What is the difference between taking a bath or receiving baptism?
Baptism without belief is a bath. Baptism without repentance is just getting wet. Baptism without confession is just soaking ourselves for no reason. The difference between a bath and baptism is faith. Someone may dunk you in water, but if you are not putting your trust in Jesus to take away your sins, then nothing but a bath has occurred.
Infants must not be baptized because they are not able to believe, repent, or confess. All points are necessary. The scriptures are adamant about the necessity of faith and belief.
For without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
Further, the scriptures are full of references combining belief and baptism. Baptism cannot come first and then faith. Belief comes first, then baptism. One example is the conversion of Simon in Acts 8:13, “Then even Simon himself believed. And after he was baptized, he went around constantly with Philip….”
Immersion in water alone — without belief, repentance, confession, and placing one’s trust in Jesus — amounts to nothing more than getting wet.