We begin our study with the Old Testament character Abraham... God saved Abraham. In Romans 4, Paul explains that Abraham’s salvation was by God’s grace and through faith... In Genesis 17:7 God calls this saving relationship an “everlasting covenant”... He gave Abraham a sign or symbol to mark that covenant relationship... Circumcision was the sign of salvation in the Old Testament... If you continue to read in Genesis 17, you will find an extraordinary command. God tells Abraham to apply this sign of salvation to infants born into his house... If we had lived in the Old Testament period, as believing parents, we would have circumcised our children.
Jesus told His disciples to make other disciples and to baptize them (Matt. 28:19)... Like circumcision, baptism too is a sign... Baptism takes the place of circumcision as the sign of salvation... It is not so strange that baptism fulfills circumcision. Every doctrine taught in the New Testament has its roots in the Old... We follow in the footsteps of Abraham circumcising Isaac when we bring our children to be baptized... To Abraham, circumcision was not insurance that God would automatically save his son. It was the sign of a covenant that he would raise his son in the Lord.
Does infant baptism save the infant? Baptism does not save the child any more that it does the adult... In this baptism, parents covenant to raise their children by the directions of their Lord. Such a baptism calls a child from his earliest days to confess Christ as his Savior.