In this article, we shall let scripture speak for itself with regard to the proper subjects of baptism. As always, there are differing views in the religious world. Let us see if we can list some information and draw some conclusions by using the scriptures alone.
Matthew 28:19-20 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Observation: Those to be baptized were capable of being taught.
Mark 16:15-16: – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.
Observation: Baptism commanded to those capable of believing.
Acts 2:37-38 – Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Observation: Those capable of being convicted by the gospel and those capable of repenting.
Acts 8:12 – But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Observation: Those baptized were men and women, believers.
There are other passages that relate to the subjects of baptism. However, you will find the information remains consistent with these we have read. The sum of the evidence is this: In the Bible, baptism was administered to people who could hear the gospel, understand it, believe it, be convicted of their own sins, and who were capable of repenting. If we limited baptism to the same categories of people today, we would not see or hear about baptizing babies or people in comas or otherwise incapable of making a personal decision. The practice of Infant Baptism, featured so prominently in various Creeds and churches, was a practice unknown in the Bible. Why can’t we just agree to speak and practice those things we can read about for ourselves in God’s holy word?
— Bob West, The Milpitas Messenger, April, 1996