Chapter 29, Paragraph 2.
“Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.”
Acts 8:36,37, 2:41, 8:12, 18:8
If baptism is a sign unto the party baptized of her unity with Christ, her identifying with His death and resurrection, and a sign of the newness of life to which she has been called, then who should receive this ordinance? The obvious choice is the person who meets those qualifications. In other words, a regenerated Christian.
Baptism is one of those pesky issues that people either love to debate or dismiss in an effort to have everyone all get along. While those who baptize infants may still be true Christians, the meaning of the ordinance cannot be shrugged aside. Our Baptist forefathers knew this, facing persecution for their understanding of baptism. Since baptism is a command of our Lord Jesus Christ, we should take care to understand what it is and how it should be administered.
All of worship is to be ordered according to the word of God. Baptism is an act of worship; we must look to the Bible to see who are the proper recipients of it. The clear passages of Scripture show that those believers who profess repentance and faith are the ones who ought to be baptized. Other passages that have been given in support of infant baptism are not clear, and assumptions must be made concerning the presence of infants in those households.
When baptism is performed differently, you can’t help but notice it. Compare a professing adult plunged into water to water sprinkled over the head of an infant. Does baptism mean the same thing to those two? Of course not. A baby cannot declare repentance and faith. While cute, they are not to receive this ordinance. Only those who profess to have repented and believed are to be baptized.
Questions to Consider
- Can you give a defense from the Bible why professing believers should only be the ones baptized?