Church planting House church Organic church Simple Church

Rebaptism anyone?

I was christened as a baby, but when I made a serious commitment to Christ, I decided to get rebaptized by immersion.

As Pamela commented on a previous post, salvation consists of hearing the gospel, coming to faith in Jesus, repentance, and baptism.  

Acts 19: 3-5 says this about Paul's encounter with some new believers in Ephesus (note that they are called "believers"):

“Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked.

   And they replied, “The baptism of John.”

 Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.”

 As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 

Do believers in your church say, “I don't need to get baptized––I was baptized as an infant.”  Should we become more active in encouraging them to get baptized again?

What do you think?



12 replies on “Rebaptism anyone?”

Truly Anabaptist of you. I would say encourage them but let their conscience guide them. The symbolism of baptism as death and resurrection is powerful. Explaining that would hopefully persuade them.

I agree 100% with Jeffrey. As I said in another response, 4 out of 5 in our family were “baptised” as children and later chose to be baptised as believers. My principle reason was as described by Jeffrey.

I, too, agree with Jeffrey. I experienced this. I was ‘sprinkle’ baptized at 16 years old, without really understanding what I was doing. Then again after I repented and gave my heart and soul to the Lord 16 years later. The ‘under water’ is very symbolic of death…. as it should be. And I would make it available to any who want to participate. Another note: while in Israel we had the opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River…. fully knowing that it had nothing to add to the original immersion baptism, but it sure was amazing!

I’m currently dealing with this with a number of men I’ve led to the Lord in the last year or so. One is actively seeking baptism. The others are still viewing their infant baptism in the Catholic Church as adequate.
I’ve not tried to persuade them to get “re-baptized.” I’ve talked to them about the reality that baptism is their response of willingness to enter into a new covenant relationship with God. His “signing of the covenant” was actual death and resurrection. Our “signing of the covenant” is baptism which symbolically participates in Christ’s death and resurrection.
I’m hoping when Antonio get’s baptized they soon follow his example. They are all enthusiastic about helping Antonio plan his baptism and the celebration party. I wouldn’t be surprised in some others actually eventually follow his example. But I seriously doubt that coercion, guilt, manipulation or some other type of external persuader will be helpful. It just undermines trust.
My greatest concern is that baptism tended to be so immediate in the New Testament. I intend to move more strongly in that direction in the future. I think we miss much by not doing so. Eric Fish and friends have been much more faithful to the Scriptures on that account.

I was baptized as a baby in the Methodist church. When I joined the Baptist Church Both my husband and I were Baptized by emersion. The trouble was, at least for me that my baptism at that time was expected and not a true part of any repentance on my part. It wasn’t until I was 50 years old did I truely have a salvation experience. I was baptized again. I think the other two times I just got wet.

I think that the actual matter comes down to: what is the message we tell them?
“Jesus loves you, just pray the sinner’s prayer after me to make sure you are first of all saved, and then we will see the rest step by step, just make sure you join church so that you are fed spiritually and grow in the faith.”
“Jesus is the King of the universe, and He will judge the earth and the people on it for their sins. But He invites everybody to enter His Kingdom, become a beloved child and member of His household, and be freed from the current world system and born into His invisible Kingdom. To do that, you need to repent of your sins, get baptized, and then abandon your old life to join Jesus in his cause to restore righteousness, goodness and peace on earth so that life will conquer death.”
Which one did Jesus preach? Which one did the apostles preach? Which one do they preach in areas where there is persecution? And which one sees more fruit that remains?

Love your comments, Heiko!
I was raised in a Baptist church as a kid and got baptized around 15. I really believed that I was making a decision to follow Jesus at that time and was looking to my church leaders to teach me what I needed to know to become a Christian. Fast forward several years later – after graduating from a religious university – I find myself questioning whether God really exists.
While searching for a group of Christians to help me, I study out what it means to be a Christian all over again. This time, I realized that I had no idea what I was attempting to do when I was 15. My confusion, however, wasn’t due to a lack of maturity on my part but because my church at the time held to a particular belief system that was then passed on to me. Salvation and baptism were separate. Baptism was just an opportunity for the public to witness what had already happened several weeks/months prior.
I decided to get baptized again because – to me – what I did at 15 no longer made sense in light of what I was now learning from the scriptures. I wanted a “do-over.” I didn’t know then that the forgiveness of my sins was connected to repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38: 22:16). I didn’t know then that repentance wasn’t just saying you were sorry but also changing (Acts 26:20). I didn’t know then that there was such a thing as worldly sorrow and that it was different from godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:8-10). I didn’t know then that repentance would require me to have a radical view of sin in my life (Matt. 18:8-9). I didn’t know then that in baptism I was actually clothing myself with Christ (Gal. 3:27). I didn’t know then that baptism saves me just like the ark saved Noah and his family (1 Pet. 3:18-22). These are just some of many scriptures that changed the way I saw things.
I do believe that if we choose to preach the gospel – the actual good news that Jesus came to give us – the hearts of those who want God will respond. If we choose – out of fear (or whatever) – to water down that gospel, we may end up with many converts but what would Jesus say about them (Matt 7:21-23; Luke 6:46-49)?

I was baptized as an infant, and did choose to do it again when I was part of an International Church of Christ. But then again, did I really have a choice? The group I was part of kind of required it of anyone joining them since they rather arrogantly claimed to be the one true church — and that meant other baptisms weren’t valid.
Looking back, and from the Wesleyan viewpoint where I now reside theologically, the re-baptism wasn’t really needed. I was already baptized. (The fact that I didn’t remember the infant baptism isn’t the point, because it’s not about what I do but what God does.)
However, for me personally it marked a time in my life when I started taking my relationship with God more seriously. It was when “the faith” became “my faith”. Up to that point what I was what my parents were (I often wonder if had I been born to Muslim parents wouldn’t it stand to reason I would be Muslim?). AFter that time, my journey diverged quite a bit from that of my parents. I suppose it was a “coming of age” for me spiritually…
So I look back and think that in some ways I got “re-baptized” for the wrong reasons. I wasn’t mature enough then to say it or see it, but I now think it was true. I did it as much as anything to be part of a particular group. But on a deeper level something was going on in me personally and the adult baptism became an outward expression of that. My faith was coming to life. So God used what in many ways ended up being a bad situation for me in that “fringe” group to form me into the person I am today.

+Glory to Jesus Christ !
Historically, there was never ever a Christian belief of “rebaptism”.
Scripture is clear “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” Ephesians 4:5.
Rebaptism is a man made invention by 16th century anabaptists and sadly is contrary to 2000 yrs of Christainity.

Leave a Reply