I do not believe in Baptismal Regeneration, that term was for anabaptist who argued pedobaptist needed to baptized again. What people are really trying to accuse me of being is a "Water Regenerationist" because they think, I believe, the power is in the water.
I don't believe there is power in the water, but I do believe, if you want electricity then you have to build your dam over the water. Just saying that it would theoretically would work, is not the same as producing power.
I grew up a Southern Baptist, so I understand the Faith Only position as it is presented by today's modern denominations, though many of them would be surprised to learn that their churches used to agree more with me and would stand against them today.
To be succinct, I believe we are saved by Grace through faith, but instead of saying a prayer to obey the gospel we are really to confess Jesus as Lord and get baptized.
Notice the "calling on the name of the Lord" (the confession) of Rom 10:9-13 takes place during baptism, not the sinner's prayer.
My position is simply, if the early church had no problem baptizing people immediately, why should we? Today's church is so indoctrinated that baptism is a work that they discourage the practice of the New Testament church! Today's church has converts repeat a prayer, but this is nowhere found in the New Testament.
The "Sinner's Prayer" began to develop in the late 19th century from revival preachers, namely Charles Finney. He also developed the modern invitation and made obeying the gospel an emotional response. As an originalist I am leery of doctrines or practices not shared by the early church.
Now interestedly, the Early Reformer Martin Luther and I totally agree on what baptism is for and what it accomplishes. Martin Luther (who believed in Sola Fide, Faith Only) wrote in his Smaller Catechism:
Q: What is Baptism?
A: Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word.
Q: Which is that word of God?
A: Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28:19)
Q: What benefits does Baptism give?
A: It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.
Q: Which are these words and promises of God?
A: Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)
Q: How can water do such great things?
A: Certainly not just water, but the word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith which trusts this word of God in the water. For without God’s word the water is plain water and no Baptism. But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says in Titus, chapter three: “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.” (Titus 3:5–8)
Q: What does such baptizing with water indicate?
A: It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
Q: Where is this written?
A: St. Paul writes in Romans chapter six: “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Rom. 6:4)
To my detractors, if I'm a heretic, then you must be consistent and call Martin Luther one as well. Luther, the man who started the Reformation on the belief that "The Just Shall live by Faith" and who also left James out of his German translation of the Bible, taught that the Holy Spirit cames at baptism! (Titus 3:5–8)
If you believe baptism can be left out of the conversion process, it is you who has drifted from the NT pattern and the historic church. Maybe you should rethink your position on baptism, because you are the one testing God's grace by not teaching the proper response to gospel as it was laid out by the apostles.