We profess and practice Christian Baptism
Christian Baptism is how God adds His promise to ordinary water and uses a Christian (ordinarily a pastor) to apply that ordinary water to another person in any fashion from sprinkling all the way to immersing as that Christian speaks for God the formula of these words, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
This Baptism is not a symbolic ritual Christians just made up. Nor do Christians have the freedom to change it. The Word of God says this Baptism is a sacrament Jesus Christ instituted. Matthew chapter 28 – 18 [Jesus said,] “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [In your going then] make disciples of all the nations – baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 [and] teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” This means Father, Son, and Spirit are active in every Christian Baptism. And that Christian Baptism is God’s commitment to a person not a person’s commitment to God. And God does not fail to keep His commitments nor does He need to renew them.
Why did Jesus institute Baptism? He instituted it as a means of giving God’s grace to sinners. The Word of God says all people are conceived in sin and, no matter their age, remain sinners throughout their lives. (Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 51:5, Isaiah 64:6, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:12,23) And while God can and does save sinners apart from this Baptism (Mark 16:16, Luke 23:43), in His abundant love He commands this Baptism as an added means of forgiving sinners. Acts chapter 2 – (verse 38) in Baptism God forgives sins ... (verse 39) – The promise [of Baptism] is for [adults] and ... children [of any age].” 1Peter chapter 3 – (verse 21) “Baptism now saves you.”
In fact, this Baptism is intended for so much spiritual comfort that in John chapter 3 Jesus taught where being born physically is a pure act of God so being Baptized is to be ‘born again’ spiritually as a pure act of God. The Apostle Paul echoed this in two places: In Romans chapter 6 (verses 3-6) describing the outcome of Baptism as being united with Jesus’ in His death and resurrection. And in Titus chapter 3 calling Baptism a spiritual ‘washing’ – 5 “[God] saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit”.
This means saving faith in Jesus Christ and intellectual understanding about Jesus Christ are two different things. Intellectual understanding can know about Jesus Christ. Only saving faith can believe in Jesus Christ. John chapter 3 – 16 [Jesus said,] “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” This means the Lord’s gift of saving faith is about how He knows people and it can be received at any stage of life from conception to the moment before death (2 Samuel 12:23, Psalm 22:9-10, Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:5, Luke 1:15, Luke 1:44, Matthew 11:25, Matthew 21:16/Psalm 8:2). And that, as God uses Baptism today to make people a part of His community just as He used circumcision to do the same in the Old Testament (Colossians 2:11-12), the Lord’s gift of saving faith at any age qualifies a person of any age to forgiveness of sins and eternal life.