So if “believer baptizers” are right–if people who have received infant baptism have not received biblical baptism at all–then there have been hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Christian believers who have never obeyed the Lord’s command to be baptized in his Name, believers such as Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, J. Gresham Machen, J. I. Packer, John Stott, R. C. Sproul, etc.
In my conversations with Baptists and other credobaptists (believers’ only baptizers), they always argue based on some really bad presuppositions.
J. C. Ryle writes that if Jesus wasn’t circumcised on the eighth day, he would be “regarded by all Jews as nothing better than an uncircumcised Gentile and an apostate from the faith of the fathers.”
Why is this “excursus” inserted in the story of the appointment of Moses as the leader of God’s covenant people? Is there anything to learn from this incident?
The promise of forgiveness and renewal by the Spirit is spoken specifically to the children of Peter’s listeners. But the point is: In expanding his community of grace to the Gentiles, God will not expel the children.
To thousands of new Jewish converts to Christianity, this was the meaning of believers-only baptism: as soon as they believed in Christ, their children, formerly members of God’s own treasured people, now have become unclean, detestable pagans, cut off from God’s covenant promises. And not one of them dared question the apostles; they just sheepishly accepted this horrific fact.