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What role does adult baptism play in Christianity?

I was born in the CRC church and baptized as an infant. Now I attend a non-denominational church that requires adult public baptism at the beach as pre-requisite for membership. I no longer piggy-back on my parents faith, I have my own personal relationship with Jesus. I'm not religious, I'm a follower of Jesus. So my question is: What role does adult baptism play in Christianity? Specifically, how is this different or needed in addition to, or in place of, infant baptism.

I'm obviously aware of the cognitive difference between infant and adult, and the understanding of the process that is being under taken, but what does the Bible have to say on this topic?

Thank for the help!

Qualifed Answeres

Once Baptized, Always Baptized

Great question, and it's one that has been around for a while. There are two different views on baptism. The first view comes from the Reformed tradition (the one embraced by your CRC church). In this view, baptism is a sign of God's covenant, or promise. There is a parallel to circumcision in the Old Testament, whereby a baby or young child was marked, or set apart, for God. Similarly, baptism in the Reformed tradition sets the infant or young child apart for God.

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The subject of baptism, like so many other subjects, is not without controversy, but I would suggest you consider these texts. When Peter convicted the Pentecost audience of having killed the Son of God, he replied to the question, "What shall we do?" by saying, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins." When Paul recaps his conversion experience, he said he was told to "arise, and be baptized washing away his sins" (Acts 22:16). While the blood of Christ is the means by which we are saved, baptism, like the good confession and repentance are conditions for salvation. We do not, by this, earn or merit anything. I am not sure what your church means by requiring that you are baptized in the ocean. But, to answer your initial question, it certainly looks like baptism plays a very important role in Christianity. You might also want to check out Romans 6:1ff; Galatians 3:26, 27; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15, 16; and the entire book of Acts.) I hope this helps.

I have been involved with all different aspects of this argument. First, some churches base infant baptism as an equivalent to circumsion, an outward sign that you have been dedicated to the Lord since childhood. I have also been involved with a church that says that baptism is required for salvation. I feel like while these people have good intentions they unmistakingly misunderstand the point of baptism. It is a symbol of God's cleansing in your life. It came about in Jewish tradition going back all the way to Creation when God created the earth through "watery chaos". This symbol extends through His deliverance out of Egypt through water. It's a symbol of leaving the old chaosed life and coming into a new life under God's order. In this context "to repent and be baptized" would mean repent and leave your life of sin and move into free life in Christ. So being baptized is very important in a Christian's life, but not required for salvation.

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God is the one who works, but He chooses to work primarily through human means. For example, God could have sovereignly caused the Red Sea to part for the Israelites without the help of Moses. -JustFab

This is indeed a very question. Unfortunately, not many people can afford school, so a lot of us lack these information. I was thought in school about this and I believe that adult baptism plays a huge role in Christianity.

I forgot to add that Elyssa is totally right! Unfortunately, there are few people left who think like this..