Believer's baptism is the belief that baptism should be limited to those who have already put their faith in Jesus Christ. While some groups may believe that the believer is not saved until Baptism, it is generally accepted by those who practice Believer's baptism that salvation preceeds baptism.
Believer's Baptism in Doctrinal StatementsEdit
Many groups include a statement concerning believer's baptism in their doctrinal statement. When included, the doctrinal statement may or may not identify the practice specifically as Believer's Baptism. One example of a doctrinal statement that does not use the specific wording to refer to it is that of the Baptist Missionary Association of America which states, "Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer as a confession of his faith in Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:4)."(BMAA Doctrinal Statement) In this case the doctrinal statement also makes it clear that the group believes that the proper mode of baptism is immersion. The belief that immersion is required will vary from group to group.
In Opposition to Infant BaptismEdit
The split between Christians on the issue of Baptism goes deeper than an issue of how old a person must be to be baptized. Those on one side of the issue hold that because baptism is required to wash away sin, it should not be withheld from anyone and should be given to infants in order to assure their entrance into heaven. Those on the Believer's Baptism side of the issue hold that baptism does not have the power to save but is a testimony of what Jesus did through his death, burial and resurrection, so it does no good to baptize those that have not accepted Jesus. John the Baptist required "fruits meet for repentance." Those who practice believer's baptism believe that this should still be required of those who would be baptized today.
- Doctrinal Statement of the Baptist Missionary Association of America