions described are adult actions.

Are you worrying that infants, because they lack adult reasoning, cannot be saved should they die before they grow up? It sounds more like a salvation question than a baptism question.
[/quote]

I think the same thing. I don’t see this as referring to baptism. It is about adults,& our need to believe and to act on that belief. The context doesn’t seem to support using it as a case about infant baptism, one way or the other.


#7

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