Of those eleven cases of New Testament baptism, three are baptisms of single individuals with no children,—Jesus, the Ethiopian Eunuch and Paul. Three other cases were the disciples of John, the three thousand at Pentecost and the Samaritan converts. The remaining five were family baptisms. Since at Pentecost the promise was to the families of Israeland their children (Acts 2:39), then over half of all these cases were family baptisms. That in itself is quite significant. What if we cannot prove that in these families there were children? No one can prove that there were no children in them. What if we could not prove from these cases that the mode of baptism is sprinkling or pouring? No one will prove on the basis of them that the mode is immersion. But if the immersionist cannot prove his mode from these instances of baptism, what will he do for support of his position on mode? Really nothing at all; it goes lost. He needs these cases for his so called “proof.” But the elimination of the eleven cases from the debate does not annihilate the argument for the mode of sprinkling or pouring. That stands intact. That argumentation does not need these eleven instances for its survival. As we have already shown, there is an abundance of Scripture support for it much elsewhere in the Word of God. But if you believe in the unity, continuity and perpetuity of the covenant, you will not need proof that infants were baptized as well as their Christian parents.
Then there is the passage which is appealed to in support of the “burial theory” of baptism, as in Rom. 6:3-4(Cp. Col. 2:12), which reads, “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.” The American Standard Version, more exact, reads, “Or are ye ignorant that, all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried, therefore, with Him through baptism into death . . .” The original could be better translated, as, “Or are ye ignorant that, all who were baptized in Christ Jesus, in the death of Him were baptized? We were buried, therefore, together with Him through the baptism in the death . . .” Paul is certainly not dealing here with any water baptism a thought which loses sight of the real meaning of the passage. Here the subject is, The Objective Incorporation of the Entire Church into Christ, in His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection. The whole elect church is viewed in its identification with Christ crucified, dead, buried and risen. They allwere baptized in Christ Jesus. It was a baptism in His death. It is as plain as can be that His death was a baptism of blood. (Cp. Matt 20:22-23; Mark 10:38-39; Luke 12:50with Luke 22:20). When He died we were incorporated, identified with Him, so that the once-for-all settled fact of the matter is, “We died! We were buried!” (Notice the tense of the verbs.) It is perfectly clear when this took place. We died with Him on the Cross. We were united together with Him in all His redemptive acts. Our position, then, is one of identification with Christ. We were, then, positionally buried together with Him through the baptism, that is, the true, historical baptism, of which water baptism is the sign. It is all an accomplished fact for the church through the Baptism (there is only the one baptism) in the death (there is, only the one atoning death). So then, Paul wrote here not of individual water baptism, nor even of regeneration, but corporately of the Baptism in theDeath. Paul’s object is not to show that Christians ought to walk in newness of life because figurativelyraised from a watery grave in symbolic ritual, but because spiritually, objectively, historically, unitedly, corporately and representatively raised from the grave through the death. There is nothing of mode here, and to introduce it is to reveal lack of understanding of the passage. Peter refers to that baptism through His death when he mentions the “Sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 1:2) and the pouring out of His Spirit (Acts 2:17-18).