Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.
Our justification from sins takes place at the point of saving faith, not at the point of water baptism, which usually occurs later. But if a person is already justified and has sins forgiven eternally at the point of saving faith, then baptism is not necessary for forgiveness of sins nor for the bestowal of new spiritual life. Baptism, then, is not necessary for salvation. But it is necessary if we are to be obedient to Christ, for he commanded baptism for all who believe in him.
WAYNE A. GRUDEM, Bible Doctrine
Baptism is rich in meaning. It suggests cleansing. When you are a disciple, you understand that you are cleansed by Christ. You understand that Christ died in your place on the cross, paying for your sins, fully forgiving you for all your wrongs. You are cleansed from guilt, and you are becoming a cleaner, healthier, more whole person.
BRIAN D. MCLAREN, More Ready Than You Realize
To deny that in a child after baptism sin remains is to treat with contempt both Paul and Christ.
POPE LEO X, statement issued June 15, 1520
A funeral is not death, any more than baptism is birth or marriage union. All three are the clumsy devices, coming now too late, now too early, by which Society would register the quick motions of man.
E.M. FORSTER, Howard's End
Baptism has always been a compound act absorbing cultural patterns into itself: it has taken on definite shape in various cultures, shaping those cultures in turn.
AIDAN KAVANAGH, The Shape of Baptism
Rationally considered, nothing can be more absurd than the baptism of infants under any circumstances. No statement, no matter by whom it may be said to have been uttered, can make that true which is radically false. If an innocent child, unconscious of good or evil, irresponsible to God and man, incapable of thought or action, is not already, in accordance with Christian theology, a member of Christ, then no vicarious promise or priestly ablution can make him one. For if this were so, a similar ceremony under devil worship could make him a member of Satan.
TENNESSEE CLAFLIN, Talks and Essays
Infant baptism when practiced can be no more than an expression of the faith and hope of the parents that their child will ultimately be saved.
LEWIS SPERRY CHAFER, Major Bible Themes
Baptism is the sacrament of allegiance of them that are to be received into the Kingdom of God, that is to say, into Eternal life, that is to say, to Remission of Sin. For as Eternal life was lost by the committing, so it is recovered by the remitting of men's sins.
[Martin] Luther did not regard the water in baptism as common water, but as a water which had become, through the Word with its inherent divine power, a gracious water of life, a washing of regeneration. Through this divine efficacy of the Word the sacrament effects regeneration.
LOUIS BERKHOF, Systematic Theology
Five types of baptism are mentioned in the New Testament, though only two of the five have to do with water. No wonder people become confused.
LARRY E. DYER, Baptism: The Believer's First Obedience
God's people should be baptized because God commanded it, not because some church requires it.
JOHN R. RICE, Bible Baptism
Baptism is, in fact, much more than a ritual conferring membership in a community, as many people conceive it nowadays. It is a process of birth, through which a new dimension of life opens out.
PETER SEEWALD, God and the World
In baptism one returns to the state of creation ... when all humanity was unified.
L. MICHAEL WHITE, From Jesus to Christianity
From what cause the rite of baptism first proceeded is not expressed formally in the scripture, but it may be probably thought to be an imitation of the law of Moses concerning leprosy, wherein the leprous man was commanded to be kept out of the camp of Israel for a certain time, after which time being judged by the priest to be clean, he was admitted into the camp after a solemn washing. And this may therefore be a type of the washing in baptism, wherein such men as are cleansed of the leprosy of Sin by Faith, are received into the church with the solemnity of baptism.
Because to us in Baptism, a new life He hath given, a better birth than that of earth, and made us heirs of Heaven.
CECIL FRANCES ALEXANDER, "When Christ Into the Temple Came"
Baptism is the door of the spiritual life and the gateway to the sacraments.
THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theologica
That is the best baptism that leaves the man cleanest inside.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit