Scripturally Based Answers For life's Questions
People often wonder what baptism is all about. The Bible says, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” What does it mean, “one baptism”? Is there only one? No, there are a number of them referred to in the Scriptures, but what this is referring to is that there is one “ultimate one” or “primary one,” and all the other ones only reflect that one, in other words, they are all symbolic. It is not that they do not matter, for they are all important and demonstrate a certain aspect of the Christian faith, but they do not have any bearing on the salvation of the soul. One of the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament is that the “old” acts of obedience were for the purpose of demonstrating what God was going to do in the future, especially Jesus’ coming and being the sacrificial Saviour of the world. They were generally based on a promise God had made to people. The “new” acts of obedience are based upon what God did, they are reflective—I do because God did. Salvation is complete, and all our acts of obedience only reflect and declare that. So baptisms are always to reflect and declare, that is, baptisms done by man’s hands. In the New Testament, they reflect what God did and declare that one stands with Him. Here are some short explanations of the main baptisms recorded in the Bible.
The water baptism of John the Baptist—this is an Old Testament baptism called “The Baptism of Repentance.” CLICK-Mark 1:4 says “for the forgiveness of sins.” But we must remember that it was an Old Testament baptism, it was for what was to come as CLICK-Acts 19:4 explains, “Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.’” The baptism simply declared that Jesus Christ was about to come, and those being baptized made a public declaration that they stood in agreement with that and were awaiting His coming and His forgiveness.
The water baptism of the believer—this baptism has a few purposes:
It serves as a confession, for by it, we confess that we believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Savior, and we have placed our trust in Him and have received Him—CLICK-Acts 8:30-37.
It is a mark of identification, by it, we declare that we stand with Christ, we identify ourselves to have died with Him and then are risen with Him to live for Him—demonstrated in CLICK-Romans 6:1-11.
It is an act of obedience, and by it, we demonstrate our submission to God. Baptism is a command—CLICK-Matthew 28:19, and we show that Jesus is Lord by obeying.
It is a reflection, wherewith we outwardly demonstrate what God has done within us.
It also serves as a declaration, for by it, we declare the truth, the gospel of our salvation, as CLICK-Acts 2:37-47 demonstrates.
Water baptism has no part in the salvation of the soul. I like what Paul said: “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”—CLICK-I Corinthians 1:17. We are saved by receiving Jesus as Savior, and water baptism reflects that.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit
CLICK-I Corinthians 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” When John the Baptist introduced Jesus, he said, “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”—CLICK-Matthew 3:11.
Jesus came for the purpose of dying on the cross and rising from the grave to pay the penalty of sin and defeat death for mankind, but He also came to baptize people with the Holy Spirit. Yet, He never did that during His earthly ministry, waiting until shortly after He returned to heaven, as is recorded in Acts chapter 2. He has been doing that ever since, to all those who receive Him as Savior as is referred to in
CLICK-Mark 16:16, CLICK-Acts 2:38-41, CLICK-Romans 6:1-6 and
CLICK-I Corinthians 12:13. It is a baptism that takes place when a person receives Jesus Christ as personal Savior. It is a spiritual baptism that places all believers into the body of Christ. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.”
The baptism of fire. This baptism also happened together with the Holy Spirit baptism recorded in CLICK-Acts chapter 2. This fire came upon them, and as a result, they spoke the Word of God with boldness and people heard it, even in their own language. CLICK-Acts 1:5 says, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” And verse 8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” When this fire came upon them, it imparted and activated spiritual gifts, and by them, they were able to testify the works of God. It empowered them to communicate, minister and declare the gospel message as Jesus had promised.
This is a very short explanation of baptism, if you would like to understand it more you can click the link and watch the video. You can also search the Scriptures to see for yourself. If you have specific questions, please send us another message. God bless you.