As Baptists we believe that the church is made up of believers and that Scripture teaches that baptism is for believers; those who have been converted, having personally trusted in our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, for example, in Matthew 28.19, the risen Christ commands his disciples to go and “make disciples of all the nations (the first step), baptising them (the second step) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them (the third step) to observe all that I have commanded you.” Accordingly, we only baptise those who have made a personal profession of faith – usually adults, although younger people may also be baptised, provided there is a genuine faith in Christ, and a proper understanding of the step they are taking.
The word “baptise” means to dip, or immerse, and such descriptions as we have in Scripture all suggest immersion in water (eg: Jesus “came up out of the water” in Matthew 3.16) This is our practice; we have our own baptistry.
Baptism symbolises being washed from our sins (Acts 22.16); it also symbolises having died to sin and risen again to a new life (Romans 6.3-4). It is a public declaration of faith in Christ, which every Christian should make as soon as possible after coming to faith. We are not saved by baptism, but it is a command of Christ, which should be obeyed.
We respect the integrity of many, both historically, and at the present day, who hold otherwise, but we do not see in Scripture any justification for the baptism of infants.