Baptism has been understood and practiced different ways within Christianity. I have felt, and this is just feelings without complete scriptural backing, that baptism is an act of obedience. It is to be done after a person trusts Christ. It is not a means of salvation, not that the regeneration cannot occur simultaneously, but I personally feel (again, feel not know) that there is a true baptism on the spirit or heart and this work is done by the Holy Spirit. Those who are saved by grace through faith are to be baptised to show their faith publicly, because it is commanded.
I do not believe infant baptism hurts anyone, but do not believe it is necessary. I was baptised at a very young age (baby or toddler) and later trusted Christ. Because I had been baptised Lutheran and at a young age (I recall it, recall crying…so I think I had to be older than an infant) I decided to be baptised later as an adult to publicly show my faith. Christ was baptised, so no Christian should be above the act of water baptism.
I believe, unless there is a physical reason why not, that a person should be immersed. It was how Christ did it. Baptism represents a cleansing, and I believe it’s best shown through actual dunking. Sprinkling is not wrong in my opinion, I just think the dunking is a better way.
So, how’s that for clear as mud? I want to study baptism again. I know that I went through it in college because some guys from the Church of Christ were stressing the need for baptism for salvation. I recall coming out of those talks with the belief that the water baptism was for obedience as a symbol of our cleansing, but that those who trust Christ and are saved by grace through faith have a baptism that is from the Holy Spirit and not only of water. There is no magic in the act, no magic in the water. Of course, I also have heard Charismatic people claim tongues etc as a sign of Holy Spirit baptism and I say that is hogwash (respectfully, of course).
Anyone want to give a scriptural reason for baptism…either dunking wholly…sprinkling…infant…after trusting Christ…or whatever variation thereof. I know there is a right way, a right true answer about baptism. I know God knows. I just want to be clear about it myself.
I have been in contact with a Lutheran on this issue of baptism and have not been satisfied with infant baptism. I was told it has been a tradition through the ages to baptise infants…but why is this not modeled in Acts?