I am convinced that baptism is for believers ONLY. My present Baptist church has a constitution that INSISTs on immersion but an amendment to the constitiution allows associate members.
Discussions with paedobaptist & baptist Christians over the decades have raised interesting points. I don't expect to convince baptists, or change the mode, but try to understand the position of other Bible-believing Chrstians.
The late widely respected Pastor D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones of Westminster Chapel (Congregational) practised baptism of believers by sprinkling. The local Congregational church, which is generally an excellent Gospel church, has a trust deed that requires the Pastor to believe in the baptism of infants. Believers are baptised by sprinkling. So, is sprinkling/pouring baptism valid as a mode of baptism? The CofE Prayer Book, approved by the KJV translators, allows sprinkling for weak & sickly children. Is there a Scriptural basis for sprinkling/pouring?
The normal argument for immersion is e.g. Romans 6 - which justifies our normal practice of baptism of new believers by immersion:
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 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.
We are told that the Greek for baptism means "dipping" but it is never so translated in the KJV. It is transliterated "baptism" or translated "washing." Related words are translated baptize or Baptist, etc, which occur over 100 times. It's not always baptism in water:
Mat. 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
1 Cor. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
The only times we see "dipped" are:
Strong's 911 - βάπτω bapto
Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip G911 the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
John 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped G911 it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
Rev. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped G911 in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Strong's 909 - βαπτισμός baptismos
Mark 7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing G909 of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing G909 of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Heb. 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, G909 and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb. 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, G909 and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Now, does Hebrews in ch 9 proceed with the doctrine of baptisms, as he intended (if God permit) ? He there contrasts the ineffectual sprinkled washings/baptismos of the old covenant, with the blood of Christ:
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The divers washings given as examples in Heb. 9 include the red heifer ritual of Numbers 19, the blood of the covenant ritual of Ex. 24, both of which are sprinklings. Hebrews uses "testament" where Ex. uses "covenant." I don't think the difference there is significant. We've discussed that in another thread.
Note that Peter also refers to sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ so that it is not wrong to consider baptism as signifying applying the water of baptism as a figure of the blood of Jesus to the believer, by sprinkling.
Faced with 3,000 penitent converts on the day of Pentecost, it might be considered equivalent to the situation in Ex. 24, q.v. which Hebrews uses as an example of OT baptismos/washings.