I’m always a bit uneasy when I’m reminded that some of my favorite authors, pastors, preachers, and theologians hold to a position on baptism I just don’t see strongly presented in Scripture. There’s an argument for infant sprinkling that draws on some ideas about God’s people and circumcision, but that idea is nowhere near as clear and compelling as the idea of baptism after regeneration. Romans 6 paints a profound picture of baptism as the symbolic death, burial, and resurrection with Christ, after regeneration.
Who is marked in the Church? Those who are elect, born-again, regenerate saints or everyone and we’ll hope some stick because they are elect and will someday be regenerate? Which one seems more likely when we read Scripture?
I also am uneasy when people use one of the the most pointed pictures of baptism (death, burial, and resurrection with Jesus) as an argument why believers don’t need to be baptized. While baptism is not a saving act, it is an important act of obedience. And the thief on the cross argues for that too.
I recently preached a sermon at Redeeming Life Church where I took a hard look at baptism from Scripture, including examples from Scripture, an example from the Protestant Reformation, and an modern-day example that our brothers and sisters around the world are facing. You may listen to my sermon, “Be Baptized” from Matthew 28:19 here:
You may find other sermons I’ve preached at Redeeming Life and elsewhere here.