Baptism is a New Testament idea first found in Matthew 3:1,6, Luke 3:3 where a great multitude of people are coming out to hear John preach and repent of their sins. This sets the trend that anytime we see baptism it is in regards to repentance and belief.
- Acts 2:41 speaks to the people first accepting, then being baptized.
- Acts 2:38 speaks to the command of first believing and repenting.
- In Acts 8:12 they believed, then were baptized- even Simon in Acts 8:13 first believed, and his was a shaky faith.
- In Acts 8:36 the Eunuch wishes to be baptized, and some very early scribe didn't want a misunderstanding to occur, so he added "If you believe you may. And the Eunuch replied, I believe Jesus is the Son of God." What's interesting is that while it may be a textual addition, it tells us a lot about how the early church perceived baptism: as connected intimately and inseparably with belief.
- In Acts 10:47 Cornelius believes, receives the Holy Spirit, and is then baptized.
- In Acts 16:14 Lydia believes because God opens her heart, then is baptized and demonstrates her faith in belief and charity toward Paul.
- In Acts 16:31 the jailer believes the power of God and the testimony of Paul, Timothy and Silas, and is baptized, him and his whole house. As a side note, the Paedos live in this verse, but a closer look shows us that it's much more likely the children believed and were baptized as well (if there were children).
- Crispus and the Corinthians were baptized after believing in Acts 18:8.
- In Acts 22 Paul tells his own story, how he was convicted, repenting in darkness until he received his sight and was baptized.
Having realized the fatal concession a paedo-baptist might turn to verses regarding the idea of covenant children. But this too is ineffective, for what delights God is not children, but faithful children.
- Notice that in Mark 9:42: the punishment awaits those who tamper with children who believe.
- In Acts 2:39 the idea is not that the children are saved apart from faith, but that this promise is good for everyone, you, your children, strangers--all men may believe in Christ and find refuge.
- In Mark 10:15 the children are encouraged to come to Him, but in v16 it's clear that their faith and acceptance of the Kingdom of heaven makes them precious. Or we might say that this has nothing whatsoever to do with baptism, and that would be a valid argument as well.
Now let's move on to a bonus round argument against the paedo-baptists
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