What should I do if I become convinced that I might have been born again after my baptism? That can be a tricky question (for baptists, at least). There are a lot of people who end up being baptized two, three or four times. The Gospel Coalition recently shared two answers to the question, one from a credobaptist (a person who holds that baptism should follow conversion) and one from a paedobaptist (who holds that infants should be baptized). Recently I read J.D. Greear’s book Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart (my review) and found his answer to the question very helpful. B&H, the publisher, was kind enough to allow me to share it with you.
What do you do about baptism if you think that you might have been “born again” after your first one?
There are several answers to this question, depending on your particular situation. If your baptism occurred as an infant, I think the answer is clear: you should be baptized again. Your infant baptism was more a symbol of your parents’ faith (and thank God for their faith!) than yours. Every baptism we see in the New Testament, however, was a believer confessing his or her own faith. So be baptized “again,” fulfilling the hope your parents had when they baptized you as an infant. Don’t fear that you are dishonoring them. What better way to honor the hopes they expressed in your baptism than to choose for yourself to follow Jesus?
But what if you were baptized after an initial conversion experience but now suspect that your actual “regeneration” occurred later? Should you get re-baptized? There’s no hard and fast answer, but here’s what I’d suggest: if you know clearly that you were not saved at the point when you were baptized (i.e., you were pressured into baptism by your parents or friends, had no real grasp on salvation, had some ulterior motive, etc.), then be baptized again.
However, if your baptism depicted the beginning of a journey of faith, a journey marked by numerous “awakenings” and defining moments, let it stand, even if you wonder that perhaps your “regeneration” happened later.