Have you heard of someone getting baptized again? When I talk about getting baptized again, I am referring to those who got baptized as children. I know that different denominations baptize children under different circumstances. I was curious to what the Bible said on the topic, so I decided to take a look. One set of verses, in particular, answered my question. These verses made it pretty clear to me what the purpose of baptism is. The verses can be found in Acts 19:1-7.
Acts 19:1-7 NASB It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7 There were in all about twelve men.
Why should you get baptized?
If you read this set of verses in Acts, Paul explains why someone should get baptized. According to Paul, the purpose of being baptized is to repent and receive the holy spirit. Publicly acknowledging that you are a sinner and putting your faith in Christ is why someone should get baptized. There are several important things to take away from this set of verses.
First, you must make a personal choice to repent. This is not something that another person can do for you. Each person is responsible for being accountable for their own sins. A pastor, priest or family member cannot receive forgiveness for your sins. Like wise, no one can immune you from your sins. Being baptized as a child does not give you the holy spirit or remove you from your sinful behavior.
Secondly, you can only have the holy spirit dwelling inside of you if you have confessed your sins to Jesus and asked him for forgiveness. Baptizing a child does not meet that requirement. Only people that are old enough and mature enough to understand their sinful behavior can seek forgiveness. There is no definitive age where someone is capable of seeking forgiveness. I can say for sure that an infant does not possess the maturity to understand what sin is and seek forgiveness from their sin.
Getting baptized again is not a sin.
Matthew 3:11 NASB “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Being baptized in the name of Jesus is the only form of baptism that has meaning. If you are not being baptized to proclaim Jesus, then why is the action necessary? Any other type of rituals is not what the Bible defines as baptism.
Getting baptized again in the name of Jesus as an adult is different. Adult baptism is not the same as a child baptism done without repentance. If you are seeking to be baptized in the name of Jesus, it only needs to be done once. Many denominations have argued that child baptism is the same as a repentance baptism. This angle is not correct. I have not seen a single instance in the New Testament that backs up their claims. From what I have read in the Bible, denominational baptism before repentance has more to do with Church rules than it does to do with Biblical principals.
If you cross reference many of the most commonly used translations of the Bible, they all come to the same conclusion. Baptism is for repentance and proclaiming Jesus as your savior to receive the holy spirit.