171. What kinds of baptism are performed in Jesus’ church?
The baptism of faith or the baptism of adults and of children.
- In early Christianity, adult baptism was a rule. All Jews and Gentiles who accepted the gospel proclaimed by the apostles and committed themselves to the Lord Jesus in repentance and faith were baptised. For the first Christians, going down into the water of baptism was an act of faith based on the conscious decision made to follow Christ. They asked to be baptised. Read the following evidence: Acts 2:38; 2:41; 8:12; 8:36-38; 10:47-48.
Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptised?” (Acts 8:36)
The practice of adult baptism (baptism of faith) is found among the Baptists, the Mennonites and many free churches. Likewise, all Protestant missions adhere to apostolic baptismal practice by baptising unbelievers after their conversion and subsequent instruction.
- The beginnings of infant baptism are not entirely clear. Around AD 200 it was known as church custom in Asia Minor, Gaul, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa. Wherever family baptisms are mentioned in Acts, it is reasonable to assume that existing children were also included.
Example: Lydia and her house (Acts 16:15); the jailer of Philippi and his house (Acts 16:33); Stephanas’ house (1 Corinthians 1:16). “House” meant family with all its members.
Child baptism is practised in the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church and many Protestant and free churches.