Who can be baptised?

Who can be baptised?

When we look at all the instances of baptism in the New Testament an obvious pattern appears.

In Acts 2:31 it says, “Those who accepted his message were baptised…”
In Acts 8:12 it says, “But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised…”
In Acts 10:47 it says, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptised with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”
In Acts 16:33-34 it says, “… immediately he and his household were baptised. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole household”

The pattern is that the ones who were baptised were those who had already responded, that is believed in the good news. Baptism followed belief. Baptism is for believers.

Must someone be a certain age to be baptised?
Baptism is not a means of salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us we are saved by grace through faith and not by works. It follows that entry into the church is therefore by grace through faith too. One cannot become a part of the church by being baptised or fulfilling any ritual. If that were the case we would go around baptising everyone. We only become a part of God’s people when we believe.

There are no New Testament passages that give clear evidence that infants were baptised. Even when households are mentioned scripture is clear that they all believed. (See Acts 16:34, 1 Cor. 1:16 & 16:15)

It can be accepted then that the question “Who can be baptised?” is not a question of age. Baptism was not performed on people of a certain age but rather it was performed on people who believed.

Who can be baptised? Believers.

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