Grudem suggests that the Greek word for baptism meaning ‘to plunge, dip or immerse’ argues in favour of full immersion. The narratives that the New Testament contains of baptisms also favour full immersion; for example in Acts 8 the Ethiopian eunuch said saw some water and then suggested that he be baptised (there was no suggestion that this could be done with the water he would have had in a container to drink). Then there is the fact that the symbolism of baptism (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12), of going down into the grave and being raised with Christ to newness of life is best pictured using immersion. Grudem notes that baptism also symbols washing and purification from sin (Acts 22:16).
As for who should be baptised Grudem argues that because baptism is a symbol of beginning the Christian life it should only be given to those who have actually begun that life. The New Testament narratives show people being baptised in response to believing. In Galatians 3:27 the apostle Paul ties baptism closely with having put on Christ. The view that links circumcision with baptism seems mistaken as circumcision of the Old Testament anticipates circumcision of the heart, not baptism.
What about Grudem’s teaching on the Lord’s Supper? He says ‘It would be healthy for the church today to recapture a more vivid sense of God’s presence at the table of the Lord.’
Who should participate in the Lord’s Supper? Paul warns that those who eat and drink unworthily face serious consequences (1 Cor. 11:29-30). Grudem argues that the Lord’s Supper is for believers who have examined their own lives before God (1 Cor. 11:27-29).